Basic Wine Varieties
A guide to the big six―the most common grape varieties found in the United States―and foods to pair them with.
A delicate, light-bodied wine that has a silky texture without the “chewiness” that comes from a lot of tannins. (Tannins leave a dry, fuzzy feeling on your tongue, similar to the sensation you get when you bite the skin off of a grape.)
Pairs well with: Nearly anything. This versatile wine works with steak, strong-flavored, meatier fish like tuna or salmon, grilled chicken, turkey, or vegetarian dishes.
Medium-bodied, with an uncomplicated fruitiness that is often described as “jammy” and a taste that’s reminiscent of plums or cherries.
Pairs well with: Pasta, lamb, and red meat.
Big and bold with a rich, velvety texture and a lot of tannins, which allow it to age well in the bottle. Flavors include notes of coffee, chocolate, and tobacco.
Pairs well with: Strong cheeses like Maytag Blue, and heavy, gamy foods such as steak, veal, and sausage.