Food & Wine Pairings: Part Deux

In the second part of our food pairings with wine, we explore what exactly goes best with the reds and roses. There’s a vast wide world of food pairings out there that go way beyond reds with red meat and roses with appetizers. Like, way beyond. Depending on spices, textures and flavors, what you may have previously thought was a great pairing with a certain dish or meal could actually mean a flavor disaster. It won’t make everything taste bad, per se, but that’s not the point of wine pairings. The best wine pairings will bring a whole other level to every bite you taste and sip you take. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet—they all have a cornucopia of aromas that make them uniquely flavorful and delicious. The downside is that the complexities, as much as they taste amazing, can also make it difficult to pin down that perfect pairing. Plus, not to overwhelm you, but depending on where the wine was made can mean even more variation and a greater chance of flavor crashing. Never fear, we’ve got a great guide to get you through all red and rose wine paring for years to come.

We go over exactly what you can pair with popular red wines and roses to give you the most out of your wine and your food.

Rose Champagne

This bubbly rose is typically, for some unknown reason, served with hors d’oeurves. Someone along the way someone said this little one couldn’t handle a full meal and it was castaway as strictly for appetizers. Well we’re here to tell you that they’ve been so wrong all along. This wine is made from both the pinot noir grapes and chardonnay, giving it a nice dry and fruity flavor that makes for great pairing with all sorts of fare. This is especially true for especially starchy foods. Pair a glass of this gorgeous wine with a creamy risotto, some horseradish mashed potatoes or a flavorful pasta dish. Some other great dishes that go perfectly with this rose are any nightshade vegetable like beets, turnips and tomatoes as well as roasted chicken, turkey, quail or any other fowl game and pork. No matter the choice, the lovely, sparkling nature of the sparkling rose adds dynamic flavor to whatever appetizer or entrée you choose to drink it with.

Dry Rose

Cheese, fromage, queso, quiejo, tupi, fromaggio, kase. However you say it, all you need to know is that a dry rose pairs really well with just about every one. Whereas most wines pair specifically with certain cheeses, dry rose is an amazing choice for all of them. Be sure to have a bottle of this the next time you have any sort of party where the cheese is a plenty. The wine will bring out the5 tips for cooking with wine best in the cheese and the cheese will return the favor to the wine. But don’t just stop there. Any dishes dripping with the stuff like grilled cheese, chicken alfredo or a fluffy cheese soufflé make for great rose food pairings.

Pinot Noir

There’s not really a way to go wrong with Pinot Noir. But there are definitely ways to really bring out the best of its aromas. One magnificent food pairing with pinot noir is anything with strong earthy tones. Know what that means? Tons and tons of mushrooms. But we won’t just stop there. This is another one that goes great with root vegetables, nightshades and every strong herb like a fennel. One that we haven’t seen yet is more gamey tasting meats, which make a perfect match with pinot noir. So the next time you want to cook goose, venison or boar, you know what wine to pair it with. As far as cheeses go, you can never go wrong with the creamy ones like camembert, gruyere and goat cheese. But you can go even further than that. Pinot Noir goes swimmingly with ham, roast beef, pork tenderloin and that’s not even the desserts. Definitely go with this guy when it’s anything strawberry or berry related. But never, ever forget the power that it gives to dark chocolate as one of the best Pinot Noir food pairings. Even feel free to throw a little bit of this into your cooking every now and again for a bit of extra flavor. Pinot Noir, we love you.

Cabernet Sauvignon

If you just pulled a big, beautiful, succulent steak off the grill then be sure to have a bottle of this stuff on hand. The red wine CabernetSauvignon is one that definitely follows the rule that red wines and red meats are like a match made in culinary heaven. But a good Cabernet doesn’t stop there. With its smooth aromas and slightly sweet nature, it’s not uncommon to accidentally have a few too many glasses of this stuff with some baked lamb chops. But meat isn’t the only proper accompaniment. Asian dishes rich in ginger or a new sweet and spicy marinaded chicken is also another situation to pick up a bottle of this stuff. Its dark fruit flavors make any burger a perfect mate and also brings out the best of earthy mushrooms. Drink it with appetizers, dinner, dessert or on its own. Cabernet Sauvignon is a necessary must have in your kitchen.


This should be your go-to wine the next time you go to any sort of Korean BBQ spot. Really, any sort of barbecue is a delightfully surprising match for Malbec. Considered one of the more under-rated red wines, this one brings with it some more dark fruit flavors but this time with a delicious smoky finish. It’s a great altnerative to the often pricier Cabernets and Syrahs. You’ll definitely Not your father's American wineget notes of black cherry, plum and raspberry and sometimes a nice finish with cocoa, tobacco, violet or oak. Since there’s still amount of grilling out going on as we round out the summer months, definitely bring this guy to your next cookout. Doesn’t matter the barbecue, if it’s Texas, Memphis, North Carolina or Hong Kong, Malbec’s flavors will surely shine.


Is by far one of the most popular and most consumed of the red wines. And who could blame anyone for that? Its delicious dark aromas make it easy to fall head over heels in love with. Perhaps another reason Merlot is so popular is because it actually goes really well with just about anything. I say just about because there are definitely some foods that the flavors will drown in. This is namely any sort of spicy food, fish or leafy greens. Pairing prospects are dishes like pot roast, beef bourginon made with merlot and roasted pork and chicken. Per the trend with most reds, nightshade veggies like potatoes, carrots, beets, tomatoes and turnips will bring out the flavors gorgeously as the wine does the same to them.


For the last wine we feature in this post, we go with the heavily spiced Syrah. And since Syrah is packing a lot of flavor, it only makes sense that the food you eat it with should reflect the same. We’re talking about anything with a lot of seasoning, like Greek food, Asian food and Indian food. Next time you whip up some Chinese spiced pork, chicken tikka masala or a nice gyro style beef, be sure to swallow all of that down with big ol’ glass of Syrah. Cumin especially brings out the boldness of the wine. It’ll be a party in your mouth!

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