Food Pairing Suggestions

Major Characteristics Of Wine and Food Pairings


The relative weights of the wine and food are among the first elements to consider. A big, heavy wine will swamp a delicately flavored food, like grilled trout. Wines from hotter regions tend to be heavier than those from cooler climates.


Think of vinegar with fish and chips or squeezing a lemon on fish. In much the same way, an acidic wine will cut through the oiliness in food to bring out more flavor. Except for wines made in the hottest years, wines with good acidity can be found from the following areas: California, Chablis, Champagne, Alsace, the Loire and Germany. A fresh, acidic wine makes a great contrast to rich foods made with butter, oil and cream.


Tannin is extracted from red grape skins (sometimes seeds and stems, too) as the grapes are crushed and fermented. White wines can also have some astringency. It can make wine taste rough, often very hard, especially in young red wines, but provides the vital backbone necessary for optimal maturing. Big, astringent red wines like a powerful young California Cabernet may taste unappetizing alone, but can be delicious with heavier foods, like a rich meat lasagna or steak.


All wines need fruit to taste good, and any well-made properly stored wine that has not been kept past its peak will have some fruit. Fruit becomes less vibrant as it matures; so, if you want something really fruity, young wines are best. Fruitiness in an accompanying wine is especially important for dishes that contain fruit in their sauce (duck with orange sauce) or sweetened with honey or sweet wine.


Sweet wines go well with desserts, but it’s important to match the level of sweetness accurately. If the dessert is sweeter than the wine, the wine may taste dry and dull or tart. Sweet wines go very well with the contrasting salty flavors of some cheese (like Roquefort) and traditional English cheeses (like Chesire), and the intense richness of Foie Gras.

Consider This When Matching Food And Wine

Consider these elements in both the food and the wine:

  • Temperature
  • Texture
  • Weight/Complexity
  • Spiciness
  • Sweetness
  • Acidity (tartness)
  • Bitterness
  • Effervescence


Temperature: Spicy food is best with a cold white wine.

Texture: Consider the contrast between poached fish and a chewy steak.

Weight: Substantial dishes like lasagna or a creamy seafood casserole need a full-bodied wine. Angel hair pasta with fresh tomato and basil needs a light wine.

Acidity: Fish paired with a lightly acidic white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) will act much like a lemon wedge you squeeze over the fish cutting through the fishy taste and the oiliness. Also, matching foods prepared with rich cream sauces with acidic wines will help subtle flavors to emerge and cleanse your palate.

Effervescence: The tingle of bubbles in sparkling wine perks up the tongue and excites the palate. It is ideal as an aperitif.

Food And Wine Matching Guidelines

“If food is the body of good living, wine is the soul.” –Sir Winston Churchill

Appetizers: Since the concept of appetizers is to tease and please the palate before a meal. Dry or medium dry, light bodied acidic white wines are usually good choices because they have a refreshing quality that tends to stimulate one’s appetite. The carbonation in a sparkling wine is great with many hors d’oeuvres.

Fish/Seafood: Dry white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc) usually pairs best with seafood because the wine’s crispness allows the food’s subtler flavors to surface. Also, light-bodied red wines with little tannin (Gamay Beaujolais or Pinot Noir) are delicious with firmer-fleshed fish, like Swordfish and Salmon that are grilled or prepared with tomato in the sauce.

Poultry/Pork: Poultry and pork are the chameleons of food: depending on how they are prepared, their tastes, textures and appearances vary, as do the choices for a perfect wine match. Carefully consider the sauce to help you select the right wine-a white, blush or red may be appropriate.

Veal: The leanness and delicate flavor of veal is complemented by lighter red wines, well aged red wines or dry white wines. Be careful to not overwhelm the flavor of the meat and consider the flavors in the sauce.

