Top Food Matches:
Salumi, barbecue,
duck terrine, mushroom pizza.
Reliable Brands:
Cantina di Sorbara,
Ceci, Lini 910, Medici Ermete.
Why This Works:
Hearty and earthy in
flavor, Lambrusco holds its own against
rich, gamey foods with its vivacious
acidity and refreshing bitterness.
Dry Riesling
(Alsace, France; Austria; Australia)
Best Food Wine Style:
Medium- to full-
bodied with an oily texture in Alsace and
Austria with medium-plus to racy acidity.
Light-bodied, searingly crisp and rather
low alcohol in Australia.
Aromas & Flavors:
Honeysuckle, chamo-
mile, stone fruits and leesy notes in
Alsace and Austria. Lime peel, grapefruit,
peaches, shale and hay in Australia.
Top Food Matches:
Alsace and Austria:
baeckeoffe, choucroute garnie, spaetzle,
roast and baked apples. Australia: sushi,
shellfish, salad, Pan-Asian foods.
Reliable Brands:
Hugel, Zind-Hum-
brecht; Hirsch, Brundlmayer; Grosset,
Why This Works:
Alsatian and Austrian
wines have the heft to match rich foods
along with the high acidity to cleanse the
palate. Australian wines work best with
light, lean dishes. Dry Rieslings pair with
all the foods sweet ones do and more.
(Note: Currently trendy in Alsace to
make off-dry wines; double-check if wine
is dry or off-dry.)
Off-Dry Riesling
(Germany; Washington State)
Best Food Wine Style:
Light-bodied, light
sweetness balanced by crisp acidity
Aromas & Flavors:
Peach, white flowers,
citrus, petrol.
Top Food Matches:
Spicy food, creamy
cheese, pork sausage, butternut squash soup.
Reliable Brands:
Dr. L, Nik Weis Urban;
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest.
Why This Works:
High acidity allows Ries-
ling to pair widely, from light to fairly
rich foods, because it cleanses the palate.
Its low alcohol is good for spicy food
since it doesn’t spike the heat. Sweetness
complements creamy dishes well.
(Rias-Baixas, Spain)
Best Food Wine Style:
Mineral, medium-
bodied with modest viscosity and bright
Aromas & Flavors:
Apricots, apple peels,
minerals, fresh herbs.
Top Food Matches:
Crab cake, shrimp
salad, glazed ham, double and triple
crème cheese.
Reliable Brands:
Burgans, Condes de
Albarei, Martin Codax, Pazo de Señorans.
Why This Works:
Albariño has a generos-
ity of pit fruit aromatics that lend it to
pairing with foods containing sweetness.
Its viscosity also matches with moder-
ately creamy foods.
Grüner Veltliner
(Niederösterreich & Wagram, Austria)
Best Food Wine Style:
Light- to medium-
bodied, chiseled acidity, no viscosity,
taut mouthfeel.
Aromas & Flavors:
White pepper, lentil,
grapefruit, crushed rocks.
Top Food Matches:
Wiener schnitzel,
flakey fish, green bean salad, steamed
Reliable Brands:
Domäne Wachau,
Grooner, Hirsch, Leth.
Why This Works:
Grüner’s neutral fruit
character helps it work with hard-to-pair
veggies like asparagus, artichokes and
fresh green beans.
Fumé Blanc / Sauvignon Blanc
(Napa & Sonoma, California)
Best Food Wine Style:
refreshing acidity, creamy mid-palate,
light oak, supple fruit.
Aromas & Flavors:
Citrus, passion fruit,
honeysuckle, cut grass.
Top Food Matches:
Grilled chicken,
smoked trout, sushi, pasta primavera.
Reliable Brands:
Chateau St. Jean,
Dry Creek Vineyard, Frog’s Leap,
Robert Mondavi, St. Supéry.
Why This Works:
Faintly smoky (fumé
means smoked), this style of Sauvignon
Blanc works well with grilled & smoked
foods. Pronounced acidity helps cut
through heavier foods with cream sauces.
Grenache Blends
(Southern France & Provence)
Best Food Wine Style:
Pale pink to deep
salmon, medium-bodied with medium
alcohol, bouyant acidity, no tannin.
Aromas & Flavors:
Strawberries, water-
melons, raspberries, garrigue, laurel leaf.
Top Food Matches:
Pasta with tomato-
based sauce, quiche, fatty fish, Indian curry.
Reliable Brands:
Château d’Acqueria,
Château d’Esclans, Château Minuty,
Mas de Gourgonnier.
Why This Works:
The perfect crossover
between white and red, rosés are great
for moderately weighty foods with a
pepper spice component.
Pinot Noir
(Burgundy, France;
Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Best Food Wine Style:
Medium- to full-
bodied with pronounced acidity, smooth
tannin and little to moderate glycerol.
Aromas & Flavors:
Cherries, herbs, roses,
forest floor.
Top Food Matches:
Meaty fish, truffle
risotto, pork roast, beef bourguignon,
beet salad.
Reliable Brands:
Joseph Drouhin, Marquis
d’Angerville; A to Z, Willakenzie.
Why This Works:
The ultimate red-for-
food wine given its powdery, inobtrusive
tannins and mouth-watering acidity. A
vast array of delicate aromatics.
Within categories like
‘Whites’ or ‘Lighter Reds,’
wines can often be inter-
changed and still provide
a good match. The best—
and most fun—way to
become comfortable with
wine and food is to open
two bottles per dish!
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