Food and Wine

Introduction to Food and Wine – Learn more about the different types of white and red wine. You’ll find a description of each along with useful background information.

Have you ever wondered which wine would go best with a particular food? Here’s an easy guide for food pairing that gives you the basic information you need.

Types of White Wine

Chardonnay (Shar-doe-nay)

Chardonnay is more full bodied than other whites. Chardonnay has aromas of fruits and acidity. The aroma typically has flavors of lemon or grapefruit. Fermentation in new oak barrels results in a rich, buttery taste often described as toastiness, vanilla, apple, nutty, or toffee. Chardonnays aged in French oak result in a milder flavor than those aged in American oak.

Food and Wine Pairing: Chardonnay goes well with chicken, seafood, and fish.

Origin: Chardonnay originated from the Burgundy area of France. There are many world-class Chardonnays being produced in California. Cooler climates are usually the best for producing Chardonnay.

Gewurztraminer (Gah-vurtz-tra-meener)

Food and Wine Pairing: This type of wine goes especially well with spicy Asian dishes and pork sausages.

Origin: Gewurztraminer comes from France. Fantastic Gewurztraminers are produced today in Germany, New York, Washington, and California.

Pinot Grigio (Pea-no-gree-zhe-oh)

Pinot Grigio is light and crispy with almond, lemon, and vanilla flavors. Pinot Grigio may also becalled Pinot Gris.

Food and Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio goes well with seafood and salmon.

Origin: Pinot Grigio originated in Burgandy long ago but is often considered an Italian wine. The grapes prefer a cold climate, which is why Oregon is able to produce delicious Pinot Grigio.

Riesling (Rees-ling)

Food and Wine Pairing: Riesling goes well with chicken, fish, pork, and spicy foods.

Origin: Rieslings originates from Germany. Great Rieslings are also produced in New York, Washington, California, and Australia.

Sauvignon Blanc (So-veen-yawn-blah)

Wine and Food Pairings: Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with salads, poultry, seafood, and cheese.

Origin: Sauvignon Blanc originated from France. Fabulous Sauvignon Blanc is currently being produced in New Zealand, South Africa, California, and Washington as well.

Types of Red Wine

Barbera (Bar-ber-uh)

Barbera is often used as a blending grape. As a varietal it can exhibit aromas of berries, plums, or cherries with hints of vanilla, toasty, or smoky flavors.

Food and Wine Pairing:Tomato based pasta dishes are perfect matches to serve with this type of wine.

Origin: Barbera is an Italian red wine. However, California is producing some wonderful Barbera. The Sierra Foothills is increasingly producing great quality Barbera.

Cabernet Sauvignon (Ca-burr-nay So-veen-yawn)

Wine and Food Pairings Cabernet Sauvignon is the classic vino to serve with red meats.

Origin Cabernet Sauvignon is a well known grape of Bordeaux, France. Superb Cabernets are being produced in California (especially the Napa Valley), Washington, Italy, Australia, and Chile.

Merlot (Mare-lo)

Merlot is softer tasting than Cabernet Sauvignon due to having less tannins. It is a smooth and dry. Merlot is often described as having the flavors of boysenberry, black cherry, herbs, and mocha.

Wine and Food Pairings: Merlot is best with poultry and grilled meats, but Merlot actually goes well with most foods.

Origin Merlot originates from Bordeaux in France where it is the most commonly planted grape. You can find many great Merlots from California, Oregon, and Washington.

Pinot Noir (Pee-no Na-wahr)

Food and Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir is best served with grilled salmon, roast beef, lamb, duck, and mushrooms.

Origin Burgandy, France is the area most recognized for its Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is also being produced in California, Oregon, British Columbia, and New Zealand.

Sangiovese (San-gee-oh-ve-zee)

Food and Wine Pairing: Sangiovese goes especially well with pasta and other Italian foods.

Origin: Sangiovese grapes originates from the Tuscany region of Italy. California is making some delicious Sangiovese as well.

Syrah (Sah-ra)

Food and Wine Pairing: Enjoy a glass of Syrah with duck, wild game, steak, and beef.

Origin: Syrah is is believed to originate from France. There are great Syrahs produced in France, Australia, South Africa, and California.

Zinfandel (Zin-fan-del)

Food and Wine Pairing: This type of red wine is wonderful with steaks, grilled meats, and tomato based dishes.

Origin: It is believe that Zinfandel originated in Croatia. It has been grown in California since the 1850s with California Zinfandels generally considered to be the best. Many consider Zinfandel to California’s vino.