Wine and Food Pairings

Myth: Red wine with meat, white wine with fish.

Not everyone agrees with this.

Food and wine pairings occupy a large part of the discussions of wine, so much so that as a writer and a winemaker I tire at the absurdity of trying to reduce the complexity of all this into simple suggestions.

Except one - and it is the one I repeat every night in my wine tasting seminar. It is not just about the protein.

Master sommelier David Glancy, the founder and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Wine School, says it's "more about the sauce, seasonings, cooking method, and accompaniments.” (1) 

Take a fat, fresh lingcod and lightly smoke it on the grill. How about a good low-oak Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite). Oops - you slathered the fish with a red jalapeño sauce that singes your eyebrows … and chases that poor white wine down the street with a rolling pin.

Master Sommelier Barbara Werley recommends that diners order balanced white wines alongside their steaks. “The acidity of white wine works wonders when contrasted with the richness of the beef.” (2)

“Rules are made to be broken – particularly as new styles and grape varieties gain in popularity,” says wine writer and educator Winsor Dobbin. “Go with what you enjoy – not what you have been told.” (3).

Be creative. Experiment. It is all about taste - your taste, not mine, and certainly not some food critic’s.

For a fun read, take a look at Big Macs and Burgundy by Vanessa Price (available on Amazon). It will change forever how you look at wine - food pairings, for the better.


(1)The Truth About Pairing Wine With Red Meat. (n.d.). Food & Wine.

(2) The Wine Pairing Myth You Should Stop Believing. (n.d.) daily meal.

(3) Dobbin, W. (n.d.) Busting the Myths around Food and Wine.Wakefield Wines.