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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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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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.
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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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.
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.
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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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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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.
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.
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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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.
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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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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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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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.