Wine 101 – Wine Time TV’s Simple Wine Pairing Guide

Kamary, Indie Wino
Kamary, Indie Wino
One thing I’ve learned about drinking wine is to ultimately trust your own taste buds, no matter what any Wine Pro attempts to tell you otherwise.

I’m famous for being in a setting where we’re all drinking a vintage that is supposed to be of exceptional taste and quality and I’m the one thinking, “Hm, this wine sucks…” whereas the others around me are seemingly orgasmic while drinking. Then I have to think, what’s MY problem anyway? “Did I just brush my teeth or something?” Is that why this glass doesn’t appeal to me?

Whatever the case, there is no WRONG in wine tasting, just differences of opinions. So with that in mind, I offer this general advice when it comes to Pairing your wine with a meal. Though many will agree with these generalities (even some Pros), it matters not to me as it’s my formula that I’ve found works for my tastes so far. Maybe it appeals to yours as well?

Salads with Sauvignon Blanc
Salads with Sauvignon Blanc


If you are considering fresh salads of somekind, the appropriate wine may be a Sauvignon Blanc.

However, if you are serving cheese, the best company could be a Merlot. Works great with a cheese fondue as well. Been there, done that!

For pizzas, cold cuts or snacks in general, a great choice is a Rosé since they tend to be on the lighter side of the Winosphere.

Main Course

A general good choice for a main course, particularly when it is an important dish, a great wine would be a Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s an awesome ‘all around’, pair-able and certainly drinkable wine to have in the house at any time and for just about any occasion.

But, if the main course includes sour dishes such as seafood, then put your money where the Sauvignon Blanc is and I’ll bet you’ll have a perfect match!

Nonetheless, if you’re serving a red meat dish, you could stretch a bit from the norm and

Malbec with Red Meat
Malbec with Red Meat
surprise your guests with a nice Malbec wine. I recently went for an Argentinean vintage from a winemaker I met while producing their Ad spot for Wine Time TV. They gave me a few bottles as payment and I certainly couldn’t complain. Pretty sweet deal!

As any Wino would agree, there’s sort of a standard rule when it comes to fish as a main dish. White wines are the ticket in that department and I definitely agree. So far in my limited Wino-ramma lifestyle, I have to say there’s nothing better than a nice buttery Chardonnay. Then again, if it’s a greasy fish dish (say that 10 times fast…I dare you!) try a dry one on for size. Hm, that whole paragraph seems like it belongs in a Rap song. See what I mean? 🙂

Alternately, If you don’t like white wine at all, besides being weird you can also pair fish with a nice Pinot Noir. No worries, no one will think any less of you. If they do, their snobs and you shouldn’t be hanging out with them in the first place; Let alone cooking them dinner!

Lastly, spicy dishes can sometimes be tricky. I’m going to suggest a Syrah simply because I can’t think of anything better. I’ve had the experience and was quite pleased with the result. The only problem I found is, Syrah vintages aren’t often available in your basic shopping location. Maybe you’ll have to go to a real wine seller. Maybe not.

Desserts with Sweet Wine
Desserts with Sweet Wine


Taking into account that desserts themselves are sweet, it’s a logical pairing point to go for a sweet wine as well. Any other choice of wine can and will likely be succumbed by the desserts sweetness. Does that make sense? Admittedly, I’m totally NOT a dessert dude so I have little to offer on this point. However, my friend the Internet suggests a Chenin Blanc, which is a white wine grape variety from the Loire valley of France and as we all know those Frenchies sure can make pretty happening desserts! If I’m wrong, blame the Internet.

Happy pairing and thanks for reading.

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