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Leith Ashworth
6 July 2024 | Leith Ashworth

Wine Pairing 101







Just like there is a craft to making wine, there is also a craft to pairing it to the right food. The schematics of which may seem daunting, but most of the time it's as easy as drinking wine while eating food.

Here at Ash Ridge, we have the luxury of wine tasting alongside award-winning head chef and owner of St Georges, Francky Godinho. Here, their menus are a reflection of their food philosophy — real food tastes better — which means every dish has an emphasis on fresh ingredients, organic veggies, sustainable practices, unwavering quality & local provenance. 

It's a very similar philosophy to our style of winemaking, where our small team of winemakers strive to surprise you with a large number of different, quality varieties, and to produce  fresh, vibrant, sustainable and highly acclaimed wines.

The collaboration between the two businesses is a match made in heaven, with both Leith and Francky providing wine pairing expertise we are always excited to learn from. Their main philosophy is that great food and wine pairings showcase a balance of characters seen both in the wine and in the dish components.

And while this sounds complex, it's not…once you understand the first few basics! So let's dive in.


When you are first trying to decide on how to pair a food with a wine, think first of what it is. Is it red, white, sparkling, or a dessert?

Whites generally pair best with lighter meats, including fish and chicken, while reds often pair well with more intense meats, such as steak, lamb, or venison. Here, the intensity of the wine most often corresponds to the intensity of the flavours.

It is also important to take into consideration the balance of acidity and sweetness.  Do you want the wine to balance the sweetness of the food with its higher acidity, or do you want it to have the same flavour intensity. A perfect combination we find is St Georges Chocolate caramel tart—adorned with chocolate malt crumb, mandarin, and coffee ice cream—paired with The Winston NV Ruby Syrah—our Ruby Syrah that is sweet, exuberant, & friendly, just like Winston, the Ashworth family's beloved labrador.

Similarly to acid and sweetness, there is a balance between fattiness and astringency. A general rule of thumb is that the more fatty the food, the more astringent the wine. Think St Georges Butternut Gnocchi, which is adorned with gorgonzola cream, chorizo , pear salad, and crispy parmesan–paired with our 2020 Premium Malbec; a vibrant wine with aromatics of juicy forest fruits, violets & spice. 

The other important consideration you must make before pairing a wine to a dish, is to look at its flavour profiles. To ensure that they complement each other and don’t compete for attention. Below is a guide to pairing some basic dishes to some of our favourite varieties and styles based on their complementary aroma and flavour profiles.

Sparkling Wines:

  • Bubbly, refreshing, and fruity.
  • It pairs well with salty foods such as potato chips, caviar, and seafood.

Sauvignon Blanc:

  • Vibrant, zesty, and highly aromatic.
  • It pairs well with tart and tangy foods such as goat cheese and lemon tarts.


  • Floral, rich, and oily.
  • It pairs well with Asian foods such as pad thai, green papaya salad, and sweet and sour pork.


  • Creamy, rich, and zesty.
  • It pairs well with rich sauces and fatty seafood. 


  • Flirty, fruit-forward, easy drinking.
  • It pairs well with almost anything! A perfect wine for tapas.


  • Warm, spiced, and floral.
  • It pairs well with sweeter foods such as barbecued meats and chocolate.


  • Bold, fruit-forward, and peppery.
  • It pairs well with spicy foods such as Penne Arrabbiata.


With all of this new knowledge, it's time for you to go out and experiment. Make an unlikely pairing and see if you enjoy it. At the end of the day, it truly comes down to drinking what you enjoy with the food you love. If you already know what types of wine you love, join our club, order online, or visit our cellar door. 




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