11 Food and Wine Pairing Rules

Recently Suveg Cellars hosted a wine and food pairing class with Food Critic David Cohen and Sommelier Craig Suveg. Included in this class was a list of food and wine pairing rules, devised by Craig and David to help attendees set some baseline rules for pairing food and wine. Just in time for the holidays, we’re making the list public in the hope that it will enrich your holiday dining experience. Enjoy!

The Rules

1. Pair fruity wines with fruity dishes, like German Spatlese with a pear tart.

2. Pair higher acid whites with creamy sauces to cut through the richness of the sauce.

3. Match wines from the country of origin of the dish, like Beef Bourguignon with a red Burgundy wine.

4. Saltier dishes work well with high acid wines and those with a touch of sweetness, tending to neutralize the saltiness.

5. Rich and fatty meats soften a young wine’s tannins.

6. Tomato sauces pair well with high acid red wine.

7. Dessert wine should always be sweeter than the dessert you’re pairing it with, otherwise the wine will taste tart by comparison.

8. Off dry, low acid white wines are excellent with spicy Asian fare and Indian cuisine.

9. When serving a wine sauce, serve a wine that is the same or higher quality.

10. Wines with high acidity will make a spicy dish taste more fiery.

11. Seafood tends to pair with crisp, high acid white wines.

Craig Suveg