Impress Your Friends with Your Wine Pairing Knowledge

Heading out to a fine dining restaurant with your friends, especially for the first time, can be a little daunting. Most people have all kinds of worries about etiquette and which fork to use with each course, but one of the biggest stumpers in fine dining is knowing which wine to order with your meal. Pairing wines with food is a bit of an artform. Consider this a crash course.

Pinot Noir

The red pinot noir is more of a light-bodied wine, much lighter than most other red wines, but it has a dry and savory flavor. It pairs well with earthier dishes like those containing mushrooms or truffles.


A white wine that originated in eastern France, Chardonnay can range from dry to sweet depending on the season and region of the grapes. It pairs well with seafood drenched in sauce or a nice salmon steak.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine hails from all of the major wine growing regions and is made from various red wine grape varieties, but because it is made in so many parts of the world, the flavor can vary greatly. Steak and lamb chops are a good match for your cab.

Sauvignon Blanc

This white wine originated in the Bordeaux region of France and it generally has a fruitier flavor like lime or peach. It pairs well with foods that are a bit tart like grapefruit.

Dry Rose

The rose wine is a pretty blush color that comes from incorporating some of the skins of the grapes but not quite enough to make it a red wine. It tends to have the acidic attributes of a white wine but the fruity attributes of a red. It pairs well with most any kind of cheese.


If your trip to the fine dining restaurant is to mark a celebration, your table may want to order a bottle of champagne. This sparkling wine tastes best when paired with saltier foods.


One of the most popular red wines in America, Malbec has a deep red color and a bold flavor. It pairs well with tangy sauces like BBQ because it isn’t overshadowed by the strong flavors.

No matter what entree you decide to order at The Windlass, we have a wine that will pair perfectly, and now that you have this wine pairing guide, you don’t have to be anxious about your fine dining restaurant experience!

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