Food Pairings

Together wine and food can create the perfect marriage of flavours. The experience of food and the experience of wine brought together make for a special experience.

Our food and wine pairing section is full of general pairing information, while each individual wine listing has suggested pairings for the specific wine.

Although wine and food pairings can be completely subjective to the individual, here are 4 simple guidelines that you can follow when considering what wine to choose for dinner:

Pick a wine to complement or contrast with the meal

To complement a dish with wine you must first take into consideration the intensity of the dish and the flavor of the wine. Pairing food and wine in this manner will actually offer a heightened intensity to the dish. For example an earthy Pinot Noir will complement the flavors in an earthy mushroom dish.

Alternatively, you can also select a wine with flavors, weight and texture that contrast your main dish. This will increase the prominent flavors of the dish and create a refreshing sensation for the palate. A great example would be a dry, crisp Riesling with a rich and creamy pasta dish.

Regional food to regional wine

Historically, and still continuing today, wines are typically enjoyed within the region they are produced and paired with traditional local dishes. A perfect example can be found right here in Nova Scotia. Our crisp and mineral whites are the perfect choice for local Digby Scallops. When in doubt, choose local.

Color of meat goes with colour of wine

Matching color may be the easiest wine and food pairing rule to remember. If enjoying a white fish/meat, such as chicken, drink white wines. When eating red meats, like beef and game, it’s usually a safe bet to drink red wine. Be cautious with the weight of the wine when making your selection; a rich, oaky chardonnay may actually overpower a delicately prepared piece of fish.

Sparkling wines are very versatile

When in doubt drink sparkling wine. The combination of the light flavors, vibrant acidity and effervesce make sparkling an almost fool proof option to pair with food. It’s especially fun to try with the most unlikely of pairings. Next time you pick up a bottle of Nova Scotian sparkling grab some potato chips. The acidity and saltiness work surprisingly well together.

  • Aperitif

    The ideal aperitif wine is generally light bodied, refreshingly crisp and not too high in alcohol. These are wines that can be enjoyed without food or paired with a variety of savoury small bites before a meal.
  • BBQ

    BBQ refers to food that has been cooked over some kind of grill and now contains the charred, smoky notes of the grill. This style of cooking requires a wine pairing that will stand up to and complement those big flavours.
  • Charcuterie

    There are many flavours and textures on a typical charcuterie plate, many of which will throw off the balance of a low acid wine and make it taste sour. Your best bet is to partner wines that are cheap, cheerful and versatile.
  • Cheese

    Most cheeses are rich, flavourful and fatty which can be difficult qualities to balance out with wine. Difficult but not impossible and the best pairings make it all worthwhile!
  • Cold Salads

    Always ensure that the wine meets or exceeds the acidity in the salad.
  • Deep Fried Foods

    The oily, flavourful nature of this cooking method can nuetralize and overwhelm many kinds of wines. For the best results, pair crisp acidic whites with fatty or deep fried foods to balance out the flavours
  • Dessert

    As a general rule: it is best to serve a wine that is sweeter than the dessert.
  • Game

    The intense flavours of game meats require a wine with an equally intense nose and palate.
  • Pasta Dishes

    When it comes to wine pairing, Pasta dishes are all about the sauces and accompaniments.
  • Pork

    While nutritionists consider pork to be "red meat", for the purposes of wine pairing we still categorize pork to be the "other white meat" due to lighter wine styles that can be showcased with pork dishes.
  • Poultry

    The term Poultry refers to domesticated birds raised and kept for human consumption. This includes chicken, turkey, quail, squab, domestic duck and domestic goose.
  • Red Meat

    Pair red meats with wines that have enough body and tannin to cut through the fat and big textured flavours.
  • Seafood

    We are so fortunate here in Nova Scotia be a world leader in high quality fish and seafood.
  • Spicy Foods

    Heat and spice can bring such an incredible depth of flavour and pizazz to any dish while finding the right wine becomes even more important.
  • Warm Vegetable Dishes

    Well-prepared vegetable dishes can be some of the most flavourful and nuanced aspects of our meals. Choose wines that are equally flavourful and complex to bring out the best in your veggies.