Wine Tips & Tricks

20 Amazingly Simple Food and Wine Pairing Ideas

Get inspired by these everyday food and wine pairings. For example, love chicken tacos? Try them with white Vinho Verde wine!

  • Food Wine: A wine that makes food taste better.
  • Cocktail Wine: A wine that tastes best when drunk on its own

You already know cocktail wines. They are the quintessential “100-point” wine. A drink-your-dinner wine. Something that’s so insanely complex and complete that food would just sour the experience.

But we can’t survive on wine alone, even if it sounds like a good idea. Fortunately, there is a whole class of wines out there–the food wines–that are designed for this purpose. Food wines are rapidly growing in popularity. Not only are they affordable, but they will make things taste better.

20 Amazingly Simple Food and Wine Pairing Ideas

  1. Chicken Tacos and Vinho Verde
  2. Cheesy Puffs and Chenin Blanc
  3. French Fries and Sparkling Wine
  4. Buffalo Wings and Lambrusco Dolce
  5. Fried Chicken and Moscato
  6. Fish and Chips (England Style w/ Tartar Sauce and Mushy Peas) and Chilled Sercial Madeira
  7. Red Bean Chili and Cava
  8. A BLT Sandwich and White Zinfandel
  9. Meatball Sandwiches and Carménère
  10. Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Petite Sirah
  11. Lamb Gyros and Nebbiolo
  12. Chicken Salad and Grüner Veltliner
  13. Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Quiche and Chardonnay
  14. Veggie Macro Bowl and Vermentino
  15. Steamed Pork Dumplings and Gewürztraminer
  16. Moo Sho Pork and Riesling
  17. Vietnamese Fresh Rolls and Furmint
  18. Sushi and Muscadet
  19. Asian Barbecue and Red Zinfandel
  20. Beef Brisket and Red Bordeaux

Defining Characteristics of a Food Wine

Food wines generally have higher acidity. They also tend to be less complex with a focus on a singular flavor that can be paired, similar to a seasoning in a dish. This is not a bad thing, in fact it serves a purpose. For example, Zinfandel often has a subtle note of cinnamon which works amazingly with Asian dishes where 5-spice powder is used. Additionally, the 2013 vintage of Chablis, which at the basic AOP level springs forth dry crispy flavors of star fruit and meyer lemon, flavors perfectly alongside delicate flaky white fish.


About Madeline Puckette

I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly