When you’re serving a variety of cheeses, reach for food-friendly beverages such as Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and sparkling wine, or a dry rosé — or combine the best of both worlds with a sparkling rosé. It’s also hard to go wrong when matching cheese with beer or cider, especially bitter and hoppy India Pale Ales, or zingy apple or pear ciders. When serving red, versatile, earthy and fruit-forward Pinot Noir is a great option.
When serving bready hors d’oeuvre mainstays — think cranberry-and-cheese puffs or fruit-and nut-topped Brie with toasts — serve up Sauvignon Blanc or a Belgian tripel. For spiced and robustly flavoured dips like a fall vegetable hummus, offer up medium-bodied rosé, Chardonnay, Belgian wheat or saison beer.
This old-school favourite is open to lots of pairing options. When simply prepared, it works really well with a variety of ciders, as well as with wines like Beaujolais, Burgundy, Orange wine, Chablis, Sparkling and unoaked Chardonnay. When it’s richly glazed, you can get more creative, pairing it with Bourbon-based cocktails, brown ale or even a robustly flavoured bock or Duvel tripel.
Skipping the big bird in favour of a beef roast? You’ve got choices! Match roast beef with Merlot, Riesling, Valpolicella, Shiraz, Baco Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Beer is an excellent choice, too, serve your roast up with any assortment of ales — English or India Pales, brown, strong or old ales, as well as extra-special bitter beers.
Hearty Meatless Mains
Vegetarians and omnivores can get creative with a focus on the main’s primary ingredient. Meaty and earthy mushrooms and eggplant find a kindred spirit in Pinot Noir, but they’re also sublime with a toasty and robust stout. Cauliflower-centric dishes match well with crisp Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, or even a citrusy cocktail like a Tom Collins. For something a little different, marry meatless mains with the sour, fruity flavours in a Lambic beer — a pairing that you can always rely on.