The perfect gluten-free food and wine pairing is greater than the sum of its parts. Each sip and each bite work in harmony to draw subtle flavors out of each other. It can inspire conversation when with guests or contemplation when alone, but either way, drinking the right wine with the right food elevates the experience for all.
We’ve taken seven of our favorite gluten-free recipes and put together some tips for finding the right style of wine to go with each. You can use the principles here and apply them to similar dishes so you are always assured that you have a nectarous wine that pairs perfectly with your meal.
Honey Pear and Brie Toasts
Nothing begs for a glass of wine like fruit, cheese and bread. This appetizer is the perfect combination of sweet, crisp, fresh and creamy. To complement those qualities, look no further than a bottle of chardonnay.
To lean into the creaminess of the brie and the sweetness of the honey, try an oaked chardonnay from California. To complement the crispness of the pear, look for chardonnay from Burgundy, France.
Strawberry and Chicken Salad with Lime Dressing
Such a colorful, playful and bright salad demands a wine that is equally so. Typically sipped on the front porch or on the beach, this is the perfect opportunity for a bottle of rosé to make it on the dinner table. Combining the crispness and light body of a white wine with the fruitiness of a red, rosé will taste like an extra ingredient to this eclectic salad.
Some of the best rosé comes from Provence, France, but regions all around the world are making rosé with almost every red wine grape varietal.
Roast Rosemary Pork Chops with Apples and Potatoes
On the scale of red meat to white meat, pork sits near the middle, making it quite versatile for wine pairing. However, out of all the possibilities, a light bodied pinot noir from Burgundy, France stands out as the best match for this dish. This style will be fruit-forward enough to balance out the spices, crisp enough to complement the apple and have just enough tannins to cut through the pork.
Pinot noir from this region can be incredibly high quality and also incredibly pricey, but even the bottom tier red burgundy wines, usually labelled “Bourgogne Rouge,” can be elegant and complex.
Golden Fish Fillets
It makes sense that a country that catches and eats a lot of fish would also produce wines perfect to drink along with various seafood dishes. That’s why we look to Portugal to find an ideal wine for this simple, but delicious, recipe. Fortunately, Portuguese wines are some of the best values out there. The prices are perfect for a Wednesday night, but the quality is fit for a Sunday.
You may already be familiar with Vinho Verde, an easy drinking white wine that typically has light carbonation. The crisp and citrusy notes are a refreshing companion to flaky white fish. For a bubble-less alternative from Portugal, look for an Albariño, which typically has a subtle saltiness to it, reminiscent of the ocean.
Thin-Crust BBQ Pizza with Crispy Bacon
There’s nothing better than when something as sophisticated as wine meets something as unpretentious as pizza. With so many possible toppings, there are many possible wines to pair with them. For this recipe, we want something that is going to hold up against the tangy, sweet and spiciness of the barbecue sauce.
Our first choice is a Malbec from Argentina. Malbec tends to be rich and fruit-forward with a solid tannic structure to hold up against the intense flavors of the pizza sauce. It also has a smokier finish than many other wines, which is a a great complement to the pulled pork and bacon.
Pasta and Meat Sauce
Bring a taste of Italy into your home by pairing this yummy sauce with a Sangiovese! This grape can be found in various wines from Italy, from the high end Brunello di Montalcino to popular Super Tuscan blends.
For this dish, look for a Sangiovese on the more traditional and rustic side, particularly a Chianti Classico. The firm, tannic structure and earthiness will pierce through the savory flavors of the beef and tomatoes.
Pecan Layer Cake with Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate and spice can be tricky to pair. Pick something too tannic and the chocolate will be too bitter, the spice too hot. Pick something too light and it will taste dull and watered down. The perfect answer is a fruit-forward red wine.
To honor the Hispanic theme of this recipe, choose a young Spanish Garnacha from Calatayud, a particularly warm region which results in riper grapes and jammier wine.
Nate Stowe is a manager of Long Ridge Wine and Spirits, a fine wine, craft beer and boutique spirits shop in Plymouth, Massachusetts.