Food then wine

Condiments and apéritif

  • Bruschetta

    Chianti, Valpolicella

  • Aioli

    Provence Rosé

  • Mezze

    Modern Greek white, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Vegetables, soups and salads

  • Lentils and other pulses
    Barbera, young Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Peppers, roast
    Sangiovese, Barbera, Montepulciano, Minervois, St-Chinian
  • Truffles
    Barolo, Barbaresco, Côte Rôtie, old blanc de blancs champagne
  • Artichokes
    Tricky but not impossible! See
  • Salsa (as dominant flavour)
    Argentine Torrontés or Malbec, Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Caesar salad
    Chardonnay, especially Californian or Australian
  • Vegetables, roasted / grilled
    Coteaux du Languedoc, Costières de Nîmes
  • Consommé
    Madeira, dry sherry
  • Mozzarella and tomato salad
    Soave, Verdicchio
  • Vichysoisse
    White Mâcon-Villages, St-Véran
  • Couscous
    Coteaux de Languedoc, Faugères
  • Mushrooms, baked
    Côtes-du-Rhône, Dão reds, Pinotage
  • Onion tart
    Pfalz or Alsace Riesling
  • Greek salad
    Assyrtiko, Santorini whites
  • Salads (as main dish)
    Nothing too special

Pasta, rice and noodles

  • Lasagne
    Chianti, Umbrian red
  • Pesto
    Pinot Grigio
  • Macaroni cheese
    Simple Merlot or Sangiovese
  • Creamy pasta
    Barbera, Valpolicella
  • Noodles, spicy
    Australian Riesling, Pinot Gris
  • Risotto
    Pinot Grigio, Chianti, Barbera
  • Pasta – spaghetti etc
    Chianti, Valpolicella, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Barbera

Fish and seafood

  • Langoustines
    Meursault, fine Californian Chardonnay
  • Pâté, fish
    Sauvignon Blanc, especially as Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé
  • Salmon
    New Zealand Pinot Noir, Savigny, Santenay, Chardonnay – eg Pouilly-Fuissé
  • Salmon, smoked
    Alsace or Australian Riesling
  • Lobster
    Meursault, Montrachet, chilled young red burgundy
  • Eel, smoked
    Austrian Riesling
  • Salt cod
    Alentejo or Navarra red, Bandol
  • Escabeche
    Rueda, fino or manzanilla sherry
  • Sardines, grilled
    Albariño – eg from Rias Baixas
  • Herring, sweet cured
    Alsace or Australian Riesling
  • Sashimi
    Alsace Riesling or Pinot Blanc
  • Carpaccio, fish
    Muscadet, Chablis
  • Clams
    Albariño – eg from Rias Baixas
  • Fish and chips
    Chardonnay, champagne
  • Tartare, fish

    Sauvignon de Touraine, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais Nouveau

  • Caviar
    Champagne, preferably blanc de blancs
  • Fishcakes
  • Prawns, raw
    New Zealand Chardonnay, Oregon Pinot Gris
  • Scallops
    Chablis, South African Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ceviche
    Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Fish, steamed – whole Chinese style
    Dry Riesling
  • Prawns with garlic
    Provençal rosé, white Languedoc or Roussillon
  • Chiu Chow, sushi, cold ham
  • Crab
    Mâcon-Villages, Pouilly-Fuissé
  • Fish, curry
    Chilled Beaujolais such as Brouilly
  • Mussels
    Pinot Gris, New Zealand Chardonnay
  • Squid
    Young Greek or Portuguese red
  • Terrine, fish
    Saumur or Anjou Blanc, Chablis
  • Kippers
    Tea or, believe it or not, champagne!
  • Squid, salt and pepper
    Mosel Kabinett
  • Oysters
    Chablis, Muscadet
  • Tuna
    Southern Rhône rosé and Pinot Noir reds

Chicken, poultry and game

  • Chicken, fried
    Valpolicella, Barbera
  • Turkey and trimmings
    New Zealand or Oregon or California Pinot Noir, Volnay, Pommard
  • Chicken livers
    Dry white bordeaux or Graves
  • Guinea fowl
    Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Beaune
  • Chicken pie
    Côtes-du-Rhône, Grenache
  • Chicken, roast
    New Zealand or Oregon Pinot Noir, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Dolcetto, Chardonnay
  • Duck, roast
    Madiran, Graves, Médoc, Pauillac, Douro
  • Pigeon
    Pinotage, Argentine red
  • Venison
    Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Tarragon chicken
    Dry white Bordeaux or Graves
  • Quail
    Western Australian or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Foie gras, pâté
    Alsace Gewurztraminer
  • Foie gras, sautéed
    Sauternes, Monbazillac
  • Rabbit
    Red Lirac, Gigondas, Côtes-du-Rhône
  • Game
    Nuits-St-Georges, Gevrey-Chambertin, Barolo, Barbaresco
  • Chicken Caesar
    Californian Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc


