Rules for the Perfect Food & Wine Pairings

Pairing wine with food doesn’t have to be intimidating. The old rules of red wine with meat and white wine with fish are good general guidelines, but require a bit more finesse to pull off successfully.

Pick up some tips from the expert team at Ruth’s Chris Steak House on how to choose the perfect wine varietal to complement every dish.

Three Cheers for Sweet and Salty!

Sweet and salty is a favorite flavor combination in so many foods we love (chocolate-covered pretzels, bacon-wrapped dates, turkey and cranberry, the list goes on), so it is only logical that the pairing works with wine and food.

Even dry, sparkling wines like the Nino Franco “Rustico” Prosecco di Valdobbiadene have a touch of sweetness. Offset sweet notes in sparkling wines by enjoying them with a salty snack or starter.

Complement Rich Fish with Chardonnay

When enjoying a rich, buttery seafood dish, a buttery Chardonnay is the perfect complement. The silky texture of a Chardonnay will help bring out the richness of fresh seafood in a full-bodied sauce.

Partner Light, Fresh Fish with Bright White Wine

Light, delicate seafood dishes can be overpowered by a wine that is too heavy. Bring out the freshness of a light seafood dish with a bright white wine, like the Trimbach “Réserve” Pinot Gris.

For seafood dishes with a tart or tangy sauce, choose a spirited white wine like Silverado Vineyards’ “Miller Ranch” Sauvignon Blanc.

Balance Sweet and Spicy Sauces With Bold Reds

For dishes with a sweet and spicy sauce, choose a bold red wine like the Tikal “Amorio” Malbec or Hedges’ “Descendants Liégeois Dupont Cuvée Marcel Dupont” Syrah. The spicy notes of these medium to full-bodied wines serve as the perfect complement to any sweet and spicy dish.

Bring out Earthy Flavors With Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is on the lighter end of the red wine spectrum. As such, it pairs especially well with earthy dishes, such as stuffed mushrooms or ribeye steak. A wine like the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir makes an incredibly versatile table wine, as it is full of savory flavor without being overly heavy.

Sizzling Steak Calls for Heavy-Hitting Reds

When eating steak, you’ll want to choose a wine with enough body and flavor to stand up to your dish. Choose a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux for red meat dishes. By balancing out the richness of your food, the tannins in these full-bodied reds serve as a palate-cleanser between bites.

When in Doubt, Ask the Pros on Wine Pairings

At Ruth’s Chris, we take great pride in providing a wine list that is equal to the variety and sophistication of our food. With such a wide selection, however, we understand that it can be difficult to make the perfect choice for your meal.

That’s where our team comes in. Our highly trained wait staff will be happy to discuss any of our wines with you, and to help you make the perfect selection.

Join us at the Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurant nearest you for an unforgettable fine dining experience.