Food and Wine Pairing

Wine goes well with all kinds of food and with mostly all meals. However, it is important to know which wine has to be paired with which kind of food. Simply selecting any kind of red wine and drinking it with chicken or fish is not the right way to go. If we want to get the full flavour of the wine as well as the complete enticing experience of the food with the wine then here's the primary guide.

Lamb/Red Meat

Lamb, or Mutton as it's commonly known in the Indian sub-continent, is a heavy kind of meat for the palate. When dishes are made with lamb then the wine which goes with it should be as heavy as the meat. The wine we select to drink with lamb should have high quantities of Tannin and should be highly acidic. The combination of sweet flavour of the lamb and the acidic flavour of the wine would mingle with each other and create an explosion of flavours in the mouth. Hence, we need to look out for wines with high tannin for a lamb meal. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are the recommended wines.


For chicken dishes, the lighter yet refreshing wines are best suited to enhance the flavour of the food. White wines are also preferred with poultry dishes and a flavourful wine would simply clean the fatty flavour of the poultry off the tongue and give way to the next bite we going to take. The semi-dry wines also can be tried with Indian or eastern food. Chardonnay is the recommended wine to pair with all kinds of poultry food.


Fish has a strong taste of its own and is full of flavour when mixed with rich sauces and curries. For such food dishes, a strong wine is needed so that it cleanses the taste of the fish in the mouth and keeps us craving for more. Fish mixed in light sauces needs a lighter wine and that would enhance the taste of the wine and the fish dish. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the recommended wines for fish dishes with strong or light sauces. Caviar is a classy dish and only champagne suits this classy food.


Crustaceans like crabs, shrimps, lobsters, oysters are light-flavoured and easy going on the palate. For such food types, light and simple wines are best. Sparkling wines are also recommended for such food types and dishes. Rich tasting foods like lobsters, however, need rich wines like Chardonnay. Champagnes are also best suited for food under this category.


Pastas being Italian and basically bland tasting, the wines which go with it are to enhance the flavour of the dish. Now, depending on the pasta type and what has been put in the pasta, the wine should be decided. Pasta with lamb in it should have a strong and flavourful wine to go with it and likewise as per above options mentioned. Tomato sauce forms the basis of most pasta dishes; and since tomatoes are acidic, the wines to go with it should also be acidic. Zinfandel is the recommended wine to accompany pastas.


Cheese and wine are like husband and wife. Wine cannot be left without cheese and vice versa. Hence, the kind of cheese we are going to eat, the wine should differ. Like every man has a soul mate woman, similarly every cheese has a soul mate wine. Blue cheese goes well with dessert wines and hard cheeses which have strong flavour go well with strong tannin-filled wines. Soft cheeses go well with softer wines like Pinot Noir.

While pairing wines and food we can either complement the two together or have two contrasts. When going with the contrast option, it is much to the liking of the person if he or she would like the two opposite tastes of the food and the wine. Hence, most people prefer to go with complementing wines as described above.

Pairing the right wine with the right food type is an art and should be done right to give us complete satisfaction of the classy beverage we are drinking and the flavourful dish we are eating. Hence, we always have to keep in mind that the wine should be decided upon after the food type has been determined.

Poultry, fish or lamb should determine the wine. Vegetables which are used prominently in a dish should determine which wine will be best for that dish. Also, the cooking method is important. Wines can also be determined depending on whether the dish is a roasted, sautéed, baked or steamed. Wines need to be versatile when it is to be consumed with Indian food; as, in case of Indian cuisine, many dishes are served at one time and all is had in small portions by everyone at the same time. It's imperative to choose the right wine to enjoy it to the fullest.