Beef/ Lamb: Both beef and lamb are higher in fat and require wines with sufficient tannin to cut through the full flavor of the food. Fine cuts of meat pair wonderfully with complex or aged red wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot). Meats that are braised in tomatoes or are highly seasoned or have been marinated need an aggressive younger red (young Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel).

Ham: Cured ham with wine takes careful matching of the contrast of the saltiness and sweetness of the meat. If the ham glaze is sweet, a fruity rose or blush (White Zinfandel) can be a nice match for both taste and color.

Matching Wine And Matching Food

Whether or not you are armed with all possible details about a dish and fully understand the principles of matching wine to food, there are still times when a few quick suggestions are very handy. Equally, there are occasions when, approaching the matching process from the other end with a special bottle or an unfamiliar one, an instant recommendation is all you need to inspire ideas of your own. A

AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE Italy (smoky spicy full-bodied red): rabbit, hard cheese

ALIGOTE France (tart dry white): aperitif with dips, tortilla,mussels, snails, cod, trout

ALTO ADIGE Italy (light crisp dry white): spaghetti carbonara, simple fish or salads; (light to medium-bodied red eg Merlot): beef carpaccio

AMARONE Italy (rich strong dry red): powerful game casseroles, parmesan

AMONTILLADO Spain (dry nutty concentrated sherry): consomme, olives, tapas, salted nuts

ANJOU ROUGE France (juicy medium-bodied red): gammon steaks, lamb chops, nut cutlets

ARNEIS Italy (dry fragrant quite complex white): pasta with creamy sauces, simply prepared white fish and seafood, onion tart

ASTI (SPUMANTE) Italy (light sweet sparkling white): puddings: jelly, fruit salad, pavlova, lemon soufflé, light chocolate mousse or Christmas pudding

AUSBRUCH Austria (luscious sweet white): breadand- butter pudding, apple strudel, creme brulee, apricot tart

AUSLESE Germany/Austria (sweet white): fruit salad, apple pie; roast goose or duck with fruit sauce


BAIRRADA Portugal (ripe full-bodied red): roast pork, beef ragout, aubergine stew, spicy nut cutlets

BANDOL France (tannic aromatic vigorous red): barbecued meats and vegetables, beef en daube, game

BANYULS France (rich sweet fortified): Christmas pudding, coffee and chocolate cakes or strong blue cheese

BARBARESCO Italy (deep full-bodied red): roast game, beef, offal (not sweetbreads), ceps, truffles

BARBERA D’ASTI Italy (medium-bodied firm fresh red): antipasti, spaghetti bolognese, tomatoes, parma ham; the only red that can take (just) smoked salmon

BARDOLINO Italy (very light crisp red or rose): antipasti, cannelloni, seafood soup or stew

BAROLO Italy (rich full-bodied red): rich beef and game stews

BARSAC France (rich sweet white): peach brulée, raspberry soufflé, taste -Latin

BATARD-MONTRACHET France (rich full-bodied dry white): scallops, lobster or salmon with hollandaise or creamy sauces

BEAUJOLAIS France (vibrant light to mediumbodied red): charcuterie and cold roast meats, pork chops, fish in red wine sauce,mushrooms on toast

BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES France (fruity medium-bodied red): kidneys with mustard, charcuterie. sausages, salmon

BEAUMES-DE-VENISE,MUSCAT France (very sweet fortified white): caramelized oranges, rhubarb crumble, chocolate puddings

BEAUNE France (medium- to full-bodied red): rabbit casserole, roast duck with cherries,wild mushroom fricassee; (medium- to full-bodied white): fish pie

BEERENAUSLESE German/Austria (concentrated sweet white): spotted dick sachertorte, fruitbased puddings, pancakes

BERGERAC France (medium-bodied red): roast chicken or lamb steaks, (dry crisp white): fish & chips, courgette soufflé

BERNKASTEL German (fine penetrating dry to sweet white from the village, not Bereich), for the off-dry Kabinett style: poached trout, sweetbreads in cream, cucumber mousse

