Food and wine pairing with any recipe or dish

Pairing food and wine can be tricky, but knowing the basics will go a long way. Which kind of wine to to pair with which food, dish or recipe and when it is best to drink a wine? In the overview below I have described the most common types of wines and with what they (generally) food they go best with.


Old (er) wines usually have a more pronounced taste and that’s why you always drink young wines before older, heavy wines. Sweet white wine is also served only after dry white wine. If you cook with wine, try to serve the wine that you use in the food with the dish. Serve a wine from the same region or country as the dish. Sometimes you can also find some information in the store on the wine label that fits a certain wine well.

Wine and soup?

A matching wine is served with almost every dish, except for soup. Because, with liquid you don’t pour new wine. There is one exception: oxtail soup. A glass of Madeira may be served with that. You can of course drink the wine you still have from your starters with your soup.

And what about wine and chocolate?

Despite the common misconception that red wine and chocolate are best friends, this pairing is difficult to pull off. It turns out, the bitter tannins in the chocolate interact with bitter tannins in the wine. The entire pairing ends up tasting bitter and sour.

Pairing food with sparkling wines & champagne

Sparking wine serving glasses
Sparkling wine / champagne

Goes well with: Salty (ish) dishes, fresh herbs and green vegetables.

Examples: French fries, (potato) chips, caviar, anchovies, sushi, popcorn.

Dishes: Fish, shellfish, chicken and other poultry.

Wines: Most sparkling wines (champagne, cava, prosecco).

Alcohol percentage: 9-14%. Drinking temperature: 6-9 °C (42.8-46.4 °F)
Almost clear

White wines

White wine serving glasses

Dry white wine

/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/grilled-vegetables.png Grilled vegetables

Goes well with: Dishes with vegetables.

Examples: Salad, sautéed vegetables, roasted vegetables.

Dishes: Hearty fish, chicken.

Wines: Albariño, grüner veltliner, gargenega, muscadet, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, trebbiana, vermentino.

Alcohol percentage: 9-14%. Drinking temperature: 6-12 °C (42.8-53.6 °F)
Green / yellow Pale gold Pale yellow

Sweet white wine

Poultry Bread Cheese Seafood

Goes well with: Spicy food.

Examples: Indian, Thai, Chinese.

Dishes: Fish, shellfish, chicken and other poultry.

Wines: Most sparkling wines

Alcohol percentage: 9-14%. Drinking temperature: 6-9 °C (42.8-46.4 °F)

Sweet white wine
CheeseCured meatSweets

Goes well with: Creamy dishes.

Examples: Creamy soup, pasta with cream, lasagna, French cuisine.

Dishes: Shellfish, chicken and other poultry.

Wines: Chardonnay, sémillon, viognier, marsanne, roussanne.

Alcohol percentage: 9-14%. Drinking temperature: 6-9 °C (42.8-46.4 °F)

Rosé wines

Rose wine serving glasses
Rose wine
Grilled vegetablesCured meat Poultry Seafood

Goes well with: Richly spicy food.

Examples: Moroccan, Indian, spicy dishes.

Dishes: Shellfish, pork tenderloin, chicken and other poultry.

Wines: Most dry rosé wines.

Alcohol percentage: 9-14%. Drinking temperature: 9 °C (48.2 °F)

Pale salmon Deep pink Deep salmon

Red wines

Red wine serving glasses
Light red wine
Grilled vegetablesCheese Cured meat Red meat Seafood

Goes well with: Dishes with mushrooms.

Examples: Risotto, mushroom pasta, savory pie, white pizza, French cuisine.

Dishes: Pork chops, chicken and other poultry.

Wines: Pinot noir, St. Laurent, gamay, carignan, counoise.

Alcohol percentage: 10-15%. Drinking temperature: 12 °C (53.6 °F)

Pale ruby

Medium red wine
Cheese Red meatCured meat

Goes well with: Grilled food.

Examples: Italian cuisine, Spanish cuisine, pizza, grilled vegetables.

Dishes: Grilled asparagus, pork, duck, lamb, cured ham, sausage.

Wines: Sangiovese, tempranillo, cabernet franc, barbera, merlot, negroamaro, zinfandel, carmenere, nebbiolo.

Alcohol percentage: 12-17%. Drinking temperature: 17 °C (44.6 °F)

Deep violet

Bold red wine
Bread CheeseSweets

Goes well with: Nightshades (tomato, eggplant, bell peppers), rich meat.

Examples: Roasted, smoked and grilled (barbecue) meat.

Dishes: Rund, lam, varken, wild, worst, gedroogde ham.

Wines: Cabernet sauvignon, syrah, malbec, petite sirah, petit verdot, mourvedre, nero d’avola.

Alcohol percentage: 12-17%. Drinking temperature: 17 °C (44.6 °F)

Deep purple

Dessert wines

Dessert wine serving glasses
Dessert wine

Goes well with: Sweets.

Examples: Cake, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, soft cheeses, fruit.


Wines: Port, Tawny port, sherry, sauternes, madeira, vin santo, muscat, laat geoogste wijnen.

Alcohol percentage: 14-20%. Drinking temperature: 20 °C (68 °F)




Grilled vegetablesGrilled vegetables






Red meatRed meat

Cured meatCured meat


8 tips for pairing wine & food

If you’re just getting started, you’ll find these tried-and-true methodologies to produce consistently great pairings. To further improve your pairing skills it’s good to also learn and understand the basics for wine tasting.