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Enjoying the wine you choose is more important than pairing it by the rules. After all, when a wine tastes good to you, there are no rules. While you’ll find food pairing notes for each of our wines on the product pages in Our Wines section, a few tips are good to keep in mind.

Some pairing guidelines

  • Delicate wines tend to go well with lighter foods and bolder wines balance out heavier meals.
  • Take the cooking method of the meal into account. For example, grilled meats and roasted meats exhibit different flavors, aromas and richness. Both can be complemented with bolder wines. The influence of your meal’s sauces and seasonings should be considered, too. Creamy sauces go well with more acidic wines.

    Close-up photo of a bottle of Clos du Bois Chardonnay

Clos du Bois Chardonnay, with intense aromas of apple blossom, ripe pear, and sweet lemon drop, can pair well with foods such as Madelines, fried chicken and crispy waffles.

How a wine’s chemistry affects food

  • The acid in wine provides tartness and structure as well as complementing and dissolving the salt, oil and fat in food.
  • While sugar is present in grapes before fermentation, most wines are fermented to “dry,” removing all perceptible sugar from the wine. Some wines retain a small percentage of residual sugar, such as Riesling.
  • Tannins in wine cause a slight drying sensation in the mouth, usually noticeable on the gums. Because of this drying effect, tannins interact well with protein-heavy foods.
  • The alcohol in wine adds aromas, body and sometimes a slightly sweet taste. Higher alcohol wines feel “hotter” and can be difficult to pair since they can overpower food. More acidic wines are more flexible or fruit-forward.

    A bottle of Clos du Bois merlot

Clos du Bois Merlot goes well with hardy soups as well as sweeter dishes like Chocolate Cake. Our rich, balanced Merlot pairs nicely with roast chicken, BBQ pork, or pasta.

How food’s flavors affect wine

  • Sometimes opposites attract, as when spicy food is complemented nicely by slightly sweet and fruity wines.
  • Foods that are salty, sour or bitter can make a wine seem sweeter and less tannic. Saltiness is a good contrast to sweetness, as when pairing Asian food with a Riesling or blue cheese with a dessert wine.