Top Wine Tips: Pairing Wines With Foods, Best Wines for Dinner Parties

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I enjoy a good glass of wine. But, I don’t know tons about picking and pairing them. One of my readers shared a couple of tips with me, which I am sharing here with you.

Tips for Pairing Wine With Food For Dinner Parties

When planning a dinner party, many of us give the most thought to the dishes we are going to serve, the wine being a secondary consideration. However, you could instead choose to give fine wine the starring role by pairing it with foods that will allow its qualities to shine, meaning your best vinos are given the attention they deserve.

When choosing wines to pair with dishes, remember to match the weight or body of the wine with the strength of flavour in the food. As a rule of thumb, bold, flavourful wines are grown in hot climates while light, crisp vintages are found in cooler regions. The possibilities are limited only by individual taste and budget, but here are a few suggestions for some perfect wine and food partners:


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Offer your guests a glass of bubbly when they arrive to get your dinner party off to a sparkling start. The fresh, citrus liveliness of blanc de blancs champagne, made from Chardonnay grapes, goes well with canapés of smoked salmon and shellfish, or try raw vegetable crudités accompanied by a cream cheese dip. Alternatively, the soft, silky texture and beautiful color of rosé champagne is perfectly partnered by canapés of foie gras.


Semillon grapes can produce dry or sweet wines, and are grown in Australia, Chile and France. The best Semillon dessert wines, such as Sauternes, are lusciously sweet, but in its dry form it goes well with Asian food. Try a dry, lemony Hunter Valley Semillon with a starter of lightly spiced crab cakes served with salad leaves and a sweet chilli dipping sauce.


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Pinot Noir

The velvety tannins and ripe redcurrant and cherry flavours of a Californian Pinot Noir make it the perfect partner for roast lamb. Pinot is often drunk young, but the best vintages develop more complex flavours after 5-10 years.

Muscat Beaumes de Venise

If your guests have a sweet tooth, they will adore this light, floral white wine from the high slopes of the Rhône valley, with its hints of tropical fruit, rose petals and candied orange peel. Serve with banoffee pie for a match made in heaven.


Sauternes is a complex dessert wine with acidity, delicious fruit and layers of honey. Its richness is balanced by its acidity, and these qualities are brought out by pairing it with a cheese platter that includes creamy blue Roquefort and perhaps a nutty Emmenthal. Accompany with sweet grapes and a few walnuts.

Whatever you decide to serve, you will never go wrong by remembering that good quality ingredients are always complemented by fine wines. By choosing your wine and food pairings carefully, so that the unique qualities of your wines are shown off to perfection, you will impress your guests with your knowledge and give them a meal to remember.

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1 comment

patricia Marsden April 30, 2015 - 7:51 am

Love great champagne and great wines!


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