Glass of white wine being poured with a salad blurred in the background

How to pair wine with food


Unlocking the perfect wine and food pairing doesn’t require a sommelier’s expertise. With guidance from local expert Margaret Pearman of Charlie’s Coastal Bistro, you can confidently navigate the world of wine to complement your meal. Here are tips to guarantee an exceptional dining experience, no matter where you find yourself.

Glass of white wine with a bowl of spicy food

1. Start with what you like. “I always tell people to start with what they like, because that’s most important.” 

2. Try to balance acidity. “If I am calling the shots, I look for balancing the food with the wine. If it’s a high-fat dish, I seek out acidity. For example, a Barbaresco can be abrasive on its own with its high acidity and tannin structure. Pair it with braised short ribs, and it sings. Champagne is an amazing accompaniment to fried foods. All the bubbles and acidity help cut the fat.” 

3. Vegetables need their fruit counterparts. “Vegetables are some of the hardest pairings due to their bitter and herbaceous qualities. Something with a little more fruit helps level that out. For instance, a Vouvray from the Loire Valley, an Austrian Grüner Veltliner or maybe an off-dry Reisling are all great with vegetable dishes.”

4. Fruit and spice equals everything nice. “The same rule applies to spicy dishes. A wine with a little more fruit tames the spice. Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer all work. For a red, try a Zinfandel or Syrah from California.”

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