BIANCO DI CUSTOZA Italy (light dry white): grilled cod, seafood soup, spinach and ricotta ravioli, quiche

BONNES-MARES France (fine full-bodied red): roast game, duck or goose, kidneys and morels

BORDEAUX France (medium-bodied dry red): lamb, Irish stew, rare roast beef (hot or cold) with old clarets; (crisp dry white): grilled fish mussels, poultry and seafood

BOURGOGNE France (medium-bodied red): duck breast, oeufs en meurette, game, truffles; (medium- to full-bodied white): fish in creamy sauces, cheese soufflé, roast chicken

BOURGUEIL France (light- to medium-bodied red): rabbit, duck pâté, charcuterie, carbonnade, shepherd’s pie, asparagus

BROUILLY France (fruity medium-bodied red): cold meats, cotecchino, and stuffed peppers

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO Italy (rich full-bodied red): oxtail, game casseroles and pies,mushroom stews, hard cheeses


CABERNET SAUVIGNON France/Everywhere (tannic deeply flavoured red): France: red meats, especially lamb; poultry mature hard cheese;

California: full-flavoured meaty casseroles,

Australia: kidneys or kangaroo or beet

New Zealand: lamb;

Chile/Argentina: full-flavoured meat dish

Eastern Europe: sausages, lasagna, turkey

Italy: char-grilled meat or game.

CAHORS France (tannic concentrated red): cassoulet, confit de canard or steak and kidney pie, braised lamb shanks, or try Cantal cheese

CAVA Spain (sparkling dry white): drink as an aperitif or with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon

CHABLIS France (firm dry white):white fish, eg Dover sole, turbot, shellfish or oysters, trout with almonds, poached salmon, brandade; kedgeree; deep-fried food; Chaource cheese

CHAMBERTIN France (full-bodied red): coq au vin, roast guinea-fowl, partridge. grouse, or hare or venison

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY France (medium- to full-bodied red): roast poultry or pheasant, game, veal kidneys with ceps, truffle omelette

CHAMPAGNE, BRUT France (fine dry sparkling): drink as an aperitif or, oysters, smoked salmon or caviar or with Chinese food

CHARDONNAY France/Everywhere (from the Old World, medium-bodied fruity dry white): drink with cheese and egg dishes, asparagus and artichokes, potted shrimps and other seafood, poultry, or dishes with nut sauces, (from the New World, full-bodied fruity voluptuous white): richly sauced/ flavoured food such as lobster thermidor, guacamole; vegetable terrine, duck a I’orange, or mild creamy coconutty curries

CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET France (rich full-bodied white): roast veal or richly sauced fish, grilled turbot, (full-bodied red): mature cheeses including Brie, game birds

CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE France (full-bodied red): Casseroles, eg lamb, beef, venison, game or lentil, cassoulet or roast goose

CHENIN BLANC France/New World (crisp dry, medium or sweet white): Loire: as an aperitif or with delicate creamy fish dishes; if sweet,with fruitbased or almondy puddings, New World (dry): curry stuffed courgettes

CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET France (luxurious full-bodied dry white):mussels, lobster, prawns, scallops it cream sauce, duck or goose

CHIANTI Italy (fruity medium-bodied red): spinach and ricotta cannelloni, cold meats, simple light meat dishes, pizza, barbecues

CHIANTI CLASSICO Italy (full-bodied red): roast pork, grilled steak, white truffles with pasta

CHINON France (juicy medium-bodied red): asparagus, goat’s cheese, fish leg red mullet in red wine), charcuterie, not too heavy meat dishes, eg stews in beer or stout

CHIROUBLES France (medium-bodied fruity red): steak tartare, Brie, rabbit in red wine, boiled or grilled gammon

COLOMBARD France (light dry white): light salads and snacks, Thai food

COLLIO Italy (light dry white), eg Sauvignon: shellfish, corn on the cob, pork with ginger and garlic

