Selecting the wine to go with the meal can be intimidating, because while no dinner has ever been ruined with the "wrong" wine, the right wine can enhance a dish to perfection. There are no hard and fast rules on matching food and wine, because it's ultimately a matter of personal taste, but the best food and wine pairings create a balance between the components of a dish and the characteristics of a wine. At The Mill Kitchen and Bar, we know a thing or two about wine, so we're here today with some basic tips on how to pair great wine with great food.

Red & White Wine Pairings

When it comes to wine and food pairings, the general rule of thumb is white wines for lighter dishes, like chicken and fish, and red wines for heavier dishes, like beef and lamb. Generally speaking, red wines are full of color and mouth-puckering tannins, allowing them to cut through fatty foods and hold up to bold flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec are a few that would fit the bill for a great steak dinner. With lighter meats though, it’s important to pair the wine with the sauce, as it’s most likely the primary flavor on the plate. For example, a pasta dish with lemon-cream sauce would pair well with a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc or a fruit-forward Pinot Grigios.   

Finding the Perfect Flavor Balance

To choose the perfect wine to highlight your meal, you should consider the dish as a whole. Is it salty, bitter, spicy, sweet, acidic, or fatty? Once you determine the overall flavor profile, you can choose a wine that complements or contrasts with the dominant flavors. The classic combination of a dry red wine with steak works because the wine has a similarly bold flavor, and the bitterness cuts through the fat. But, when choosing dessert, the flavors in a rich fatty cheesecake generally perform better when contrasted against a more acidic wine, or one with higher alcohol content, like a liqueur or sherry. 

As much as pairing food and wine is complex, the basics are simple to grasp: Drink and eat what you like, try to find a balance between flavors, and try to match the wine with the most prominent flavors of a dish. If you’re just getting started, you’ll find these methods useful to produce consistently great pairings. And as you get more familiar with different wines, you can confidently experiment with breaking the rules.

Enjoy Flawless Wine Pairing in Action at The Mill!

We live for great wine and great food at The Mill Kitchen and Bar! Join us on November 19th at 7:00 PM for The Prisoner Wine Dinner! We’ll be featuring highly regarded wines from The Prisoner Wine Company, expertly paired with a custom menu from Chef Flynn. It’s just one of many events we feature to highlight outstanding wines! Call 770-817-9345 today for tickets!

Frequently Asked Questions about The Mill Kitchen and Bar

Does The Mill Kitchen and Bar allow dogs on the patio?

Bring your furry friend and join us on the patio, we’ll have the fire going to keep you warm on chilly nights!

Does The Mill Kitchen and Bar have a good wine selection?

Yes! We feature a large selection of well-known and small-batch wines from wineries all around the world. Ask your bartender or server for advice on making a great pairing!