Finding a wine to complement a meal is not so difficult. The basic rule of white wine with fish and white meat and red wine with red meat is a reliable place to start. Here are some more tips to make pairing easy.
A grape prominent in Bordeaux and New World wines.
Description: Has a distinctive and emphatic taste, with high tannin levels and flavours of oak, that’s too strong for delicate foods.
Pairs with: Poultry, roast beef, roast lamb, kidneys, mature hard cheeses
The most widely used red wine grape in Bordeaux, now grown around the world.
Description: Ripe, smooth and more adaptable than cabernet sauvignon.
Pairs with: Calves’ liver, grilled steaks, stews
Widely used in the Rhône Valley, California and Australia.
Description: Has flavours of blackcurrant, black pepper and spice.
Pairs with: Steak, roast beef, wild game, meat stews, mushrooms, Mexican chilli, chargrilled food
An elegant grape, but challenging to grow and rarely used in blends.
Description: Has soft tannins, shades of cherry, strawberry plum and leaf tea.
Pairs with: Salmon, tuna, venison, duck, baked ham, goose
Italy’s third-most-planted red grape, also popular in California.
Description: Cheap and cheerful, juicy and fruity: perfect with Italian food.
Pairs with: Pizza, tomato and meat pasta, salami
French grape used in Beaujolais, but also in parts of Burgundy and California.
Description: Best drunk as a young wine, which is light and summery.
Pairs with: Cold meats, mushrooms
Originated in Burgundy and used in Chablis. The most widely planted white wine grape in the world.
Description: Dry, rich, honeyed, sometimes oaky, though unoaked wines are available.
Pairs with: Omelette, fish, chicken, shellfish, mild game, coconut curries
The major white-wine grape of Bordeaux. Also grown in Chile, Argentina, California and Australia.
Description: Strong notes of date or fig. Often blended with Sauvignon. Sweet Sauternes and Barsac are made from overripe Sémillon.
Dry Sémillon pairs with: fish, shellfish, pork.
Sweet Sémillon pairs with: blue cheese, mature hard cheese, creamy puddings
Originated in the Loire valley. Popular around the world.
Description: Makes light-to-medium-bodied white that pairs with a ride range of flavours.
Pairs with: Goat’s cheese, asparagus, seafood, Thai food
Classic grape from the Rhine and Mosel in Germany, Alsace in France and also popular in Australia.
Description: Light, aromatic and with a steely acidity; very flexible for pairing with food.
Pairs with: Fish, pork, shellfish, omelette, duck, goose, sushi
Widely grown in the Venezia and Alto-Adige regions of Italy, and increasingly popular.
Description: Crisp and bone dry with an acidic bite, versatile for drinking on its own or with food.
Pairs with: Light and creamy pasta dishes, pork, vegetable ravioli, pâtés
Pairing the right wine with your meal is a great way to enhance your dining experience. It’s alright to play around and experiment with your pairings as all tastes are subjective.