COMMANDARIA Cyprus (rich sweet concentrated dessert wine): Christmas pudding or cake, chocolate ice-cream

CONDRIEU France (full-bodied very aromatic white): crab, lobster, creamy curries; pork with rosemary

COPERTINTO Italy (ripe full-bodied red): hearty stews, barbecued beef meat

CORBIERES France (full-bodied red): lamb, liver and onions, game pre, potted hare, ratatouille, sausages, mussels Provençal

CORNAS France (dark sturdy full-bodied red): beef casseroles, rare steak,wild duck, kidneys

CORTON France (rich powerful red): roast or casseroled poultry or game

CORTON-CHARLEGMAGNE France (rich luxurious full-bodied white): roast veal, lobster richly-sauced white fish, fresh salmon and scallops

COTE DE BEAUNE France (medium-bodied red): roast pheasant, vegetable rissoles, sweetbreads, (full-bodied white): lobster, richly-sauced fish dishes

CÔTE CHALONNAISE France (medium-bodied white): pasta and poultry, especially in cream sauces, Parma and Bayonne hams

COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC France (medium- to full-bodied red): steak, stews, rabbit with mustard

COTEAUX DU LAYON France (very sweet yet crisp white): fruit-based and nut-based puddings and pastries; rich pâtés

COTES DE BOURG France (medium-bodied red): lentil stew, spaghetti bolognese, lamb chops

COTES DU RHONE France (medium-bodied red): shepherds pie or moussaka, goulash, sausages, vegetarian casseroles, chilli con carne, ratatouille

CROZES-HERMITAGE France (full-bodied red): pot-roast pheasant, beef casserole, game and meatballs


DAO Portugal (solid full-bodied red): beefburgers, heart (lamb), grilled kidneys, lamb with garlic and rosémary,moussaka

DOLCETTO Italy (light-bodied red):Mozzarella or Fontina cheese, cold meat,meaty pasta dishes, stuffed peppers, osso buco, black pudding


ECHEZEAUX France (fine full-bodied fragrant red): game birds, venison,mushrooms, truffles

EISWEIN German (luscious concentrated sweet whit buttery biscuits, peaches, greengages, fruit puddings

ENTRE-DEUX-MERS France (light- to medium-bodied dry fresh white): shellfish, seafood, salads

EST! EST!! EST!!! Italy (light dry white): spaghetti carbonara,mussels


FITOU France (full-bodied spicy red): cassoulet lamb with flageolets, vegetable bakes, pork sausages

FLEURIE France (fruity medium-bodied red): rabbit with mustard,wild mushrooms, nut roast sausages, charcuterie

FRASCATI Italy (light-bodied dry white): light pasta dishes, white fish, chicken chow mein, omelettes

FRONSAC France (medium-bodied red): mixed grill, guinea-fowl, roast and grilled lamb

FUMÉ BLANC California (medium- to full-bodied dry white): barbecued fish, vegetables and poultry, lightly spiced curries


GAILLAC France (medium-bodied red): garbure, confit de canard, Bayonne ham; (dry white): pasta and pesto, sardines,mackerel, herrings

GAMAY See Beaujolais

GATTINARA Italy (full-bodied red): pasta with hare sauce (pappardelle alle lepre), porcini mushrooms, Parmesan

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN France (fine full-bodied red): game birds, especially in casseroles (but not when too well hung), coq au vin, duck, mushroom dishes,mature cheeses including soft ripe ones such

GEWURZTRAMINER France/New World (spicy medium- to full-bodied white): pungent cheese dishes, smoked salmon, pork rillettes, pâtés, spicy food, onion tart cooked red peppers, (sweet, from lateharvested grapes): foie gras and pâtés; puddings

GIGONDAS France (full-bodied red): rich meat and game casseroles; roast goose; moussaka; char-grilled steak

