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Wine Pairing: Reds

Here are a few red wine pairing suggestions for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel. Enjoy!

Here are a few suggestions for RED wine pairings:

Cabernet Sauvignon

A cross between two varietals: Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc

  • Descriptors: black cherry, chocolate, spice, currant, cassis (high tannin)
  • Food: roast lamb, beef,  and duck, braised or grilled red meat – especially steak, chocolate
  • Cheese: cheddar, aged gouda, brie, danish bleu, aged manchengo, “nutty” cheese varieties
  • Herbs & Seasonings: bay leaf, black pepper, rosemary, sage, garlic


Generally softer and fruitier than Cabernet

  • Descriptors: black cherry, berry, licorice, spice, tobacco (low tannin)
  • Food: roast chicken, pasta with tomato sauce, meatloaf, pork, lamb, beef, turkey, duck, grilled tenderloin
  • Cheese: gouda, tallegio, gruyere, cheddar
  • Herbs & Seasonings: thyme, orange zest, black and green peppercorn

Pinot Noir

Beautiful burgundy color with soft tannins – generally better young than aged

  • Descriptors: strawberry, cherry, plum, sandalwood, spice, flowers (low to medium tannin)
  • Food: lamb, roast chicken, duck, pork, game, enchiladas, wild mushroom ragout, salmon, grilled sausages
  • Cheese: camembert, st. andre brie, mild cheddar, fresh chevre
  • Herbs & Seasonings: fennel, basil, oregano, garlic


Deep colored red with distinctive aromas and robust flavor

  • Descriptors: berry and plum flavors, spicy aroma (high tannin)
  • Food: spicy stews, sausage, game, pizza
  • Cheese: aged gouda, provolone, cheddar, dry jack, gorgonzola
  • Herbs & Seasonings: black pepper, rosemary


Robust red that  pairs well with a wide range of foods; generally more affordable than Cabernet

  • Descriptors: black cherry, plum, berry, pepper, and spice  (medium to high tannin)
  • Food: grilled red meats, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, ribs, eggplant parmesan
  • Cheese: cheddar, gorgonzola, parmigiano-reggiano, muenster, asiago, dry jack
  • Herbs & Seasonings: basil, oregano, garlic, clove, cinnamon

Look for white wine suggestions in our next post!