HOME > Chowhound > Wine >


Famous wine and food pairings?

After 3 years my wine club is running out of new ideas. I kind of wanted to suggest famous wine and food pairings but after Sauternes and Foie Gras I came up with oysters and Guinness - not even wine- and then my brain froze. Anyone? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. steak and cab =P But i'm sure you guys have thought of that already.

    How bout.. Buffalo and Tempranillo.

    1. Salmon and Pinot Noir, roast chicken and Bordeaux

      3 Replies
      1. re: dinwiddie

        Slight addition to dinwidde doo dum widdie.
        Grilled Salmon for Pinot Noir...the salmon needs a little charring to have a matching intensity for the Pinot.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Isn't that "do wah diddie diddie dum diddie do..."?

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Sam, as always, you're a delight and scathingly smart...

            And, I've talked about this elsewhere on this board:

            Roquefort with Sauternes.

            ( ~~~or, any creamy blue cheese with a late-harvest botrytised wine)

            It's at or near the top of all food and wine pairings.

            The tanginess of the blue cheese mingles with the fruit of the Sauternes, and something fascinating happens: a brand new third flavor is formed -- the Holy Grail of food and wine pairing -- and it's a flavor so lovely, so magnificent, that everyone (who likes blue cheese) should try it at some point in their lives.

      2. I probably do the Stout more than Chablis with those oysters myself, but Chablis is the classic match. Others that come to mind-

        Caviar and Champagne
        Port and Bleu Cheese
        Tomato Sauce and Chianti

        4 Replies
        1. re: TongoRad

          ????? classic with Oysters in my neck of the woods is Muscadet.

          Great book on the subject: "Perfect Pairings" by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein.

          1. re: ChefJune

            Got me there with the 'classic' part, now that you mention it. But (5) question marks? That's pretty harsh ;)

            1. re: ChefJune

              Reacting to 5 question marks seems odd to me...

              And Chef June has it going on. Oysters with Muscadet is the classic match -- flintiness meets flintiness and they twirl around the dance floor. Sancerre is second. Champagne, third, but then the flintiness dance is over. It's still good, though, especially if you use a little of the Champagne to make a Champagne mignonette.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                The flintiness is the exact association that I made when I suggested the Chablis- still a notable match. The error was in refering to it as 'the classic', which became apparent to me the second I read ChefJune's post. Oddly enough, I've been enjoying Loire whites quite frequently over the past 10-15 years, and they didn't come to mind.

                The reacting to the question marks was done mostly in jest, but also as a way of saying "come on, I'm not THAT far in the woods here".

          2. Mentioned on another thread: cab and good burger!

            1. Great theme for a tasting! If you search for "classic wine pairings" or "classic matches" you might find more good ideas.

              Here are a few from an article titled "The Marriage of Food and Wine" by Natalie MacLean:

              "... That’s why the following classic matches have survived the changes in food fashion: stilton with port, foie gras with sauternes, boeuf bourguignon with Burgundian pinot noir and goat cheese with sauvignon blanc."

              And here's an article with a few more "classic" pairings:


              7 Replies
              1. re: AnneInMpls


                FAMOUS pairings, or great ones?

                Famous seems to imply some widespread confirmation of excellence.
                Great can be great for only one person.

                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  Re: Goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc

                  We just had the Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fume "Blanc Fume de Pouilly" 2004 with a raw milk cheese from the Loire Valley, Chabichou du Poitou. This is truly a classic match. The weight of the wine matched the cheese well. The crisp acidity was a nice counterpoint to the creamy texture of the cheese, and the herbal citrus notes complemented the tang of the cheese. Everything about this pairing was perfect.

                  1. re: moh

                    Nice report...

                    Never ceases to impress me what a gourmet experience a simple glass of wine is when matched with the right cheese...

                    1. re: Chicago Mike

                      Chicago Mike, yes indeed, the right combo of wine and cheese is such a delight! I'm very grateful that I'm one of the few Asians that has both the alcohol dehydrogenase gene and is not lactose intolerant. Life is kind sometimes :)

                      1. re: moh

                        that is nice combo!

                        I could use your DNA fingerprint in my biology lab !!

                        I know about the asian lactase deficiency but wasn't aware of an asian alcohol phenotype, what is it ?

                        1. re: Chicago Mike

                          About 50% of the Asian population have a genetic variation of the dehydrogenase enzyme that causes them to metabolize alcohol too quickly into acetaldehyde -- a toxin, which causes redness and flushing as it builds up in the body. The variant enzyme also causes the redness and flushing to hang around longer by a too-slow metabolism of acetaldehyde into the benign acetic acid.

                          So alcohol metabolism by folks with that variant enzyme is both too fast -- in its conversion of alcohol to acetaldehyde -- and too slow -- in its conversion of acetaldehyde into acetic acid.

                          Moh is indeed lucky. I'm so glad she drinks. And writes about the food and wines in such detail.

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            so... from the phenotypic standpoint, does this mean that the asian with this genotypic variation "gets drunk faster" or "gets more drunk on same amount of alcohol" than someone not expressing this genotype... ?

                2. Macadamia ice cream and Madeira.

                  1. Almost any decent wine book will have some classic pairings but if I may suggest studying regional foods and wines. There is one rule of wine pairing that I personally love... grown together, goes together. It ties in with your classic idea. For example start with the Loire region... muscadet and Oysters, Sancerre and goat cheese and also asparagus / Mushrooms and Sancerre Rouge (Pinot Noir). Fish and shellfish are quite abundant and steeliness of whites echo the ocean flavors. For recipes try looking at cookbook by Anne Willan. I believe she has a regional French cookbook. That should get a direction started for you. Sounds fun!