GRAVES France (medium- to full-bodied dry red): game terrine, roast lamb; steak, kidney and oyster pie; (medium- to full-bodied white): mussel stew with cream, or any richly-sauced fish dish

GROS PLANT DU PAYS NANTAIS France (crisp dry light white): crudites, oily fish eg mackerel, oysters


HERMITAGE France (full-bodied red): beef dishes/casseroles, rare steak, beef wellington, roast and casserooed game, English hard cheeses


JULIENAS France (fruity medium-bodied red): steak tartare, coq au vin, escargots

JURANCON France (medium-bodied tangy dry and sweet white): dry: sauced fish, salades composees, cheese fondue; sweet: foie gras, Brebis cheeses, pastries


KABINETT German (light off-dry white): smoked fish, sushi and sashimi, Chinese food, crab salad

KEKFRANKOS Hungary (light to medium-bodied red): toad in the hole, sausage and mash, faggots, beef stroganov


LAMBRUSCO SECCO DOC Italy (sparkling tangy red): Parma ham and salami, cotecchino

LIEBFRAUMILCH German (light-bodied semi-sweet white): drink, if at all, as an apertif or with dim sum

LIQUEUR MUSCAT Australia (concentrated fortified dessert wine): Christmas pudding, mince pies, dark chocolate mousse, ice-cream

LIRAC France (full-bodied red): rabbit and other game casseroles, smoked ham, barbecued meat

LOUPIAC France (concentrated sweet white): strawberry or raspberry mousse, crepes suzette, bread and butter pudding

LUGANA Italy (medium-bodied dry white): braised fennel, pasta and pesto, stuffed courgettes or aubergines, Chinese food


MACON France (medium- to full-bodied dry white): cream-based dishes, eg pasta, Parma ham, seafood brochettes, roast chicken, blanquette de veau; (mediumbodied red): pork or charcuterie, fish cooked in red wine

MADEIRA Madeira (tangy dry to lusciously sweet fortified): dry: salted almonds, consomme; sweet eg Malmsey: Christmas cake or pudding mince pies and brandy butter, baked apples

MADIRAN France (dark full-bodied red): confit de canard,magret substantial stews

MALAGA Spain (concentrated fortified dessert wine): steamed chocolate, date or Christmas pudding; ice-cream and fudge sauce

MANZANILLA Spain (tangy dry lightly fortified white): tapas, consomme, olives, salted nuts

MARGAUX France (complex medium-bodied red): roast lamb with herbs, fillet steak, roast duck or goose

MARSALA Italy (fortified tangy dry to concentrated sweet): dry: aperitif with nuts or oily antipasti; sweet: chocolate and almond gâteau, sticky toffee pudding

MARSANNE France/Austria (full-bodied fruity dry white): spicy or coconutty dishes, creamy curries

MEDOC France (medium-bodied red): simply roast or grilled meat such as lamb (especialy with Pauillac or St-Julien), roast pork and garlic, roast chicken, kidneys, cheese soufflé

MERLOT France/Everywhere (soft medium- to full-bodied red): beef with stout, bean stew; (New World): try calf’s liver and grilled food including tuna

MEURSAULT France (full-bodied dry white): chicken with truffles,monkfish or scallops in cream sauce, asparagus with hollandaise

MINERVOIS France (medium- to full-bodied red): ratatouille lamb with flageolets, squid with tomato stuffing, spicy sausages

MONBAZILLAC France (concentrated sweet white): pears stud with blue cheese, sauteed foie gras and apples, creme caramel

MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO Italy (medium- to full-bodied red): lasagne, rabbit and peppers, chicken with olives, spaghetti bolognese, pizza

MONTEPULCIANO,VINO NOBILE DE Italy (full-bodied red): roast boar or pork, roast pigeon, quail

MONTRACHET, LE France (finest rich full-bodied dry white): chicken with crayfish, richsauced lobster, turbot

