Food and Wine in TuscanyWine has had a long history of being served as an accompaniment to food. Many pairings that are considered "classics" today emerged from the centuries old relationship between a region's cuisine and their wines. In recent years, the popularity and interest in food and wine pairings have increased and taken on new connotations and many wine drinkers select wine pairings based on instinct, the mood of the meal or simply a desire to drink a particular wine at the moment they desire to eat a particular meal, nonetheless nowadays many wine experts and advocates in the realm of food and wine pairing try to focus on the more objective physical aspects of food that have an effect on the palate, altering (or enhancing) the perception of various aspects of the wine.

So, accordingly to experts and traditions in food and wine pairings, the most basic element considered is "weight" (i.e the balance between the weight of the food (a heavy, red sauce pasta versus a more delicate salad) and the weight or "body" of the wine (i.e a heavy Cabernet Sauvignon versus a more delicate Pinot grigio).

After considering weight, pairing the flavors and texture can be dealt with using one of two main strategies — complement or contrast. The first strategy tries to bring wine together with dishes that complement each other; the second strategy operates under the axiom that "opposites attract" and brings together food and wine that have contrasting traits so the same food may be complemented or contrasted.

Pairing Wine and Food
Image by courtesy of Wine Folly


Dry White
White Table Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Albariño pair with: Vegetable, Roasted Vegetables, Starches and Fish.

Sweet White.
Gewütztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Malvasia, Moscato, Riesling pair with: Soft Cheese, Hard Cheese, Cured Meat and Sweet.

Rich White.
Chardonnay, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier pair with Soft Chees, Starches, Rich Fish, White Meat and Fish.

Sparkling Wine, Champagne, Prosecco, Cava pair with Hard Cheese, Soft Cheese, Vegetables, Starches and Fish.

Light Red.
St. Laurent, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Gamay pair with Roasted Vegetables, Rich Fish and White Meat and Cured Meat.

Medium Red.
Red Table Wine, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Zifandel, Grenache, Merlot pair with Roasted Vegetables, Hard Cheese, White Meat, Red Meat and Cured Meat.

Bold Red.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell, Aglianico, Malbec, Syrah pair with Hard Cheese, Starches, Red Meat and Cured Meat.

Late Harvest, Ice Wine, Sherry, Por pair with Soft Cheese, Starches, Cured Meat and Sweets.

Finally, foods that are hard to combine with wines are Asparagus, Green Bean, Artichokes, Brussel Sprout and Chocolate.