Perfect food & wine pairings

Vinomofo
By Vinomofo
2 months ago
6 min read

It's no secret that there's certain wines that love certain foods, and visa versa. Here's a few of our perfect sure fire food & wine pairings.


Shiraz & roast lamb

Roast lamb used to be considered classic pinot noir-pairing territory, but it’s a dish that a syrah or shiraz will handle with aplomb too. Reach for shiraz whenever you’re cooking lamb with anchovies and olives, as it’ll match up perfectly with those rich savoury flavours in the dish - plus, the plush red fruits of younger shiraz wines will provide a bright contrast to the brininess of the anchovies and olives if they’re still knocking around the plate and haven't dissolved into the dish. Tannins in shiraz (of which you’ll find plenty) also like to bind to proteins, so they’ll happily wrap around that leg of lamb and go to work for you.

Check out: Pertaringa Reserve Shiraz 2021


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Cabernet sauvignon & beef short ribs

The acidity and tannin of cab sav loves to be matched up with juicy, hearty, fattier red meats - we’re talking your ribeye or porterhouse steak cuts (or whatever is your fave). For us, we can’t go past beef short ribs - it’s in our Pairing Hall of Fame. Tannin shakes hands with the rich protein, acidity goes to work on the fat, and there’s so much to discover in the complementing and contrasting rib/cab sav flavours. In a word - depth. It has it for days.

Check out: Guy Larmandier Cramant Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV


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Pinot noir & mushroom risotto

This one's all about the earthy, more developed savoury flavours you get with more complex or aged pinots, but works just as well with a young, vibrant and light drop too. Savoury “umami” mushroom flavour can be tricky to pair to, but the fruit profile of pinot noir handles it with aplomb.

Check out: Pinot Noir 2023 – Black Market Deal #48209


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Merlot & duck

Merlot’s characteristic plum fruit character means it’s a winner when it comes to duck based dishes (especially Peking-style) - but be it duck charcuterie, comfit, or pate, pour us a glass, please.

Check out: Domaine la Bouche du Roi Les Trois Corneilles Merlot 2020


Gamay & grilled sausages

Skip the beer; gamay is your next secret weapon when it comes to pairing with a good ol’ snags. Those bright blue and red fruits in the glass (blueberry, cherry and raspberry being the classics) are a winner when set against the rich, fatty, succulence. It’s also bringing a bright acidity that’ll leave you refreshed and keep you reaching for another bun and the BBQ tongs.

Check out: Domaine De La Madone Beaujolais Villages 2022


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Rosé & ratatouille

The classic provincial French dish is a winner with (surprise surprise) a lighter, Provence-style rosé - the wine delicate and bright enough to sing front of stage with the savoury backing of the ratatouille, rounding everything out and delivering the two hits we always want to hear in a pairing suggestion - balance and harmony. 

Check out: James Kalleske Short Stories Rosé 2023


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Chardonnay & roast chicken

As the winemaker’s grape, chardy is capable of wearing more than a few hats, so make sure to check out our full pairing guide. But as a safe bet, we’re tipping a classic, herby roast chook or grilled salmon with roast potatoes. It can go either heavier or lighter though - it’s not too heavy for a caesar salad, but also has that structure to match up with bigger proteins, like roast pork tenderloin.

Check out: Chardonnay 2018 – Black Market Deal #48194


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Riesling & thai green curry

Riesling’s greatest hit - dry or off-dry riesling and Thai green curry. If you’ve had it, you’ll know - and if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. It’s going to sound overhyped, but it’s one of those first-tried-never-forgotten things. Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Probably - but don’t let this be a recommendation that you park for a rainy day. Carpe diem, carpe thai green curry and riesling. The lemongrass, coconut-creaminess and green chilli heat of the curry is already an explosion of taste that makes you sit up, but when you add the bright floral and citrus, green apple or even stone fruits of riesling you’re on another level. 

Check out: Naked Run Wines The First Riesling 2021


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Pinot grigio & pork gyoza

Pinot grigio/gris (like riesling) is often given that catch-all recommendation as a great pairing for lighter “Asian” dishes - particularly Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese. Whilst it’s not wrong, it could be a little more specific - our winning pair is with fried pork and chive or prawn gyoza (particularly with pinot gris), which has all of that savoury succulence to match perfectly with a fruit forward and racy wine, contrasting in all the best ways to give you a full spectrum of deliciousness.

Check out: Twin Valleys Pinot Grigio 2023


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Sauvignon blanc & goat’s cheese salad

It’s a classic for a reason - opposites attract. Earthy, nutty, creamy goat’s cheese is almost a perfect contrast to the flavours you’ll classically find in a steely, crisp, citrusy sauvignon blanc; plus any herbal or capsicum-like notes in the savvy b will find a home with the rest of the ingredients of the salad too, whatever you’re throwing into the mix. Give it a go(at).

Check out: U by Undurraga Sauvignon Blanc 2023


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Champagne & fried chicken

Every advertisement you’ve ever seen selling the romance of champagne has asked you to picture The Great Gatsby and not Colonel Sanders. But get this, champagne’s dark secret is that it loves getting its hands on something finger lickin’ good as much as the rest of us do. In fact, champagne doesn’t want to be in a bowtie at all - it wants to be at home in the kitchen with the airfryer. It might have an effervescent energy but at heart it loves to kick back on the couch with beige food in a bucket, and secretly don’t we all want that for ourselves sometimes too? See also (but not limited to); fish and chips, croquettes, fried mozzarella sticks, and arancini if you’re kidding yourself that you’re too fancy for deep fried food. 

Check out: Guy Larmandier Cuvée Perlée Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV

 


Need a few more pairing pointers? No worries - we've got plenty. Head to our Vinofiles for more pairing guides.

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