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Best Ideas for Pairing Shiraz Wine with Food

Shiraz Wine Sign

Shiraz pairs very well with many types of foods. It’s one of the most versatile wines when looking for a food pairing, likely because it is made in so many different styles.

Shiraz vs Syrah

So what is really the difference between Shiraz and Syrah? Nothing – they are actually the same Varietal. Though far from an official distinction, “Shiraz” will generally come from a hotter environment and might be a slightly lighter, more fruit forward wine with less acid on the finish. It’s Australia’s “national” red wine and much as it galls me as a proud native Californian, some of the best Shiraz comes from down under (somewhat ironic because as I write this post, I’m on a 747 flying home from Australia). Wine that is called “Syrah”, more often than not, are a little deeper in color, with less fruit and a little more tannins and acid on the finish but this is strictly the whim of the winemaker. For this post, we’ve chosen foods that go with the lighter, fruitier style. If you are looking for food pairings with Syrah made in a more traditional style, check out our blog post on Syrah food pairings.

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How to Pair Merlot Wine with Food

You Had Me at Merlot

Does Merlot pair well with food? Those in the know, know Merlot is a wine that’s great with food as long as it’s made “correctly.” Why the quotation marks? Merlot, when made in a traditional style, is a much bigger wine than most of the mass produced versions. No, it’s not a Cabernet Sauvignon, but on the scale of red wines, Merlot has enough tannins to compliment many red meats but won’t necessarily overwhelm them how a Cab might. Unfortunately, to the rest of the world, Merlot seems to be inundated with lighter, fruit forward, pale imitations of what this wine should really be. Do yourself a favor and if you haven’t had a big, classic Merlot, give one a shot. But make sure to do it with a great meal.

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Chianti Wine and Food Pairing Ideas

Chianti with food – It’s match made in heaven (actually in Tuscany, but that’s pretty cool too). Chianti is probably the most well known Italian wine in the US. But notice how you don’t really see Chianti made by American wine producers. Why? Chianti isn’t a grape Varietal. It’s a region in Tuscany, Italy and – like most European wines – the region is more important than the specific Varietals from which it was made. In the US on the other hand, the grape Varietal is what gets top billing unless it is a blend. If you are looking for an “American Chianti”, look no further than Sangiovese. Most Chiantis must have at least 75% Sangiovese and California Sangiovese food pairing are usually the same as Chianti food pairings.

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Ideas for Pairing Riesling Wine with Food

Riesling Food Pairing Options

Riesling is one of the most food-friendly wines available, but the problem is that it really comes in two styles in new world varieties. If made in the traditional European style, Riesling pairs with seafood, chicken, vegetables. However pairing food with Riesling made in the more common, sweeter, new world style compliments some seafood as well as many eastern Asian and Indian cuisines. If only most Americans actually knew what this grape could be under the right conditions. Our version is often grown in regions that are too warm, which renders a grape with too much sugar and not enough acid. Even new world wine competitions acknowledge this by having different categories for different residual sugar levels.

Because of Riesling’s split personality, we’ve broken this post up into two sections. The first is for Riesling food pairings for wines made in a drier European style. The 2nd pairs sweeter Riesling with foods more appropriate for them.

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The Best Zinfandel Food Pairing Ideas

Zinfandel Red Wine Sign

Zinfandel has virtually become the quintessential “American” wine. Although actually Croatian in origins, no other country has embraced “Zin” as much as the US. The ability to pair Zinfandel with food, especially some of our spicier foods or stronger flavored meats, is one of the most obvious reasons. Perhaps another is that much like the Americans who enjoy it, until recently Zinfandel had no clearly understood origins – a virtual mutt among the glut of French wines that dominated the market. Zinfandel is a fantastic food wine though, and pairs well with many typically American foods

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Ideas for Pairing Chardonnay Wine with Food

Chardonnay White Wine Pairing Ideas

Chardonnay wine pairs with food better than almost any other white wine. Why? It’s not a wine of extremes. It’s not heavy in acid or tannins but it has more structure than most other white wines, so may people think of it as a chameleon. However, Chardonnay’s food pairing traits are often overstated. True, it’s tough to find foods with which Chardonnay won’t conflict, but not conflicting is very different than actually complimenting food.  We’re here to show you food that pairs well with Chardonnay, not just survive with Chardonnay.

Read on for some of our Chardonnay pairing ideas …

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