dcsimg

Food And Drink Pairings

There is no surer way to take a meal from excellent to outstanding than to add the right drink. While food and beverage pairings can be highly personal, some foods lend themselves well to particular drinks. Traditionally, wine and food pairings have been the topic of much discussion but with the explosion of craft breweries in recent years, beer and food pairings are also getting attention. Of course, your taste will dictate which pairings are right for you but keep reading for some suggestions to get you started.

Wine and food pairings

When deciding how to pair food and wines, acidity and strength both play key factors. Ideally you'd want the level of acid in both the meal and the drink to be comparable. Neither one should overpower the other. The chart below reviews some common pairings that are traditional favorites.

Beverage

Ideal Food Pairs

Why They Pair Well

Champagne

champagne

Salty foods

oysters

The light and slightly sweet taste of champagne balances out the salt.

Pinot Grigio

pinot-grigio

Light fish dishes

light-fish

The flavor of this light white wine complements, rather than overwhelms, fish.

Chardonnay

chardonnay

Pasta and cream sauces

pasta

The crisp, clean taste of Chardonnay lends itself well to practically any pairing.



Pinot Noir

 pinot-noir

Earthy dishes

earthy-food

Pinot Noir is a light red which goes well with robust flavors.

Merlot

 merlot

Beef and lamb

steak

This deep red wine has a complex flavor that works well with rich meats.

Cabernet Sauvignon

cabernet sauvignon

Wild game

wild-game

As a full-bodied red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon works well with richly flavored foods.

Beer and food pairings

Like wine and food pairings, the common practice is to match the strength of a dish with the strength of a beer. However, you still want to have some contrast in both elements. For example, a beer with some bitterness will nicely offset a sweet dish.

Beverage

Ideal Food Pairs

Why They Pair Well

Stout/Porter

stout

Smoked and barbecued foods

smoked-barbecue

Stouts and porters are heavy beers that work best with rich and bold flavors.

Lager

lager

Mexican food

mexican-food

The light, clean flavor of a lager cuts through the spice of many Mexican dishes.

IPA

IPA

Pork

pulled-pork

The hoppy flavor of an IPA balances nicely with the fat in pork.

Pale Ale

pale-ale

Burgers

burgers

Pale ales have a robust flavor and medium weight that pairs well with grilled foods.

Hefeweizen

hefeweizen

Soups and salads

soup-and-salad

Wheat beer has the right body and flavor to complement light meals and vegetarian dishes.

Red Ale

red-ale

Stews

stew

Red ales have a strong flavor that is best paired with hearty foods.

While wine and beer pairings are the most common, cocktail and food pairings are gaining attention. Some restaurants offer food pairings that have been designed to be eaten with high-end liquors such as whiskey or tequila, served on their own or over ice. What's more, pairing non-alcoholic drinks is becoming more prominent as homemade sodas gain popularity.

If you're ready to move beyond eating outstanding food and drink pairings and ready to start creating them, you may want to consider a career as a chef, bartender or restaurateur. To learn more, contact the schools below for information on their culinary programs.

Sources:

  • 15 Rules for Great Food and Wine Pairings, Food & Wine, http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/15-rules-for-great-wine-and-food-pairings
  • Wine pairings 101, Sunset, http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/wine-pairings/wine-pairing-101
  • Beer and food pairing, Epicurious, http://www.epicurious.com/archive/drinking/beer/beerpairings
  • Beer Styles, Craft Beer, http://www.craftbeer.com/styles/blonde-ale

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            Eastwick College , Hackensack
            If you want to get into the workplace quickly or advance your existing career, Eastwick College and the HoHoKus Schools offer job-focused programs that can be completed in as little as six months. Flexible schedules and scholarships for selected students make getting your education more convenient and less expensive than you may have imagined.
            SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104