MORELLINO DI SCANSANO Italy (fruity medium to full-bodied red): roast marinaded lamb, mixed grill, pork chops

MOREY-SAINT DENIS France (fragrant medium- to fullbodied red): game birds and venison, roast or casseroled

MORGON France (juicy full-bodied red): casseroles, braised beef with olives, cassoulet coq au vin

MOSCATO D’ASTI Italy (light sweet sparkling white): baked Alaska,meringue nests, Christmas pudding

MOSEL German (light aromatic white): smoked mackerel with black peppercorns, Gravad Lax, duck a l’orange

MOULIN-A-VENT France (juicy full-bodied red): baked ham, beef wellington, steak tartare

MUSCADET France (light crisp dry white): moules marinieres, oysters, plateau des fruits de la met, herb omelette, light antipasti and salads,mackerel

MUSCAT France/Everywhere (dry to very sweet grapey white): dry: chicken with grapes, avocado salad; sweet: puddings – exotic fruit salad, mince pies, chocolate, nut and ginger based puddings


NAVARRA Spain (medium dry white): fried whitebait, bouillabaisse; (rosé): grilled red mullet (red): chorizo, spicy vegetable couscous, lamb

NIERSTEIN German (light medium-dry to sweet white), best wines only,medium-dry Kabinett style: Chinese dishes, including dim sum, or light salads, or drink as aperitif

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES France (full-bodied red): any game, venison steaks, goose confit, kidneys with wild mushrooms


OLOROSO Spain (full-flavoured dry to sweet fortified): dry: olives, hard cheese; sweet: trifle, créme brûlée chocolate gâteau

ORVIETO Italy (crisp dry to medium-sweet white): dry: pasta carbonara, grilled plaice, other light fish dishes; sweet: fruit salad, almond biscuits


PASSITO Italy (concentrated sweet white): Blue cheese, baked peaches, praline icecream

PAUILLAC France (fine medium to full-bodied red): lamb with rosémary, stewed pigeons, roast guinea fowl

PINOT BLANC/BIANCO France/Italy (medium-bodied dry white): good with fish. cheese and egg dishes: quiche lorraine, pike in cream sauce, pasta and pesto, also try with Thai green curry

PINOT GRIS/GRIGIO France/Italy (light to full-bodied white): PINOT GRIS: cold dishes and spicy dishes, courgette, or onion flan, pork with juniper;

PINOT GRIGIO: mushroom ravioli, linguine with cream and Parmesan; sweet: foie gras, smooth liver pâtés, puddings

PINOT NOIR France/Everywhere (Old World: fine lightto full-bodied red): roast poultry, game, charcuterie,meatier fish eg red mullet; (New World: ripe medium- to full-bodied red): cold meat or game, partridge with spiced damsons, duck with mango, tuna, salmon

POMMARD France (velvety full-bodied red): wild boar, sauteed ham or kidneys, pheasant and truffles Portugal (sweet fortified): Stilton, blue cheeses and Cheddars, chocolate cake or pudding, nuts

POUILLY FUISSE France (full-bodied white): pasta, poultry, fish in creamy sauces, asparagus quiche, gougeres, salmon en croute

POUILLY FUMÉ France (crisp concentrated dry white): trout meuniere, smoked salmon sandwiches, creamy chicken pie, goat’s cheese

PULIGNY-MONTRACHET France (fine full-bodied dry white): lobster, crab soufflé, monkfish


RECIOTO Italy (concentrated sweet red or white): red: blue cheeses; white: foie gras and puddings that are not too sweet: cakes, biscuits, fruit tarts

RETSINA Greece (strong medium-bodied white): taramasalata, olives, spiced chick-pea bake

RHEINGAU German (dry to sweet intense white): medium-dry: sweetbreads, braised celery, pork, duck or goose with fruit sauce; sweet: fruit pies and tarts, langues du chat biscuits

