Proper Wines to Serve with Food

Foie gras with Sauternes, Photo by Laurent Espitallier

As an Appetizer

  • Pale dry Sherry, with or without bitters, chilled or not.  Plain or mixed Vermouth, with or without bitters. A dry cocktail.

With Oysters, Clams or Caviar

  • A dry flinty wine such as Chablis, Moselle, Champagne.

With the Fish

  • Dry white Burgundy, Rhine, Moselle, or Alsace wines; dry Champagne, or dry Graves

With Entrees: Light Meats, Chicken, Lamb, Pork

  • Light red Burgundies, 2nd to 5th growth Clarets, fine white Burgundies

With Heavy Red Meats: Steak, Game, Duck, Beef

  • Full bodied Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, 1st growth Claret, or Champagne

With the Dessert

  • Classified Sauternes such as Château d’Yquem or Château Latour Blanche. Demi-Sec Champagne, full-bodied Sweet Port, Sherry, or Madeira. Hungarian Tokay well chilled is excellent. Sparkling Burgundy or Sparkling Moselle.

With the Cheese

  • A glass of the Port wine served at room temperature.

With the After-dinner Coffee

  • A fine Cognac Brandy or a glass of Liqueur.  After a heavy dinner a glass of Crème de Menthe will quickly put a person at ease.

With the Fruits and Nuts

  • Tawney Port Wine, Tokay, Muscatel, Malaga, or Madeira

(Source): The How and When; An authoritative reference guide to the origin, use and classification of the world’s choicest vintages and spirits  by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco, 3rd Revised Ed. 1940  Click here to read additional history on this book.


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