Food and Wine pairings when done correctly can be life changing! Although you might not be a Sommelier who moonlights as a Chef, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. We’ve broken down a few basic principles here for you with some of our wines as suggestions.

Be sure to check out our Events Calendar to see upcoming Food & Wine Tastings or our Perfect Pairings Event, just in time for Valentine’s! We also love it when you drop by in store to chat with us about what you are making for dinner.

1. Acid is Your Friend!

Acidity in wine shows up when your mouth starts to water. Salivating indicates to your body that it is time to eat. Also often times the more acidity in a wine, the more broadly it pairs with food. Just like when you add a little citrus to your dishes, you can elevate the flavours, a bright wine can lift up a dish.


Remember to keep your wine more acidic than the food.
Chevre or Goat Cheese has a tangy acidity that might make other wines taste dull but paired with French Sauvignon Blanc like the Chateau de Pont Sauvignon Blanc you’ll be able to harmoniously enjoy both the food and the wine.

Acidity can also cut through heavy flavours.
This will make the overall experience of eating something feel lighter. Next time you make a heavy risotto, consider enjoying it with a higher acidity white wine like the Pelassa Roero Arneis

2. Match up Flavour Intensity

You wouldn’t bet on a featherweight in a heavyweight fight, similarly you wouldn’t want to pair a delicate with a bold dish, or vice versa.


The Heavyweights:
Heavy dishes like Beef Short Rib on Polenta, would dominate a wine like a typical Pinot Noir. If you tend to only drink lighter wines but will be making an exception in this case, consider opening up a Rhone Valley wine like Domaine Marcoux Cote du Rhone this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre will pack just enough punch to stand up to your dinner without dominating the flavours and the Grenache will keep the wine soft enough that pinot lovers will also enjoy it. If you love a big bold wine, in this case go richer with the Protos Crianza.

The Featherweights:
Delicate dishes like butter poached prawns, would not fair well with those two wines. If you enjoy big bold reds, you’ll still have a good time but you just won’t be able to taste your prawns. If you want to highlight the flavours in your dish, consider a wine that will let the fine flavours of your dish shine. Domaine de la Pepiere ‘Cuvee Merci’ is a great option, Muscadet wines hail from next to the Atlantic Ocean and this one doesn’t see as much lees contact, so it’s lighter, saline driven and perfect to sip on as you cook. Similair in weight and acidity is the Bernard Defaix Chablis, especially if you want something more complex.

Pro tip:
Love what you love! Getting the most out of pairings is making them work for your tastes! For example You love red wine but you are making fish. You can have it both ways! You can pick a lighter, fresher red like the Nicosia Fondo Filara Frappato and you can make your fish richer by considering a tomato based or cream sauce.

3. Match & Contrast Flavour Profiles

This is one of those principles where your personal tastes should dictate how you approach this. For example, some people love the combination of sweet and savoury, hello Chicago Popcorn. Other’s don’t like it mix the two flavours. Luckily there are so many unique wine flavour profiles that you’ll be able to find a combo that works for you.

Like with Like
When matching a flavour like sweet, you’ll always want to make sure that your wine is as sweet if not sweeter. Otherwise, the wine will end up tasting bitter. The best example is when you at brunch and eat a pastry and then sip on your orange juice, which suddenly will taste very bitter. But what would be lovely with your brunch pastries would be the off-dry gem Val d’Oca NV Colbertaldo prosecco.

Contrasting Flavours
Wine Pairings shouldn’t be left just to fancy meals. If you’re ordering some take out Pad Thai, get it a touch spicier than normal and enjoy with a crisp off dry Riesling. Reinhold Haart’s Haart to Heart Riesling is one of our favourites to pair with spicy food.