Entire magazines, websites and cable channels are devoted to pairing food and wines. For some, wine and food pairing is a profession; for others it's an art and for others still, it's a hobby. Wherever you fall in the spectrum, there's always something new to learn when it comes to finding the best matches for wine and food, whether that food's a salty snack, sweet treat or multicourse meal. Find out which snacks pair best with a few different types of wine.
Gewurztraminer is a German wine grown in Alsace, Germany, as well as in California and New York. Gewurztraminer wine varieties are often fruity with hints of peach, rose petals and even allspice. This dry white wine is fragrant and pairs well with Asian appetizers and grilled sausage. Serve minilettuce wraps or grilled vienna sausages with a Gewurztraminer at your next party.
Grown in California, Zinfandel grapes are the most versatile of all grapes used to make wine and are used to create white, red and blush Zinfandel wines. Zinfandel wines are often mild tasting with zesty berry flavors. Because of their mild flavor, Zinfandel wines pair well with a variety of foods. Serve individual pizzas cut into small slices or slices of toasted French bread with diced tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese as snacks with a Zinfandel wine.
Merlot is a smooth red wine that has a softness to it. A good wine for those just beginning to find varieties they enjoy or who don't drink wine often, Merlot wines often feature dark fruity flavors like black cherry and blackberry. Produced in Australia, California and elsewhere, Merlot wine pairs well with any food, making it a versatile choice for any occasion. Pair Merlot varieties with salty snacks like pretzels, salted pistachios, almonds or cashews.
Sparkling wines are carbonated. Champagne is one of the most common sparkling wines but lambrusco and rose are two other easy-to-find varieties. These wines come from grapes grown all over the world, particularly France and Italy, and have a lower alcohol content by volume. Sparkling wines pair well with spicy snacks like Indian curried chutney spread on table crackers or habanero salsa with fresh tortilla wedges.