Pairing white wines with food


Evan Goldstein, in his very popular Perfect Pairings book offers many suggestions on how to best marry great foods with similarly great wines. The recipes provided and other recommendations make this book a favorite among wine lovers everywhere.

The pairings in column does NOT pretend to be of any caliber similar his well respected submissions, but they can be a starting point for meal planning which features some of the best and most interesting local vintages.

With seafood, fish and poultry, as well as pasta with white sauces consider:
Chardonnay: is a dry to medium bodied white, sometimes aged in oak which may evidence hints of apples, citrus, fresh fruit and vanilla. Depending on the barrel treatments used, it may illustrate hints of smoke, butter and cream. 
Pinot Gris: can be quite dry or slightly sweet with bright, citrus flavors, fruit aromas and delicate green apple or herbal flavors.
Seyval Blanc: is a wine similar to Chardonnay in its characteristics with a light to medium body and a citrus flavor, often showing hints of apple in the aroma.  
Riesling: is referred to as a delicate wine which can range from off dry to quite sweet with flavors of peach, apricot and citrus fruits.  
Vidal Blanc: as Seyval is a cousin to Chardonnay, Vidal has a similar relationship to Riesling. Its crisp, usually semi sweet finish offers flavors and aromas of pear, melon and citrus.  
Gewurztraminer: this tongue twister of a wine presents a spicy, floral aroma with a full flavored citrus and medium bodied finish.
Traminette: this relatively new entry to the local wine scene grows well in our severe winters and has some similarities with the G-Wiz wine noted above: tropical fruit, spicy citrus and a little pear and even nutmeg can often be detected in its aromas. 


For spicy foods with red sauce, lamb and beef think about serving:

Cabernet Sauvignon: with black cherry and current, sometimes minty and cedar aromas, it is full bodied and rich with oak and tannins.
Cabernet Franc: cousin of the Cab Sauv above, its aromas are spicier and it is somewhat lighter bodied; it also can be made into a lovely rose style wine too.
Pinot Noir: this finicky to grow red can be elegant, with earthy flavors featuring smoke cherries and raspberries.  
Chambourcin: is an easy to grow, light red that is much appreciated by those who do not like the overpowering characteristics of the Cabernet duo. Its aromas of mocha, nutmeg, currents and other berries are lovely and appealing. 
Syrah: recently made popular by our Australian friends, offers aromas of cigar boxes and peppermills rounded with those of dark cherries and black raspberries.  

While these pairings just scratch the surface in illustrating how food and wine complement each other, it is always important to remember: regardless of what any experts recommend, the BEST parings are the ones which you and yours enjoy the most.  

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About the author:

Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association...


Donniella Winchell