Perfect Pairings Just one trip to our Wine Tasting Room here at Cathedral Ridge Winery, you’ll know we’re serious about the love and enjoyment of our wine. Nowhere is it more evident than our pursuit of the perfect food and wine pairing. We hope you enjoy our growing collection of Recipes for pairing your favorite foods and our exceptional wines. Each month we’ll share a new food & wine pairing recipe that explores the season’s selection of fruits and vegetables.


Ten generally accepted Rules-of-Thumb

  1. If you are taking wine as a gift to a dinner party, don’t worry about matching the wine to the food unless you have been requested to do so and have enough information about what is being served to make an informed choice. Match quality of food and wine. A grand dinner party with multiple courses of elaborately prepared dishes deserves a better wine than hamburgers on the grill with chips in a bag.
  2. When you’re serving more than one wine at a meal, it’s customary to serve lighter wines before full-bodied ones. Dry wines should be served before sweet wines unless a sweet flavored dish is served early in the meal. In that case match the sweet dish with a similarly sweet wine. Lower alcohol wines should be served before higher alcohol wines.
  3. Balance flavor intensity. Pair light-bodied wines with lighter food and fuller-bodied wines with heartier, more flavorful, richer and fattier dishes. Consider how the food is prepared. Delicately flavored foods, poached or steamed, pair best with delicate wines. It’s easier to pair wines with more flavorfully prepared food, braised, grilled, roasted or sauteed. Pair the wine with the sauce, seasoning or dominant flavor of the dish.
  4. Match flavors. An earthy Pinot Noir goes well with mushroom soup and the grapefruit/citrus taste of Chardonnay goes with fish for the same reasons that lemon does.
  5. Balance sweetness. But, beware of pairing a wine with food that is sweeter than the wine. For example Chocolate goes well with our Cabernet Sauvignon and is also good with a dark beer.
  6. Consider pairing opposites. Very hot or spicy foods, some Thai dishes, or hot curries for example often work best with sweet wines, like our Riesling. Opposing flavors can play off each other, creating new flavor sensations and cleansing the palate.
  7. Match by geographic location. Regional foods and wines, having developed together over time, often have a natural affinity for each other.
  8. Pair wine and cheese. In some European countries the best wine is reserved for the cheese course. Red wines, such as our Zinfandel go well with mild to sharp cheese. Pungent and intensely flavored cheese is better with a sweeter wine, such as our Riesling. Goat Cheeses pair well with dry white wine, while milder cheeses pair best with fruiter red wine. Soft cheese like Camembert and Brie, if not over ripe, pair well with just about any red wine including CabernetZinfandel and our own Bordheauxd Red.
  9. Adjust food flavor to better pair with the wine. Sweetness in a dish will increase the awareness of bitterness and astringency in wine, making it appear drier, stronger and less fruity. High amounts of acidity in food will decrease awareness of sourness in wine and making it taste richer and mellower, sweet wine will taste sweeter.
  10. Bitter flavors in food increase the perception of bitter, tannic elements in wine. Sourness and salt in food suppress bitter taste in wine. Salt in food can tone down the bitterness and astringency of wine and may make sweet wines taste sweeter. Most importantly enjoy!

Taste on


Try one of our food and wine recipes for perfect pairing with our wines. Recipes come from wine club members, staff and friends. Not seeing what you were hoping for? Just ask or feel free to email us your favorite recipe!

Riesling 2012 View Now Button 

Necessity White 2012 View Now Button 

Rusty Red 2011 View Now Button

RockStar 2010View Now Button 

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merlot 2011View Now Button

Cabernet 2011View Now Button

2011 Necessity Red View Now Button 

2012 BarberaView Now Button

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2011 Bordheauxd View Now Button 

2011 Tempranillo View Now Button 

cab/merlot 2011View Now Button 

2011 Dampier View Now Button