The best food and wine pairings

Posted by Anthea England on | Tags: Lifestyle , Nutrition , Recipes



At THR1VE, we’re all about balance. It can’t be all green juices and Kombucha, all the time, right? Sometimes we like to enjoy a glass of celebratory bubbly, a crisp white wine in summer or a tasty red on a winter’s evening.


As foodies, we were curious to find out which wines pair best with our favourite meals. So, we caught up with Mark Pollard, the Wine Director at   to discover how to find the perfect match. “The secret is choosing a wine that will play nice with your meal, not smother it or fight with its flavours,” he says. We’re on board! Plus, we even scored you a sweet deal unlocking   if you want to taste test these matches first hand.


Pairing 101

“As a general rule of thumb, the more delicate the food, the lighter the wine should be,” Pollard explains. “If the food is richer and more flavourful, the bolder the wine can be.”


From there, there’s a few extra things to consider. “It’s the dish’s preparation and accompaniments that have the last word. A creamy curry or tomato sauce can heavily influence your wine choice. It’s all about balance — whether you choose a wine to match the flavour profile of the meal, like Shiraz with a rich beef stew, or contrast it, like Pinot Grigio with a creamy risotto.”


Your Proteins

One of the simple ways to start finding the perfect wine match is to consider the protein in the dish. That means if you have a favourite homemade meal or THR1VE go-to, you can easily find a drop to complement it. Here are Pollard’s top recommendations.



“While white wine or Rosé is the usual go-to for seafood, you might be surprised that a light red works with some dishes,” Pollard points out. “Pair more delicate fish like Sole or Snapper with light whites like Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris. Richer, more oily fish like Salmon sit perfectly well alongside a glass of Rosé or, yes, Pinot Noir! Shellfish typically goes with anything from bubbles to Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or even a light red if you’re feeling adventurous. Champagne and oysters, anyone?!”



Looking for a wine to pair with one of our delicious chicken dishes? Pollard has the perfect matches. “White wines, Rosé and light reds like Pinot Noir are your chicken friends,” Pollard says. “Sauvignon Blanc goes nicely with a light herby chicken dish, and Chardonnay or even Pinot Noir for a richer baked dinner. If you get into hot curry territory, try switching it up to an off-dry Riesling — the slight sweetness will dampen the heat.”



“Our old friend Pinot Noir pops up again here (is there anything that wine can’t do?!) along with crisp whites that can cut through pork's fatty nature.” Want Pollard’s recommendations? “Try a dry Riesling or Pinot Gris with your roast pork, Pinot Noir or Grenache with pork belly and a GSM with spiced ribs.”



“Now we’re starting to get into bigger red territory with this slightly gamey meat. Roast lamb can take gutsy pairings like Cabernet Merlot and Malbec in its stride,” Pollard says. Love Shiraz? Pollard recommends pairing it with slow cooked lamb dishes. 



Are you a fan of our pulled beef with roasted carrot and capsicum salsa or our Korean beef keto bowl? Big reds will be your friend here. “Pair a juicy BBQ steak with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec,” Pollard advises. “Or a slow cooked beef casserole with Merlot or Tempranillo. Hamburgers more your thing? Try one with a glass of Cabernet.”



Want to introduce more plant-based dishes into your diet? There are some tasty wines you can pair with veggie-rich meals. Pollard gives the following guidelines: “Green veg is a natural fit with dry whites, while BBQ veggies, ratatouille, rich pastas and mushroom dishes can take more robust reds like Shiraz. Pair creamy-flavoured dishes with a Chardonnay and try spicy food with a nice Moscato.”


Desserts and cheese

If you’re going all out with a nice bottle of wine, you might want to finish your meal with something sweet. However, you want to be careful about going overboard on sugar – not just for health reasons, either. “Matching sweet wine with sweet food is tricky,” Pollard warns. “Too much sugar can throw the whole dish off. A fruity apple tart works well with a late-harvest Riesling or Moscato. Chocolate dishes like a rich dark mousse go down nicely with a fortified wine like Topaque. And your creamy treats like Creme Brulée with Sauternes.”


More of a cheese plate fan? Pollard says you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to matching wine with cheese. “Port and Stilton is a classic combo, and Sherry a natural fit for Spanish cheese like Manchego. But have you tried Brie and an oakey old Chardy? Heaven!”


The wine connoisseur’s meal plan

If you want to experiment with food and wine pairings, the best thing to do is just get tasting! Tough, right?


Lucky for us, Pollard has paired some of his favourite drops from Naked Wines with our meals so you can try a few perfect matches out.


Our Meals

Perfect Naked Wines Match

Rosemary & Thyme Seasoned Chicken with Crunchy Veg

Small and Small Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Pesto Chicken Breast with Roasted Pumpkin Zucchini and Quinoa

R. Paulazzo NSW Chardonnay 2020

Green Salsa Verde Fish with Seasonal Veg

Obelisk Wines Ded Reckoning Pinot Gris 2020

Pulled Beef with Roasted Carrot & Capsicum Salsa

Cellar Works Shiraz 2020

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and Mixed Veg

Brian Fletcher Estate Margaret River Cabernet 

Chinese Five Spice Beef with Broccoli & Cauliflower Rice

Army Of Grapes Pinot Noir 2020



Spot any of your favourite meals there? Inspired to mix and match your own favourites with your new found knowledge?


If you haven’t tried Naked Wines before, now’s your chance. We’ve even unlocked  !


Naked Wines connects you with Australia + New Zealand’s best Independent winemakers to pair with your favourite THR1VE meals.


 , with code THR1VE and password JNW15PJ3 or feel free to share with your friends and family. Enjoy!



*T’s & C’s apply


The boring bits: To use this voucher you must be 18 years or older. Delivery not included. This voucher entitles first time Naked Wines customers to $100 off their first order of 12 bottles. All orders are a minimum of 12 bottles, and a minimum spend of $155.88. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. *Next day delivery is available to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth metro areas for orders placed before 3pm. We don’t ship to Northern Territory. Delivery not included. Offer is subject to change. See website for full Terms and Conditions.



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