                    1. When I think of steak and wine, my thoughts vary from Cabernet Sauvignon. I like mushrooms with my steaks and I know a place with its own breed of cattle that is famous for mushrooms. To quote USA Today, “Piedmont has its own breed of cattle, which yield exquisite veal. The red wine from Barolo is known as the "wine of kings and the king of wine." And those truffles sell for $2,500 to $3,500 a pound“.
                      In keeping with “regional foods and wines”, I reach for a bottle of Borolo or Barbaresco with my steak.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BN1

                        And on that note, though it may not be for everyone, I rather liked the Valtellina Superiore Inferno that I served with a recent prime rib roast (the grocery store had it for $3.59/lb and I could not resist); it required a lot of diligent trimming and tying, along with the usual swatting of peppercorns with a frying pan, but oh my, was that ever a fine match. The porcini that I threw into the jus probably did not hurt, either.

                        More on the ur-Nebbiolo, Chiavennasca: http://acevola.blogspot.com/2007/11/l...

                        Interestingly, the producers in the Valtellina Superiore have a practice of harvesting some of the grapes for apassimento, producing Sforzato (Sfursat) -- a cross between Amarone and Barolo. If that sounds appealing to you, go for it; I can never seem to get my hands on a second bottle of any Valtellina that I like, because they always seem to sell out the miniscule stocks that are imported.

                      2. Here's 3 to get you going....

                        Authentic peppery Thai cuisine and a gorgeous grand cru Alsatian Gewurztraminer... or mosel riesling for that matter...

                        Chardonnay and smoke-grilled tuna steaks...

                        Barolo and rib-eye with mushroom gravy infused with truffle and parmesan...

                        1. How about Gewurztraminer and 'kraut with sausages?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Summerfield

                            I'll be there in half hour, get the grill going :)

                            1. re: Chicago Mike

                              Summerfield, are you talking about choucroute, the classic Alsatian dish,
                              made by braising several types of sausage, kraut, potatoes and Riesling together for a couple of hours? Paired with (obviously) Riesling. THAT'S a classic. I've eaten it so many times in Alsace.

                              Or, is your dish made by *grilling* sausages and serving them with kraut?

                              I'm assuming the former.

                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                'Kraut and sausages prepared one way or another is fairly common in German-Slavic Europe. I wasn't thinking of choucroute specifically. I prepare a Christmas Eve meal involving 'kraut, pirohi, and a mushroom soup, and for the longest time I've been pairing this meal with Riesling, but Gewurztraminer would work too. I would guess that Gewurz would work with choucroute too. Hmmm, I'm gettin' hungry.

                              2. re: Chicago Mike

                                Chicago Mike,

                                Ha! Ha! You bring the Gerwurz!


                              3. re: Summerfield

                                The Saxon version of this pairing is sausage and sauerkraut with a Muller Thurgau.

                              4. Let me throw a twist!

                                Good old ancient Chinese Shao Xing Wine (not the one you use to cook) with Shangahi Hairy Crabs!

                                  1. The chef from Rockenwagner in LA once recommended oysters with eiswein, and as odd as it sounds, it was incredible.

                                    1. cakes and ale (Sir Toby Belch, "Twelfth Night") - not wine but a famous food/alcohol pairing

                                      1. Coq au vin, served with the same wine in which you cooked the bird; Burgundy is the classic.

                                        Champagne and strawberries.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: finlero

                                          Oh, definitely Champagne and strawberries.

                                            1. re: kobetobiko

                                              Funny, this thread had me thinking Hollywood earlier, specifically Hannibal Lecter's "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." That said, the interweb tells me that in the book, the wine had actually been a "big Amarone."

                                        2. A glass of a 2004 Masi ripasso blend reminded me...

                                          Amarone and Parmaggiano with, of course, a dash of balsamico.

                                          1. Another wonderful match: Crab and Riesling!

                                            Good friends of ours had fresh snow crab sent from Rimouski to Montreal last night. They had been caught that morning. They generously offered to share their bounty. In exchange, we provided wine.

                                            Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2008 says this to say about matching wine to crab: "Crab and Riesling are part of the Creator's plan."

                                            Who am I to go against such a strong recommendation? I decide to pop open the 2003 F.X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Trocken Wachau and the 2003 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann. The F.X. Pichler was a hedonistic wine filled with peach,apricot and honey, full in the mouth, with a charming acidity that danced above the orchestra of fruit and honey. The Zind-Humbrecht was a more sophisticated wine, heady with apricot, apple and a hint of spice, but much more structured by the acidity and mineral notes of the wine. Both wines were wonderful to sip on their own.

                                            But then paired with fresh boiled snow crab served with drawn butter, lemon wedges, sea salt and some boiled new potatoes? The wine and the crab were taken to a whole new level. I am very sad I have never had this combination before. It is clear I need to have more crab in my life... This is a truly classic combination!

                                            (I also served steamed asparagus to dip in the butter, but I admit I didn't have a single bite. I didn't want anything to interfere with the happiness created by crab and Riesling.)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: moh

                                              Moh, thank you for your continued contributions! I love the specifics you provide in wines and flavors. Best, M.

                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                Maria you are much too kind! I'm really working on improving my tasting skills, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate all I have learned and continue to learn from your posts and many others on this board. I continue to be amazed at how generous all you experts are with your knowledge.

                                                I am working on the component tasting concept, and I am having a great time exploring this!

                                            2. Deep-fried calamari with a nice Pigato!

                                              1. Nobody has mentioned vintage port with stilton and spicy glazed nuts