General Rules for Pairing Appetizers with Wines
- Choose lighter wines to start. Starting with a heavy wine destroys your palate’s ability to detect the subtlety of a lighter wine. Crisp white wines and dry Rose’s are a good place to start. If you’re not sure what I mean, take a few sips of a big meaty Cabernet Sauvignon and then try a few sips of a Pinot Grigio. Your palate will likely be overwhelmed by the remaining tannins and fruit from the Cab, effectively rendering the Pinot Grigio tasteless.
- If you don’t like white wines, then start with lighter Red wines like Pinot Noir.
- When serving appetizers, follow the general guidelines in part one of our post Holiday Food & Wine Pairing blog post.
- Be careful pairing creamy sauces and soups with white wines. Many lighter wines are higher in acid and will react with the cream. Look to white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier or Roussanne to compliment these sauces because they have softer, less acidic tastes so they pair well with cream sauces.
Now, onto the appetizer pairings!