The Basics of Pairing Food & Wine

Here at The Vault Downtown, we pride ourselves on offering our patrons the very best selection of food and drinks. Perhaps you’ve taken the time to read up on some of the habits and etiquette that accompany the world of fine dining, and you’ve always been curious about the experts who are able to pair wine with food and create the most exquisite combinations. This might seem like a complex art form from afar, but we’re here to give some basic tips to help you understand it a little bit better. 

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The Big Three 

There are three main flavorings that wines are typically categorized into. These take the form of acidity (white wines, rose, and sparkling), bitterness (red), and sweetness (sangria). These flavorings are often paired with the basic components of a dish. 

Basic Pairings Simplified 

Red wines are best paired with robust dishes that contain a fair amount of meat. For instance, if you’re eating a thick slab of steak, red wine will be an excellent choice to pair it with, such as a cabernet sauvignon or a merlot. Barbecue and spicier dishes pair better with Malbec and Shiraz. 

White wines don’t particularly pair well with lean meats, but they do exceptionally well with lighter variations such as seafood, desserts, and certain vegetables. Lobster, chicken curry, lemon meringue pie, and pasta dishes such as macaroni, cheese, and lasagna all go exceptionally well with white wines. 

Sweet wines such as rose and sangria are best paired with foods that are served cold, such as gazpacho, pasta salad, and prosciutto and crackers. They also go really well with oysters and other seafood offerings that you might find at a raw bar at any seafood restaurant. 

Be Adventurous! 

Taste is something that’s subjective. While these rules are certainly ideal for basic pairings, they’re not the be-all-end-all for dining out. Trying new things is always enjoyable, and you should always feel free to try new pairings with the food and wine you have for any meal. And when you come and visit The Vault Downtown, you’ll have the advantage of having an endless amount of combinations to try, all of which are held to the highest standards of quality. For a complete menu, information on how you can make a reservation, and a lot more, RSVP today at