Vintages Feature Story

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Famously Food-Friendly Wines

Pairing wine and food can create a transcendent culinary experience. It can also be a lot of fun and needn’t be intimidating; after all, the best pairing is the one you enjoy. These nine wines, which we’ve grouped into three food-friendly styles, are a great place to start.

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Fresh Whites

Be they aromatic or otherwise, dry, fresh, unoaked (or barely oaked) white wines often have the lip-smacking acidity that allows them to be versatile with foods while refreshing the palate. Light, crisp whites with subtler aromas and flavours are, like a lager, great for pairing with just about anything. Intensely aromatic and flavourful whites are, like a dry-hopped IPA, fun to complement and contrast. For instance, a grassy Sauvignon Blanc might complement a green salad or contrast with a mild goat cheese, while a citrusy Riesling might complement lemony fish and chips or contrast with pulled pork.


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Lighter Reds

When you want the dark, spicy or berry flavours of red wine without the massive body and tannins, light-bodied and medium-bodied reds are the way to go. Such wines often feature higher acidity, and their comparative lightness means they’re more versatile with delicately flavoured or textured foods. They’re perfect for pasta in light tomato sauce, braised duck or coq au vin, herbed lamb, burgers, paella, semi-soft cheeses like havarti or Muenster, and even gently smoked or seared salmon.


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Sparklers

Actually, the trickiest thing about pairing sparkling wine is trying to think of a food it doesn’t go with. Grapes for fizz are nearly always picked early, so the wine has tons of natural acidity to complement briny bites or cut through fatty and oily foods like magic. Meanwhile, those bubbles provide a built-in palate refresher, making bubbly the ultimate food-friendly wine style. Classic pairings include everything from oysters to potato chips, popcorn to fried chicken, Camembert to Grana Padano.


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