Food - Wine Pairing Tips For French and Italian Wines

Many people are intimidated by the task of selecting wine in a fine restaurant. This article is intended to provide a simple guide that will enable anyone to feel confident enough to choose a wine that will impress their dinner guests. The focus is on French and Italian wines.

While there are no set rules for pairing wine with food, generally a full-bodied red wine should accompany rich and seasoned food. White wines are better suited for lighter fare.

These are some of my personal favorite wine and food pairings for French and Italian wines:

Beef = Amarone,
Cheese = Beaujolais,
Chicken = Chardonnay,
Cold Meats = Tavel,
Chile = Grumello,
Chinese Food = Soave,
Clams and Oysters = Champagne,
Duck = Pouilly-Fume,
Fish = Muscadet,
Ham = Pinot Grigio,
Lamb = Saint-Emilion,
Ossco Bucco = Barbaresco,
Pate = Saint-Veran,
Pheasant = Vino Nobile di Montepulciano,
Pork = Pouilly-Fuisse,
Red Sauce = Chianti,
White Sauce = Pinot Grigio,
Sauerbraten = Riesling,
Shell Fish = Gavi,
Steak = Gattinara,
Stew = Barolo,
Veal = Soave, and
Venison = Pomerol

In the end, it is really a matter of personal preference and what suits your palate. If your restaurant does not have these particular recommendations in their wine cellar, you can always ask the sommelier to recommend something comparable.

These suggestions should enable you to at least buy or order to the proper wine to accompany dinner. Of course, there is a lot more to know about ordering wine, wine tasting, wine production, and wine conversation.

Please feel free to email me at [email protected] with questions on French or Italian wine. You may also visit my website at www.thewinebook.com for more information.

Angelo Cataldo is an avid wine collector with over 20 years experience in Italian and French wines. He has also travelled extensively in the wine producuing regions of Italy and France.

For those interested in learning more, Mr. Cataldo's book, The Wine Book, is the perfect beginners wine guide: short, easy to read, and small enough to take with you. In addition to food wine pairing examples, it includes wine descriptions you can use in conversation or at wine tasting parties, wine tasting tips, and information on Italian and French wine regions and production. The Wine Book is small enough to carry to a restaurant and refer to discreetly.

The Wine Book also includes checklists for tasting notes. This has made it a favorite give-away for wine tastings and events. Fine New Jersey Restaurants, such as Aldo's, The Brickhouse, and Pane and Vino have provided it to their customers for just that purpose.

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