Wine pairing involves finding the perfect partner for a dish – it can make a good meal into a great meal.

It can often be tricky knowing what wine to serve with food. There is no definitive list or guide detailing what wine must be served with a certain meal, but some wines complement foods and flavours more than others.

Our expert team, from the bar at The Hand and Flowers, give you their ultimate guide to matching food with wine.




A full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, is known for the big, juicy dark grapes from which it is made giving the wine a low acidity. These wines will have a mouth-coating density and the barrel it is rested in also leaves behind a gently spiced flavour.

These wines go well with venison, beef or game.


A medium-bodied red wine, such as Merlot and Barbera, will have a fairly herbaceous flavour complimented by robust tannins and high acidity. Merlot is arguably one of the most well-rounded grapes that offer flavours of ripe plum and dark cherry making the wines that it produces very easy drinking. Barbera, which is from Italy, will have a slightly higher acidity than Merlot and higher tannins.

These wines go well with rabbit, veal, duck and liver.


A light-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir and Gamay, are made with Fresh cherry, red currants, leather and flowers (mostly violets) meaning they have a lighter colour and a higher acidity.

These wines go well with cheese, cured and grilled meats and chicken.




Rosé wines, such as Grenache and Sangiovese, are also made with red grapes giving the wine a light and juicy taste – think raspberries and strawberries. Or there are more complex rosés such as Mourvèdre which has a more intense, black colour and has higher tannins.

Rosé wines go well with trifles, fresh fruit and shellfish.

white wine


Full-bodied white wines, such as Oaked Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla, have a firm and buttery structure with light, smokey flavours and aromas. Ribolla is slightly lighter than Chardonnay with flavours of citrus and apple.

These wines go well with chicken, monkfish and green veg.

Light-bodied white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinela, have a noticeably fresh, ‘green’ flavour with apple, grass and vine that balance the acidity.

These wines go well with fish, risotto and cheeses.


Aromatic white wines, such as Moscato and Riesling, have ripe peach-y flavours with hints of honey and melon. Riesling is a slightly drier aromatic white wine with notes of petrol and flint.

These wines go well with Thai food, spicy dishes and pork.




Dessert and fortified wines, such as Port and Sherry, tend to be dry and sweet. Sherry can be very dry or cloyingly sweet while Port tends to be very sweet and sticky, but you can also get dry and white varieties.


These wines go well with desserts, cheese, liver and brioche.


Sparkling wines, such as champagne, cava and prosecco, are fresh flavoured with a high acidity which makes them great aperitifs as they set your palate before food. When aged, they can have biscuit or toasty favours.


These wines are best served before food or with light deserts such as mousse.

We hope these recommendations help you make a well-informed decision when choosing wine to accompany your food. But remember ultimately it is a matter of individual taste and choice. So have fun experimenting with different flavours, aromas and creating unique combinations.