  • Ham, baked
    Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Shiraz
  • Salami
    Barbera, Sangiovese
  • Ham, raw (eg Proscuitto)
    Riesling, Vouvray
  • Ham, smoked
    Alsace whites, Beaujolais
  • Ham and melon
    White Rhône, Mâcon, Viognier
  • Pork
    Californian, Australian or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Sausage
    Zinfandel, Merlot, Shiraz
  • Charcutierie
    Fruity German whites (especially Pfalz), Beaujolais such as Fleurie or Juliénas
  • Terrine, meat
    Young Merlot, Beaujolais-Villages, red burgundy
  • Ribs
    Argentine Malbec, Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot

Beef and lamb

  • Veal chop
    Italian Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosso di Montalcino
  • Beef bourguignon
    Red burgundy – eg Pommard
  • Veal escalope
    Italian Merlot
  • Beef, roast
    Cabernet Sauvignon – eg, Médoc, Graves
  • Hamburger
    Zinfandel, Merlot
  • Meatballs
    Italian Cabernet or Merlot
  • Meatloaf
    Merlot, Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
  • Pot roast
    Zinfandel, young Shiraz
  • Tartare, meat
    Young Cabernet Sauvignon / Bordeaux
  • Kebabs
    Lebanese or modern Greek red
  • Kidneys, veal
    St-Émilion, Pomerol
  • Lamb chops
    Ribera del Duero, red Rioja
  • Osso buco / oxtail, braised
    Zinfandel, Argentine Malbec
  • Lamb, roast
    Red Bordeaux – as grand as possible
  • Steak
    Tannic reds such as Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, Pauillac, St-Estèphe, Douro, Ribera del Duero and any young Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Daube provençal
    Bandol, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Lamb shanks
    Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Syrah

World food

  • Dim sum, Cantonese steamed
    Alsace Pinot Gris
  • Stir fry (typical)
    Chilean red, Australian Chardonnay
  • Dim sum, deep/pan fried
    Red burgundy
  • Duck, crispy with pancakes
    Chinon, Bourgeuil
  • Sushi
    Australian or New Zealand Riesling, champagne
  • Sweet and sour (as dominant flavour)
  • Chicken tikka masala
    Grenache, basic Shiraz or Zinfandel
  • Tagine
    Moroccan or Roussillon red
  • Chinese food
    Alsace whites, Australian Riesling
  • Pizza
    Merlot, Chardonnay
  • Tapas
    Fino or Manzanilla sherry
  • Falafal
    Modern Greek white
  • Curry, vegetable
    White Mâcon-Villages
  • Hummus
    Modern Greek white
  • Japanese food
    see sushi, sashimi, tempura
  • Cantonese, Brillat Savarin aux Truffes
  • Tempura
    Friuli reds
  • Quesadillas
    Merlot, Chardonnay
  • Curry, mild
    Grenache, basic Shiraz or Zinfandel
  • Satay
    Pinotage, Zinfandel
  • Thai food
    Alsace and German whites, Australian Riesling
  • Curry, dry
    Rheingau spätlese
  • Thai green curry
    Côtes-du-Rhône and Languedoc reds


  • Walnuts
    Dark dry sherry
  • Cheese, blue
    Sauternes, Barsac, Muscat, port
  • Cheese, cheddar
    Amontillado sherry, St-Émilion
  • Cheese soufflé
    Red Beaune – eg Santenay, Savigny
  • Cheese, toasted
    Red Dão, Gigondas, Australian Shiraz
  • Stilton

Sweets and desserts

  • Pavlova
    Moscato Spumante
  • Summer pudding
    Vouvray Moelleux, Icewine
  • Trifle
    Sweet sherry
  • Almond tart
    Vouvray Moelleux
  • Chocolate
    Rutherglen Muscat, ruby port
  • Ice-cream
    Very sweet sherry, poured over
  • Tarte Tatin
    Sauternes, late harvest white from California or Australia
  • Crumble
    Coteaux du Layon
  • Fruit tart
    Jurançon, Coteaux du Layon