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Wine and Meat and Seafood Pairings

There are a number of different options when pairing different types of main meal selections with wine. Below is a straightforward guide that can help you elevate your dinner meal with that perfect bottle of wine

Ham

Ham is a flexible pairing meat because it can prepared in so many different ways. If you are preparing a savory version of ham, Pinot Noir or Sangiovese would be a good combination to balance against the salt in the dish. If you are opting for a glaze, an off-dry Riesling would be best to enhance the sweetness of the glaze.

Steak

Steak can be more challenging to pair than it appears. It is important to look at the marbling on the steak to see whether or not the wine you choose needs to cut the fat. The more marbling, the more tannic the wine should be. A prime steak should therefore be paired with a moderately tannic wine like Bordeaux whereas a grass fed steak with less fat can go with a California Cabernet that does not have a lot of tannins.

Lamb

Lamb has always been a classic pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. However, with many of the California versions tending towards overt ripeness, I would suggest a Washington or Australian Cabernet which has a touch more of the herbal characters that blend well with Lamb.

Shrimp and Light Fish

Because shrimp and lighter styles of fish like cod are often cooked with butter, the tend to pair well with un-oaked Chardonnay or possibly a heavier style Pinot Gris. If the shrimp are grilled, a bright Chablis from France or Sauvignon Blanc from Napa could be a good combination too.

Swordfish and Salmon

Heavier fish like swordfish and salmon often require a heavier wine. Surprisingly, these fish will often go with a light red wine like Beaujolais or Pinot Noir, especially if they are grilled. If you would like to stick with a white wine, I would suggest an oaked Chardonnay.

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