RIBEIRO Spain (crisp dry white): smoked mackerel with black peppercorns, deep fried courgettes or aubergines; (red): sardines

RIBERA DEL DUERO Spain (full-bodied red): beef en croute, spit-roasted boar and other roast meats, mature hard cheeses

RICHEBOURG France (luxurious full-bodied red): game birds, venison, magret calf ’s liver

RIESLING Germany/Everywhere (Old World: light aromatic dry to sweet white): stirfried or poached dishes, eg poached sole; avocado salad, roast hot or cold goose, duck,wildboar,- apple and raspberry puddings; (New World: ripe aromatic dry to sweet white): southeast Asian curries, sun-dried tomatoes roast vegetables, puddings

RIOJA Spain (medium- to full-bodied red and white): red: casseroled or roast lamb, game or poultry,mushrooms, truffles; white: onion tart, tapas, barbecued chicken

ROMANEE-CONTI, LA France (fine complex full-bodied red): See Vosne-Romanee

ROSÉ D’ANJOU/DE LOIRE France (dry to medium-dry): aperitif or gentle salads

ROUSSILLON, COTES DU France (full-bodied red): vegetablebased dishes, spiced pork or beef, snails with anchovy butter

RUEDA Spain (light- to medium-bodied dry or sherry-like white): simple or garlicky fish, seafood and poultry, green vegetables and salads

RULLY France (medium-bodied red): roast pork, coq au vin; (dry white): jambon persille, artichokes, cheese fondue


SAINT-JOSEPH France (full-bodied red): Toulouse sausage, barbecued kebabs, beef casseroles, roasted vegetables, game

SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY France (light-bodied red): lighter meat dishes such as spring lamb, cheese and herb soufflé, salmon-trout

SAUTERNES France (luscious sweet white): salty blue cheeses, foie gras, duck with orange and honey, cream-based puddings eg creme caramel and brûlée

SAUVIGNON BLANC France/Everywhere (tangy dry white): Loire seafood salad, Thai food, asparagus quiche; New World: more intense flavours and denser textures such as hollandaise and mayonnaise sauces, asparagus and shellfish, tomatoes and Thai food

SAINT-EMILION France (medium- to full-bodied red): roast beef,wild boar with chestnuts, roast turkey, lobster in red wine, chicken casserole, truffles, Camembert

SAINT-ESTEPHE France (medium- to full-bodied red): roast lamb, lamb en croute, lamb with flageolets, lampreys in red wine

SAVENNIERES France (intense, crisp dry white): river fish, sorrel sauce, goat’s cheese soufflé

SEMILLON France/Australia (Old World: mediumbodied dry white – usually blended): prawns,mussels and many other fish, (New World: ripe and full-bodied white): fish pie, richly-sauced fish, spicy pork dishes, (botrytised): Roquefort cheese, cream-basec puddings, honey-roast poultry

SHERRY Spain (fortified dry to sweet): dry fino to medium amontillado: gazpacho, grilled sardines, very sweet oloroso: mince pies, fudge or chocolate icecream, treacle pudding

SHIRAZ Australian (ripe full-bodied red): rich meat stews, barbecued meat or vegetables, chilli con carne, roast goose, duck and turkey with traditional trimmings

SILVANER German (light dry white): cheese choux puffs, quiche lorraine, poached fish or poultry

SAINT-NICOLAS DE BOURGUEIL France (light to medium-bodied red): See Bourgueil

SALICE SALENTINO Italy (ripe full-bodied red): game stew, stuffed aubergine, some curries

SANCERRE France (medium-bodied crisp dry white): poached trout smoked salmon sandwiches avocado mousse; goat’s cheese, sashimi; (light red): brandade, fish like red mullet or salmon

SOAVE Italy (light dry white): pasta and pesto, spinach and ricotta tortelk chicken salad, light fish dishes

SPARKLING SHIRAZ Australia (full sparkling red): roast turkey,mature goats cheese, rich pât

