10 Classic Food and White Wine Pairings

by JJ Buckley Fine Wines

Dinner table with elegantly plated meal and wine.

In many cases, pairing food and wine is a creative endeavor. Trying different wines with your favorite meals is part of mastering the craft. Even so, there are some food and wine pairings that are so good you find yourself going back to them again and again because the experience is always incredible.

There are two ways to go about pairing food and wine. The first method is to match the intensity or texture of the wine with that of your dish. For instance, a rich and buttery meal like lobster often goes well with a full-bodied white wine.

Your other option is to contrast the flavors or textures. An acidic white such as a Reisling can help to cut through the richness of a creamy sauce, bringing balance to the meal.

Below, we’ll get into some of the top classic food and white wine pairings.

10 Traditional White Wine Pairings to Inspire You

While these pairings aren’t set in stone, they do offer some examples of incredible meals you can serve at a holiday party, enjoy with a small gathering of close friends, or prepare as a romantic meal for two.

1. Lobster and Oaked Chardonnay

One of the best accompaniments to a lobster dish is an oak-aged Chardonnay.

The aging process that gives the wine its subtle yet distinct oaky flavor complements the sweet and rich flavors of the crustacean. They both share a buttery flavor and creamy texture. At the same time, the wine possesses an acidity that helps to enhance the dish and cleanse your palate as you eat.

2. Caviar and Champagne

When it comes to caviar, this opulent food deserves an equally opulent wine — Champagne.

In addition to being one of the best-known food and white wine pairings, the combination is a perfect example of how well contrasting flavors work together. Caviar is salty, fatty, and rich. Champagne, on the other hand, is crisp and dry. The acidity and fruitiness of the wine cleanse your palate with every sip.

3. Roast Pork and Chenin Blanc

Roast pork is fatty and salty, characteristics that work well with the zippy acidity of a Chenin Blanc. The wine features notes of citrus and apples, flavors that perfectly complement and balance the meat.

Other whites to consider pairing with roast pork include Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.

4. Foie Gras and Sauternes

Foie gras is an intense food. Its rich, buttery, slightly metallic flavors need a wine that can stand up to them. Few meet this requirement, and Sauternes is one of the best fits for the job. The wine is acidic, sweet, and bold — three crucial components necessary to bring balance to the dish and elevate it to a whole new level.

5. Oysters and Chablis

It almost seems as though oysters and Chablis were made for one another. Hailing from the Chablis region of France, the wine has a minerality and salinity that matches that of the mollusks. The tangy acidity and citrus flavors in the wine balance the oysters, allowing their flavors to shine through.

Most Chablis wines are unoaked, and these are the ones you want for this pairing. Those that are oak-aged can overpower the delicate nature of the oysters.

If you’re looking for an alternative wine with a similar flavor profile, you may also consider trying Muscadet.

6. Grilled Caesar Salad and Sauvignon Blanc

A light yet flavorful dish, a grilled Caesar salad is ideal for a summer evening meal — or on a winter night when you find yourself longing for the warmth of the summer season. A refreshing meal like this works well with Sauvignon Blanc, an equally refreshing wine.

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry, light-bodied wine that won’t overwhelm the delicate nature of the romaine lettuce. The wine’s herbal notes perfectly complement the herbs and vegetables in the salad.

7. Thai Chicken Curry and Reisling

Thai curries are full of bold flavors, including ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and chilies. Something that can stand up to these flavors, such as a German Riesling, is an excellent white wine pairing. It’s a medium-bodied, low-alcohol wine that enhances the intense flavors while also being able to stand up the pungency of the ginger and richness of the coconut milk.

8. Crab Cakes and Viognier

Crispy crab cakes with a mango-avocado salsa need something that won’t overwhelm their delicious, sweet flavor. One wine up to the task is a French Viognier. The wine itself is both creamy and acidic, characteristics that complement and balance the richness of both the crab meat and the avocado.

Other wines to consider for a delightful experience include Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc.

9. Antipasto and Pinot Gris

Antipasto platters contain numerous components, including olives, cured meats, nuts, cheese, and crackers. They’re rich, salty, and delicious. All of these components pair delightfully well with Pinot Gris.

The acidity of the wine cuts through the fat of the salumi, olives, and nuts. At the same time, the citrusy elements complement the seeds and salt of any crackers and bread you add to the plate.

10. Apple Pie and Gewürztraminer

You can’t get much more classic than an apple pie. The sweet apples and warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are both delicious and comforting, especially when they’re baked in a flaky, buttery pie crust.

A Gewüerztraminer is a great partner for this classic dessert. Its characteristics work perfectly with those of the apple pie, with its citrus, ginger, and lychee notes complementing the apple, cinnamon, and crust of the pie. The wine also works well with other apple desserts, such as apple crisp and apple crumble, both of which have similar flavor profiles to the classic pie.

Find the Perfect White Wine for Every Meal

No matter what meal you’re serving, JJ Buckley Fine Wines has the perfect bottle to match. Feel free to browse our selection online to find the white wine pairing you need. If you’re not sure where to start or you’re having a hard time deciding, our consultancy service is here to help. We’ll provide white wine recommendations based on your dishes, making the decision easier. Check us out today.