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15 Easy Food and Wine Pairings Everyone Should Know

If you have a dinner party coming up, these food and wine pairing options will help ensure you pick the perfect drink to complement your menu.

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Glass of red wine on an old, rustic wood table. Enjoying it in the own garden in the evening sun.; Shutterstock ID 1361979782; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Grilled Black Angus Steak Ribeye on grill iron pan on wooden background with wine; Shutterstock ID 306596336; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHLISOVSKAYA NATALIA/SHUTTERSTOCK, Patrick Daxenbichler/Shutterstock

Steak with Cabernet Sauvignon

Planning to cook ribeyes on the grill? First, check out this Test Kitchen-favorite recipe, then make sure to pick up a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, which pairs perfectly with red meats thanks to its bold tannins and fruity flavor.

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alcohol; background; barbera; beverage; blurry; bordeaux; bottle; burgundy; cabernet; closeup; drink; glass; gourmet; liquid; merlot; mountains background; old; open; outdoor; pinot noir; red; restaurant; sangiovese; sauvignon; sunset background; taste; wine; wineglass Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs, fresh vegetable salad and red wine; Shutterstock ID 635370086; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Elena Veselova/Shutterstock, Tem404/Shutterstock

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Chianti

Fava beans aren’t the only pairing worth knowing with this classic Italian vino. If you’re making a batch of Nonna’s Italian meatballs for your guests, serve them a glass of Chianti wine, as well. This red blend has a bold, fruity flavor that pairs well with the acidity of tomatoes.

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glass of pinot noir wine on rustic wooden table, warm colored background,nice red glow in glass; Shutterstock ID 3077229; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Vegetarian pizza with mushrooms, selective focus; Shutterstock ID 164177081; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHshippee/Shutterstock, pearl7/Shutterstock

Mushroom Pizza with Pinot Noir

The earthy taste of mushroom pizza—or really any of our favorite savory mushroom recipes—pairs phenomenally with the light-bodied yet savory mouthfeel of pinot noir wine. It’s the perfect dinner menu for your next vegetarian-friendly gathering.

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Grilled pork baby ribs with barbecue sauce; Shutterstock ID 432669163; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Red Wine Being Poured In The Glass; Shutterstock ID 508852768; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHElena Veselova/Shutterstock, NatashaPhoto/Shutterstock

Barbecue Ribs and Malbec

Malbec wine can hold its own against the bold flavors of sweet and spicy barbecue sauce—like the one on these Honey Chipotle Ribs. It’s a great pairing to try at your next summer cookout.

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Apple crumble; Shutterstock ID 113714680; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Wine. Grapes. Glass with white wine; Shutterstock ID 606046451; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHAnjelikaGr/Shutterstock, Alefat/Shutterstock

Apple Crumble with Sweet Riesling

Desserts need wine pairings, too! Apple-based treats, such as apple pie or apple crumble, work especially well with the refreshing, light-bodied taste of a sweet riesling. Bonus points if your dessert has caramel in it.

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Baked salmon on a white plate with stewed potatoes, broccoli, sauce, carrots.; Shutterstock ID 1368370808; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Red wine and Italian cuisine; Shutterstock ID 1284609103; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHSokolovsPhotography/Shutterstock, jazz3311/Shutterstock

Salmon and Pinot Noir

There’s nothing better than cooking a delicious filet of fresh salmon, and you can take any dish made with this fish to the next level with a glass of pinot noir, which has a bold flavor but isn’t overly tannic.

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Organic Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Lime; Shutterstock ID 259774196; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Hand is pouring a bottle of light dry wine into glasses for tasting during the celebration. The concept of exclusive wines from wineries; Shutterstock ID 1363903487; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock, GingerKitten/Shutterstock

Lamb Chops and Bordeaux

There are so many delicious ways to prepare lamb, and no matter which option you choose, break out a bottle of Bordeaux to go with your dish. The bold flavor pairs well with the gamey meat, and the fattiness of the dish will help cut through the wine’s tannins.