SPATBURGUNDER German (light- to medium-bodied red): boiled ham; sausages – smoked, fresh and garlic; stuffed mushrooms

SPATLESE German (light medium-sweet white): pork with mustard, cold roast pork and duck, sun-dried tomatoes, crab mousse

SYRAH France (aromatic usually full-bodied red): game and cold meats, beef cooked in red wine, liver, wild mushroom dishes, hard cheeses


TACHE, LA France (fine full-bodied red): See Vosne-Romanee

TAVEL France (full-bodied dry rosé): fish soup, stuffed red peppers, ratatouille and couscous

TOKAJI Hungary (dry to intensely sweet white): dry: aperitif with nuts sweet: Christmas pudding, treacle tart creme caramel, mild creamy blue cheese, foie gras

TOKAY-PINOT GRIS France (full-bodied dry to sweet white): See Pinot Gris

TREBBIANO Italy (light dry white): pasta carbonara, spinach canellont, sardines, weiner schnitzel

TROCKEN German/Austria (light dry white): fairly plain fish dishes, light salads

TROCKENBEERENAUSLESE German/Austria (intense sweet white): apple and sultana tart Black Forest gâteau, pavlova, crepes suzette


VACQUEYRAS France (full-bodied red): cassoulet rabbit stew, stuffed peppers, snails in garlic butter, pigeon

VALDEPENAS Spain (medium- to full-bodied red): stuffed squid, olive and garlic bread, herb-roasted lamb or braised lamb shanks, kebabs, or try with any cooked mushroom dishes

VALPOLICELLA Italy (fruity light red): deep fried mushrooms, tuna and bean salad, lentil patties, sausages, bresaola

VENDANGE TARDIVE France (intense sweet white): baked custard tart, terrine of foie gras, Munster cheese

VERDELHO Australia (ripe tangy dry white): spicy dishes, including Indian, roast vegetables,Madiera (fortified medium-dry white): salted nuts and olives, game consomme

VERDICCHIO Italy (light dry white): linguine with cream and smoked salmon, fish and chips, seafood salad

VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO Italy (light- to medium-bodied dry white): pasta and pesto, salmon carpaccio, fish stews

VIN JAUNE France (concentrated maderized dry white): duck with olives, ripe hard cheeses

VIN DE PAILLE France (concentrated sweet white): apricot soufflé, sweet omelette, apple charlotte, praline gâteau

VIN SANTO Italy (concentrated sweet white): cantuccini biscuits, apple fritters, panforte,walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans

VINHO VERDE Portugal (crisp light dry white): oily fish such as sardines, light green vegetable — meals and salads

VIOGNIER France (medium- to full-bodied dry white): lobster or scallops with saffron, crab, carrot and orange soup, spiced parsnips, chicken korma and other mild to medium curries; it also goes well with rosémary

VOLNAY France (medium- to full-bodied red): roast veal, duck or beef,mushroom or game dishes

VOSNE-ROMANEE France (perfumed medium- to fullbodied complex red): saddle of venison, not too well hung game birds, casseroles, ceps and truffles,mature cheeses

VOUGEOT, CLOS DE France (fine full-bodied red): boeuf a la bourguignonne, grand game dishes

VOUVRAY France (dry to sweet white): dry to medium: delicately-flavoured fish like trout in cream, goat’s cheese soufflé; sweet: tarte tatin, baked pears, apricot and peach tarts, nut pastries


WHITE ZINFANDEL California (medium-dry mediumbodied rosé): aperitif or prawn cocktail – nothing serious


ZINFANDEL California (aromatic powerful red): well-flavoured, spicy dishes (can have a touch of sweetness eg barbecue sauce with spare ribs), game casserole, Thanksgiving turkey and its traditional accompaniments, steak with mustard and soy sauce, ratatouille, stuffed peppers, anchovy and olive antipasti, and even dark chocolate biscuit cake