A Guide to 10 Perfect Summer Wine and Food Pairings


A warm breeze, lots of sunshine, crisp wine, and relaxation—the essentials to a perfect summer. In one of our previous blogs, we delved into the best wines for warm weather. Below, we’re going to discuss which foods go best with those wines and explore the art of pairing summer wine and food.

Tips for Wine and Food Pairing

Before you wow your guests with your incredible wine pairing skills, there are a few concepts you should understand. This will help you to expand your knowledge to other wines and dishes. First, you need to know the six basic tastes of wine. When deciding on pairings, these are the tastes you should look for:

  • Acid
  • Bitter
  • Fat
  • Piquant (Spiciness)
  • Salt
  • Sweet

Acid, bitter, and spice all clash with one another. For example, avoid pairing highly acidic things with something bitter. The other three tastes—sweet, fat, and salt—all pair well with one another.

The majority of wine lacks the tastes of fatness, spiciness, and saltiness; however, this works in your favor as it will help you find those notes in the food. When it comes to the other three flavors, red wines will have more bitterness, white and rosé wines will be more acidic, and sweet wines will be—you guessed it—sweeter. Understanding these varying tastes is a major step in comprehending wine and food pairing.

Secondly, wine and food pairing rely on the idea of congruent (or complementary) and contrasting tastes. Complementary pairings will nicely blend opposing tastes in the wine and the food. For example, a zesty white wine such as pinot grigio complements the fat and cream found in a baked macaroni. Congruent pairings will match taste with taste; for example, if you were to take the same baked mac and cheese and pair it with a creamy chardonnay.

Finally, there are a few other quick tips that will help you solidify your beginner’s guide to wine pairing.

  • Your wine should be more acidic and sweeter than the food.
  • Try to match the flavor intensity between wine and food.
  • It’s better to match wines with the sauce of the dish than with meat.

Guide to Summer Wine and Food Pairing

Summer White Wine Pairings


1. Albariño

This Spanish wine’s high acidity, refreshing citrus flavors, and a note of brine make it a perfect partner for seafood dishes. Albariño is an incredible wine for the summer; it’s light-bodied and low in sweetness, so it pairs nicely with salty fish.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Grilled fish such as seabass or squid
  • Seared scallops
  • Fresh, raw oysters


2. Pinot Grigio

Since the flavor profiles of pinot gris can fluctuate significantly depending on the region, you need to investigate each bottle you buy. If you’re heading out to enjoy some fresh seafood and aren’t quite sure what bottle of wine to order, pinot grigio is always a stable and delicious option.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Fresh and buttery grilled or boiled lobster
  • Creole shrimp heavy with garlic and lemon
  • Grilled chicken and vegetables


3. Sauvignon Blanc

Another versatile choice, bring a bottle of sauvignon blanc to the next barbeque. It’s endlessly food-friendly—if you aren’t feeling seafood, that’s more than okay. This wine is creamy, spicy, acidic, and soft. Pay attention to the flavor profiles to get an extra delicious pairing.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Sushi
  • Grilled and roasted vegetables (in pasta or on their own)
  • Various Thai food dishes teeming with spice or citrus profiles


4. Chardonnay

This white wine can be challenging to pair with summer foods, so you have to be careful—pungent foods can easily overwhelm the subtle nature of the wine. The round and harmonious flavors of chardonnay can be heavily (and disastrously) affected by strong flavors. Pair the buttery wine with other rich and mild flavors.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Roast chicken or pork
  • Creamy pasta dishes such as a farfalle alfredo
  • A cheese-filled charcuterie board


Summer Red Wine Pairings

5. Pinot Noir

Find yourself the perfect cool-climate pinot noir for a crisp and refreshing drink with dinner. The light-body and fruit forward notes of the wine make it a perfect red for the summer. It’s one of the most versatile red wines, pairing wonderfully with meat and fish.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Classic, fresh bruschetta
  • Grilled pork chops
  • Pasta with a light red sauce


6. Lambrusco

There are a few options you can go with when pairing food with Lambrusco. Most people gravitate toward the sweet and refreshing Lambrusco di Sorbara, perfect for days on the beach. However, when you want to pair Lambrusco with dinner, go for the more refined and authentic Lambrusco secco—totally dry, perfectly acidic, and quite fruity.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Grilled bratwurst and sauerkraut
  • BBQ pork sandwich
  • Duck confit


7. Frappato

Chilled reds are the ultimate match for grilled chicken, and we are obsessed with the Sicilian wine, Frappato. It’s rich in minerality and boasts a strawberry and muddled basil flavor profile. The summer wine is high in acid with no tannins—you’ll want to chill this wine before pairing and serving.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Nicely charred grilled chicken
  • Swordfish and other big fish species
  • Fresh tomatoes and cheeses


8. Carménère

Originally confused as Merlot, Carménère is an easy to drink, slightly fuller-bodied red wine. A nice summer wine when served lightly chilled, this is the red you want to pair with your perfectly prepared steak. Rich in flavors of violets and red cherries, the wine meshes well with meaty dishes and is fabulous when reduced into a sauce.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • A thick and juicy steak
  • Herb-crusted rack of lamb
  • Mediterranean salad full of dark, leafy greens and peppers


Summer Rosé Pairings

9. Grenache Rosé

A wine to help you handle those unbearably hot summer days, grenache rosé wonderfully blends tannins and acidity to leave you with a refreshing aftertaste. A deeper red on the rosé scale, grenache wines are full of berry and cherry flavors that are lovely to pair with your favorite salads.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Shrimp and artichoke salad with a lemon vinaigrette
  • Caesar salad wrap
  • Vegetarian flatbreads


10. Sangiovese Rosé

Another fabulous rosé option, sangiovese rosés are bursting with notes of melon, peach, and rose. Salmon pink in color, it’s best to serve this rosé chilled to showcase the many layers of the wine. It’s a bold enough wine that can handle a wide variety of foods—no matter what you decide to do for dinner, sangiovese rosé can probably handle it.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Orange or teriyaki chicken
  • Caprese salad and prosciutto
  • Thai curry

When you’re searching for the best wine to go with your meal, entrust Wines ‘Til Sold Out to provide you with the top wines of the season. Our wine home delivery service is the perfect way to enjoy the summer holidays—eat, drink, and be merry with the perfect summer wine and food pairings.


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