8 Types of Wine and Complementary Foods to Pair

Wine types, flavours and origins can be confusing and overwhelming, especially to those that are new to wine selecting and tasting. When pairing wine with food, the wine selection process becomes more complicated.

Luckily, there are fairly simple guidelines for matching certain foods with certain wines. As you experiment with food and wine more and more, buying the perfect wine online for your meal will become a breeze! Below is a list of eight standard wine types and the foods that go well with them, along with some basic tips.

1. Dry White Wine

Dry white wine is best for vegetables and fish, other white wines will work too depending on your preferences. Dishes that are tart or tangy, particularly foods in this flavour of sauce, match well with dry whites. Meals with a lot of fresh vegetables pair nicely with dry whites too.

Examples of dry white wine types include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Albarino and Gruner Veltliner.

2. Sweet White Wine

This type of white wine goes best with dishes that have complementary flavours such as sweet and spicy. Usually Indian and Thai styled meals are known for this type contrast. Any type of cheese, cured meats and desserts go well with sweet white wines too.

Examples of sweet white wine types include Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Malvasia and Moscato.

3. Rich White Wine

Appetizers or full meals including soft cheeses, starches, fish or white meat go well with rich white wines. Fish, like salmon or shrimp, with a lush, rich sauce would pair very well with rich white wine.

Examples of rich white wines include Chardonnay, Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne.

4. Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine goes well with vegetables, cheeses, starches and fish. Because sparkling wine has a hint of sweetness to it, salty foods taste good when paired.

Examples of sparkling wine include Prosecco, Cava and Champagne.

5. Light Red Wine

Foods with earthy and savoury flavours pair well with light reds. Meals including mushrooms, such as sauteed mushrooms with baked chicken, is a perfect meal idea for this wine. Otherwise, rich fish, white meat, cured meat and vegetables typically go well with light reds.

Examples of light red wines include St. Laurent, Pinot Noir and Gamay.

6. Medium Red Wine

Roasted vegetables, cheeses, starches, red meat and cured meat all pair well with medium red wines. For rich and rustic foods, such as pates or mousses, medium reds are a good match.

Examples of medium red wines include Merlot, Grenache and Zinfandel.

7. Bold Red Wine

Bold red wines go well with cheeses, red meat and cured meat. Because of the intensity of bold red wines, equally strong and flavourful foods are best for pairing. Dishes with heavy spices, like cumin or harissa, or juicy red meats go well with bold reds because of the flavour match.

Examples of bold red wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and Monastrell.

8. Dessert Wine

Soft cheeses, cured meats and desserts pair well with dessert wines. As the name implies, dessert wine is sweeter than most wines. It is best served after a meal with some sort of treat.

Examples of dessert wines include Ice Wine, Sherry and Port.