Without referring to the internet (or your latest wine-pairing app), how can you tell what wines go “best” with what foods? Here’s the simplest wine pairing rule that almost always produces yummy results: if it grows together, it goes together! That’s right. Tried-and-true wine and food pairings often originate in the same region, and because of this synergy many pairings (and wines themselves) have been “perfected” over hundreds of years to best match the local cuisine.
For example, goose and duck go great with wines made where they roam abundantly in Catalonia, Spain. Try pairing them with a regional favorite like a bottle of red Vall Llach, Cellers Pasanau, or Clos Mogador. Goat cheese, a common product of France’s Loire Valley, pairs superbly with Gerard Boulay and Henri Bourgeois. (See our blog post on wine and cheese pairings here.) Having bistacca alla fiorentina as an entrée? Pair this classic Italian dish with Italian wine from the same locale: Brunello di Montalcino!
When in doubt, pair your dish with a wine produced in the same region. Remember: if it grows together, it goes together. A wine’s label usually presents valuable clues about its origin, so ask to see it if you’re unsure. Your waiter or chef may also have excellent suggestions once you’ve narrowed down the options, so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. If you do have a smartphone handy, check yourself with a program like WineStein Pro to see if you're on track! Cheers to easy pairing!