The Ultimate Wine Pairing Guide

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/14/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

As we know, wine people are very serious about their wine. What temperature it should be served at, how long and if it should be decanted, what to eat with it. And while we’re all about enjoying wine however you please, we thought it would still be useful to give you an easy to understand guide.

  • Shiraz

    The Barossa is particularly famous for its shiraz so it’s only fair we start here. Being a relatively full-bodied wine, shiraz pairs well with rich foods. Specifically, you’ll often see pairing suggestions with meats and game.

    Any grilled meat will pair well with these wines. In warmer months opt for grilled or barbequed pork, while beef stews and casseroles are perfect for the winter. For vegetarians, try grilled or roasted eggplant, or mushroom dishes. But please, whatever you do, don’t try to pair it with seafood.

  • Chardonnay

    Chardonnay is a wine that really does taste better with the right pairing. Foods heavy in spice and flavour complexity are not going to improve this wine. Instead, opt for seafood and white meats.

    Chowders and scallops are a perfect match for this wine. If you’re not into seafood or are feeling like more of a comfort food, try a margarita pizza. The mild milkiness of mozzarella cheese is perfect for chardonnay.

  • Pinot Grigio

    This light refreshing wine is a common favourite amongst wine drinkers. It’s incredibly versatile and a perfect summer pick-me-up. If you’re sitting down for a meal and want to enjoy a pinot grigio you should look for lighter meals and nothing too rich.

    Clams and whitefish are particularly great pairings for pinot grigio, as are spring risottos with prawns or peas and fennel.

  • Moscato

    Moscato often gets a bad rap. The sweet wine is often disregarded as the wine young people drink before they can handle the more “grown-up” dry varieties. Well, we think they’re wrong, what’s wrong with enjoying a sweet treat every now and then?

    Moscato’s forte is dessert. Cool and sweet it pairs perfectly with tart berries and crisp apple desserts. However, if you’re wanting to pair with something savoury, Moscato can do that too. It’s sweetness also lends well to Southeast Asian cuisines. The brightness of the wine cuts through the heat to create a wonderful drinking experience.

The science of wine pairing

The funny thing about wine pairing is that it is quite complex. It’s so much more than the simple terms we’ve laid down here today. It’s important firstly to remember that we all have individual tastes, and there’s nothing wrong with drinking wine with something it doesn’t pair with if you’re enjoying it. But for those particularly interested in wine pairings it can be quite a science. Even the “simple guides to wine pairing” aren’t all that simple.

Ultimately, we can’t make you a wine pairing expert overnight, but with the above guide, you’ll be able to impress your friends at your next dinner party.

Related article: Where to get the best food in the Barossa Valley?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.