When it comes to food and wine pairing, there are those who match any dish with any wine and those who try to balance the flavors of cuisine with the perfect wine. No matter where you land on the spectrum, here is a full-proof menu I recently prepared for my friends. Food and wine pairing should be lots of fun and spark some interesting conversations. I like to share my idea of food and wine matching with the most common grape varietals.

Here is a recent five-course menu that could be easily be replicated at home. It is important to pay attention to the quality of ingredients, dramatic plating and the perfect wine, which elevates each course to another level of refinement.

+ Oysters – Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Roasted red beet salad, arugula and persimmons – Sauvignon Blanc

Sea scallop, shrimp and creamy sundried tomato polenta – Chardonnay

+ Pork tenderloin, braised chard, white beech mushrooms – Pinot Noir

+ Poached pear, chocolate sauce – Merlot

Champagne – Sparkling Wine

Characteristics: Apple, pear, fresh baked bread, brioche, citrus, 
a hint of honey, strawberry, herbal notes, almond

Pairing: Anything salty, caviar, oysters, smoked salmon, desserts

Sauvignon Blanc

Characteristics: Green apples, lime, passion fruit, white peach

Pairing: Tangy dairy ingredients, shrimp, mild seafood dishes, 
herbal vinaigrettes, goat cheese, pork, turkey, chicken


Natural light sweetness with full, rich flavor, best serve at 52F – 
honeysuckle, peach, spice, floral

Pairing: Spicy Asian food, seafood, shellfish, grilled chicken

Pinot Gris (Alsac France)

Characteristics: Rich and often sweet, spicy tropical fruit aromas

Pairing: Seafood pastas, pork, halibut, salmon, chicken

Pinot Grigio (Northeastern Italy)

Characteristics: Light crisp clean and vibrant expression of 
the grape, with citrus flavor, grass

Pairing: Light seafood dishes, seafood pastas, shellfish


The most prominent flavor in Chardonnay wine comes from oak used in the wine production process. Other aromas include fruit, lemon, melon, grass, and vanilla, and a velvety feel in the mouth.

Pairing: Buttery rich sauces, fatty fish, shellfish, crab, chicken, turkey

Chenin Blanc

Sweet and sour element, fruit, honey, quince, grasses, 
sometimes high acidity

Pairing: Best with food that has a sweet and sour element, 
pork, chicken, Asian food

Dry Riesling

Bright and citrusy, lime, crisp, minerals. Rieslings are similar 
to Sauvignon Blanc.

Pairing: Rich dishes flavored with a squeeze of lime, trout, 
chicken, pork, seafood


Easy tannins with a soft finish, black cherries, plum, chocolate

Pairing: Very food friendly–lamb, steaks, blue cheese, 
roasted pork, grilled chicken

Pinot Noir

High acidity and low tannins, scents of earth, spice, cherries 
herbs, raspberries, strawberries

Pairing: Most versatile wine to match with food: salmon, 
fresh tuna, duck, steaks, pork, cheese, mushrooms and truffles

Cabernet Sauvignon

Full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavor, currants, 
black berry, plum, vanilla, cherry, pepper

Pairing: Beef, venison, roasted garlic, goat cheese, arugula, 
blue cheese burger, lamb


Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, violet flowers, leather, and depending on the amount of oak aging, a sweet tobacco finish.

Pairing: Barbecue sauces, grilled spicy meats including 
grilled chicken, lamb and pork

Syrah (Grape from the Rhone Region, France)

Dark fruit flavors from sweet blueberry to savory black olive with 
a peppery note, espresso, mocha

Pairing: Cured and smoked meats, beef, pork 

Shiraz (Grape from Australia, New Zealand, America)

Flavors and aromas include peppers, berries, currants, 
and even chocolate.

Pairing: Lamb, venison, grilled meats


Moderate tannin and high acidity makes it taste bold with 
strong flavors and aromas of berries

Pairing: lamb, pork, grilled chicken, cheese, spiced barbecue dishes