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Pasta with Shrimp Scampi in a pan; Shutterstock ID 226410616; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Glass with cold white wine on wooden table at restaurant interior closeup; Shutterstock ID 1474534157; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHElena Shashkina/Shutterstock, mama_mia/Shutterstock

Shrimp Scampi and Chardonnay

Who doesn’t love a big plate of shrimp scampi and pasta? This popular dish goes well with a glass of chardonnay, as the white wine has a silky body that stands up to the rich buttery sauce.

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Fish tacos; Shutterstock ID 389944351; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Tasting-White wine pour in a glass; Shutterstock ID 195727904Magdanatka/Shutterstock, FreeProd33/Shutterstock

Fish Tacos with Pinot Grigio

Light fish recipes and pinot grigio wine are best friends—there’s something about the zesty white wine that makes seafood taste even more flavorful. As such, it makes a perfect companion for grilled fish like tilapia or even fish tacos—yum.

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Crostini with goat cheese and strawberries; Shutterstock ID 224241787; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Pouring white wine into a glass, high speed photography, focus on pour; Shutterstock ID 367944608; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHFortyforks/Shutterstock, MSPhotographic/Shutterstock

Goat Cheese Hors D’oeuvres and Sauvignon Blanc

If you want to put out something light for your guests to enjoy, goat cheese appetizers are an ideal snack to pair with a bottle of sauvignon blanc, which is deliciously dry and fruity.

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Duck leg, stewed with red wine; Shutterstock ID 303088073; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHMariaKovaleva/Shutterstock, New Africa/Shutterstock

Roasted Duck and Merlot

Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when you bring out the delicious pairing that is roasted duck and merlot wine. The easy tannins and soft finish of this varietal make it the ideal pairing for the meat.

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Close up of women toasting with rose wine while celebrating success. ; Shutterstock ID 1126991567; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Cheese souffle; Shutterstock ID 232874194; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHFotoCuisinette/Shutterstock, Magdanatka/Shutterstock

Cheese Souffle with Dry Rosé

This paring is unforgettable not just because of how delicious it is, but because it rhymes, too! Dry rosé wines pair especially well with anything rich and cheesy, making them an ideal partner for a delectable cheese souffle.

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Food and drink, holidays party concept. Cold fresh alcohol beverage champagne sparkling white wine with bubbles in a flute glass on a wooden table. Copy space background; Shutterstock ID 1086809027; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Tasty baked chicken pot pie on wooden board; Shutterstock ID 626255177; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHAntonina Vlasova/Shutterstock, Africa Studio /Shutterstock

Chicken Pot Pie with Dry Sparkling Wine

For a cozy, comforting dinner, bake up a delicious chicken pot pie and serve it alongside a bottle of dry sparkling wine—a brut Champagne is perfect. While many people only bring out the bubbly for celebrations, its acidity makes it great for food pairings, too.

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Moscato Wine; Shutterstock ID 684535258; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH cake with vanilla cream in the form of roses on a dark wood background. tinting. selective focus; Shutterstock ID 254720491; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHjantenthousand/Shutterstock, Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock

Vanilla Cake and Moscato d’Asti

Hosting a birthday bash? Moscato d’Asti is a sweet, lightly-sparkling white wine that makes for a phenomenal dessert pairing. In particular, it works well with vanilla cake. If you’re serving a chocolate cake, try its cousin moscato rosa. Ready to celebrate? Here are our favorite sparkling wines under $20.

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assorted fancy chocolate candy pieces flat lay; Shutterstock ID 1264229098; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Two Port Wine glasses against a Port Winery background in Portugal; Shutterstock ID 759880831; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHLynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock, Itziar Telletxea/Shutterstock

Milk Chocolate and Ruby Port

The only thing better than wine and cheese is wine and chocolate. If you make a milk-chocolate dessert, be sure to grab a bottle of ruby port to go with it—its rich texture and sweet profile make it a to-die-for combination.

Camryn Rabideau
Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in fashion, beauty, home, smart technology and general lifestyle content. She holds a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Rhode Island and jumps at any opportunity to combine her love for fashion and writing. Despite pressure from her peers, she remains on team #NoOxfordComma.

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