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In Good Taste

Better Together: Food & Wine Quiz

Better Together: Food & Wine Quiz

Find the Perfect Pairing

Do You Know How To Pair Wine with Food?

Wine pairing: is it a science or an art? Truth be told, it’s a little of both. While there are technical reasons that you’d want to pair Cabernet Sauvignon instead of Riesling with your barbecue bacon cheeseburger, choosing the Cab over a bold Syrah is a little more subjective and really a matter of personal taste. 

 It’s one thing to know that a wine pairs with a specific food. It’s something else entirely to understand why. When you know why certain food and wine pairings work, you’ll be able to expand your pairing adventures and experiment with different pairings.

Take Our Wine Pairing Quiz

We think learning about wine should be fun, so we’ll keep things easy. We’ll share some popular wine pairings, but it’s up to you to figure out why those pairings work. (And don’t worry, our quiz questions are multiple-choice — because everyone knows those are the best kind.)

Pinot Noir & Pasta Dishes

Wine Pairings: Pinot Noir and Pasta

Why does this pairing work?

A) Because “pinot & pasta pairing” makes for wonderful alliteration.

B) Pairing French wine with Italian dishes encourages cross-cultural goodwill.

C) Pinot Noir’s light body and low tannins pair nicely with marinara and pesto sauces.

D) Both A & B.

C) Pinot Noir’s light body and low tannins pair nicely with marinara and pesto sauces.

Pinot Grigio & Seafood

Wine Pairings: Pinot Grigio & Seafood

Why does this pairing work?

A) Most Pinot Grigio grapes are grown in one of the world’s oldest fishing villages.

B) White wine goes with white fish. It’s basic color theory.

C) Pinot Grigio’s high acidity gives it a crisp finish that allows fish and shellfish flavors to shine through.

D) None of the above.

C) Pinot Grigio’s high acidity gives it a crisp finish that allows fish and shellfish flavors to shine through.

Prosecco & Prosciutto

Wine Pairings: Prosecco & Prosciutto

Why does this pairing work?

A) The words are so close to each other that the pairing just makes sense.

B) The fruity sweetness of Prosecco balances the savory saltiness of the prosciutto.

C) Prosecco is an Italian wine, and prosciutto traces its origins back to Italy.

D) All of the above.

B) The fruity sweetness of Prosecco balances the savory saltiness of the prosciutto.

Rosé & Cheese

Wine Pairings: Rose & Cheese

Why does this pairing work?

A) Rosé balances red wine sweetness with white wine crispness, allowing it to pair with cheeses ranging from salty feta to tangy goat cheese to creamy mozzarella.

B) Rosé enthusiasts are convinced that their favorite wine goes with any food.

C) The saying “Rosé all day” is slightly cheesy, which explains the pairing.

D) Don’t pick this one. The answer is “A.”

A) Rosé balances red wine sweetness with white wine crispness, allowing it to pair with cheeses ranging from salty feta to tangy goat cheese to creamy mozzarella.

Malbec & Barbecue

Wine Pairings: Malbec & BBQ

Why does this pairing work?

A) 70% of the world’s Malbec comes from Argentina, and Argentina’s national dish is Asado, a distinctive form of barbecued meat.

B) Malbec is a bold wine, so bold that it pairs with whatever it wants. And it wants barbecue.

C) This isn’t the answer, but it’s worth noting that, while they have nothing to do with why Malbec pairs with barbecue, both statements in option “A” are true.

D) Full-bodied Malbec offers intense fruit notes that highlight tangy barbecue sauces and a hint of smokiness that pulls the smoked meat flavors forward.

D) Full-bodied Malbec offers intense fruit notes that highlight tangy barbecue sauces and a hint of smokiness that pulls the smoked meat flavors forward.

Cabernet Sauvignon & Steak (or Burgers)

Wine Pairings: Cabernet Sauvignon & Steak

Why does this pairing work?

A) It’s simple. Sauvignon is French for “steak.”

B) Red meat. Red wine. It just makes sense.

C) Cabernet Sauvignon’s high tannins cut through the natural fattiness of ribeye, sirloin, and burgers, and its rich black cherry notes enhance flavorful cuts like flank and hanger steaks.

D) Please tell us you didn’t pick “A.” We made that up.

C) Cabernet Sauvignon’s high tannins cut through the natural fattiness of ribeye, sirloin, and burgers, and its rich black cherry notes enhance flavorful cuts like flank and hanger steaks.

Chardonnay & Grilled Chicken

Wine Pairings: Chardonnay & Grilled Chicken

Why does this pairing work?

A) Chardonnay is the world’s most popular wine. Chicken is the world’s most popular white meat. Pairing is basically a popularity contest.

B) Oaked Chardonnay features a smooth, buttery quality that adds richness to the chicken and rounds out the charred flavor from the grill.

C) The soft “ch” sound in Chardonnay offsets the punchier “ch” in chicken, and the linguistic balance carries over to the flavor experience.

D) If you haven’t selected “B” already, go ahead. That’s the move.

B) Oaked Chardonnay features a smooth, buttery quality that adds richness to the chicken and rounds out the charred flavor from the grill.

Champagne & Popcorn

Wine Pairings: Champagne & Popcorn

Why does this pairing work?

A) Champagne’s light sweetness balances popcorn’s saltiness, and its subtle toasty notes go surprisingly well with popcorn’s natural flavor.

B) Champagne is a high-society beverage. Popcorn is the snack of everyday people. The unlikely pairing is a foodie fairytale.

C) It doesn’t, really. This pairing is just a clever gimmick that movie theater owners came up with to expand their concession options (and boost revenue).

D) We all know you picked “A.” And that’s ok, because it was the right answer.

A) Champagne’s light sweetness balances popcorn’s saltiness, and its subtle toasty notes go surprisingly well with popcorn’s natural flavor.

Congratulations! You finished our Food & Wine Pairing Quiz. How’d you do? Whether you aced it or had to take a few extra guesses, we hope you learned something new and picked up a few tips that will help you find the perfect pairing for your next meal or social event.

Most of all, we hope you had fun — because if you’re not enjoying the wine pairing process, what’s the point? Here’s to favorite foods, delicious wines, surprising pairings, and fun-filled experiences. Cheers!

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