Do you choose the wine or the dish first?

Question of the week

Martin A. wants to know how to find the perfect pairing between a wine and a dish. First the food is decided and then the choice of fine wine? Or is a wine first chosen and then the right one cooked?

It’s easier to choose the wine that goes with the dish – at least that’s how I do it. I always look for a plant that fits the whole meal. A Chianti Classico or a “simple” Nebbiolo that is not too heavy, i.e. no Barolo or Barbaresco, is always a very good decision with pasta or risotto. A country’s wines almost always go well with its cuisine.

Sparkling wine, for example, would not be ideal in this case. All in all, however, champagne is one of the most food-friendly drinks. The goal should be to find the most perfect match possible. You can experiment for yourself at home. You can ask the sommelier for advice in the restaurant. Some good restaurants offer wine with various courses. For Austrian sommelier Aldo Sohm, who works as wine director at New York’s gourmet restaurant Le Bernardin, there is no perfect bottle that goes with everything at home. But he knows the wines that are a very good solution for many dishes.

In addition to sparkling wines, white wines include the Austrian Grüner Veltliner, Riesling (dry) and the Spanish Albarino variety, which is mainly grown in the Rias Baixas wine-growing region. When it comes to reds, you can’t go wrong with a Bordeaux and a Chianti Classico. There is only one solution: try it out and find the perfect combination!


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