Blog Post Photo, Tuscany, White Wine on Wooden Outdoor Table, Photo also used in What Wine?

What Wine?

Some suggestions for choosing the wine to go with that fabulous meal you are preparing. This won’t be anything new to a lot of you, but for some, it might just come in handy! Like when you have bought a wonderful wine and want to cook something that will be a complement to each other!

The Whites:

These wines need to be chilled but not served ice-cold.

  • Sauvignon Blanc: has herbaceous, lemon, grapefruit overtones. Would be good served with steamed, sautéed or barbecued white fish with a citrus butter sauce, or a citrus butter melting on top or a tarragon mustard sauce. Serve with shrimp and crab, sushi made with white fish; see dry German Riesling as well. Asparagus pairs well with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. and also vegetarian dishes.


  • Chardonnay/ oaked & unoaked: the oaked usually has a toasted/vanilla nose; unoaked has citrus, orchard/tropical fruit, perhaps a bit of spice and a certain bit of butter. A good Chardonnay would go well with roast chicken served with a sauce made from the pan drippings, it also would be good with veal. The rich flavour of Chard pairs well with ripe Brie and other soft cheeses.


  • Viognier:  has exotic citrus, apricot and cream flavours, is round &andfull bodied. Good with pork chops that have been marinated in some citrus zest, ginger and garlic or simply served with a squeeze of Meyer lemon or a lemon buerre blanc.


  • Pinot Grigio: pairs well with butter and cheese or cream pasta sauces, gnocchi with butter & sage sauce & pork chops or vegetarian dishes as well as freshwater fish.


  • Riesling: has flavours of citrus & peach, with a certain acidity and spice; pairs well with Asian foods such as Chinese food. Try serving with smoked salmon on rye with sour cream and dill. Try it with fried chicken and roast ham.


  • Gewurtzraminer: especially good with Asian, South Asian and Alsatian foods. For your roast turkey, try an Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Also try this wine with a roast ham.


  • Vernaccia: pairs well with fresh artichokes. Try with young veal, pasta dishes or salad in “frico” cups (cheese cups).


  • Vermintino: try serving with cioppino, calamari, grilled white fish and it would be excellent with pesto sauce tossed with pasta.


  • Grechetto: this wine lends character to Orvieto wine but is excellent as a wine in its own right and would be a nice addition to a lunch of Panzanella (tomato-bread salad) or frittata.


  • Soave´: goes well with sole, cod and delicate white fish, or as a first course of seafood salad, or with rich cream or butter pasta dishes.


  • Prosecco: try serving with a fish and or shellfish antipasti, crab cakes or fried squid, prosciutto with melon, ham and scallops wrapped in bacon. As a summer, patio sipper, perhaps with olive ascolani (olives stuffed with sausage filling, breaded and deep fried) to nibble on.


  • Rose´: not the bubbly types of Rose´. The dry, crisp freshness of this wine goes well with quiche, scrambled or fried eggs or try with salad nicoise.

The Reds:

  • Cabernet Saugivnon: roast beef or steak, Cheddar and mild yellow cheeses, duck breast or roast leg of lamb.
  • Merlot:  pairs well with roast pork as does a Chianti.  Also goes well with Cheddar and mild yellow cheeses.  Try with baked chicken or duck breast.


  • Syrah/Shiraz: choose as an accompaniment to barbecued ribs, roast beef or steak.


  • Pinot Noir: game birds, steaks, roast beef, roast duck, roast turkey & goose. Good with salmon & roast leg of lamb.


  • Zinfandel: perfect for a barbecue, especially burgers & other picnic foods.


  • Chianti: would be a great pairing for a full-flavoured veal roast or veal stew. Try with roasted or baked chicken or roast lamb, grilled lamb chops, grilled steak served with mushrooms sautéed in butter. Would be a great accompaniment to an antipasti of Italian chicken liver crostini. Try serving with an aged Pecorino, aged Gouda or aged Cheddar.


  • Chianti Classico: would be delicious with Osso Bucco.


  • Barolo, Barbaresco or Rhone wines: these are big wines & go well with big foods such as venison or wild boar or other large game & roast leg of lamb, lamb shanks, beef stews, rare grilled steak topped with sautéed mushrooms or veal. Barolo would be very good with a rack of lamb.


  • Rosso di Montalcino: a slightly lighter & cheaper version of Brunello di Montalcino & good with grilled steak, roast pork with lots of garlic & herbs (Artista), mixed grilled meats & sausages.


  • Brunello di Montalcino: try with grilled steak, marinated & grilled portabello mushrooms over polenta or rabbit ragù over pappardelle or medium-sized game animals such as Alberta wild boar.


  • Vino Nobile di Montelpuciano: fresh tagliatelle tossed with EVO & butter & sautéed wild mushrooms, pasta sauce made with dried Porcini, Florentine steak, grilled pork sausages, salumi, grilled or roast lamb.


  • Spanish Rioja: try this wine with lamb chops, lamb shanks, lamb stew, empandas, grilled steak & marinated olives.


  • Nero d’Avola: try with salmon, tuna & swordfish, chicken, pork, veal, beef, eggplant with a spicy, full bodied, acidic sauce with capers & olives, sheep milk cheeses, Cheddar, Fontina, Gruyere, Livarot, Muenster or Raclette.


Phyllis Signature



  1. Salute and cin cin, Phyllis!
    Great info and summary! I will definitely share and keep for reference!

    • Thanks V. I hope it does help when choosing a vino to go with…

      Salute and cin cin to you! OK how about we skip the gelato & the coffee and go for the vino when we hook up in Rome or Florence…

    • Thanks, hope it will come in handy…this is not an encouragement to drink more than usual!

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