15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairings

F&W’s Ray Isle created pairing principles for the world’s most important wines, then the F&W Test Kitchen came up with stellar recipes to match. The result: 15 simple rules that will steer you to the best wine and food pairings ever.

Wineries by the Sea: U.S. No place blends wine country and surf culture better than the Central Coast, which spans about 300 miles from Santa Cruz to Ventura County. The 70-degree year-round weather makes winery-hopping especially fun in Santa Barbara County, where some tasting rooms have sandy floors and Pacific Ocean views.
Ultimate Napa Wine & Pizza Party Building a clay oven is a little like a barn raising, the owners of Napa’s Fatted Calf and their friends discover: When the work’s done, the celebration starts.
Wineries by the Sea: South Africa Great wine and waves can be found from Cape Town to the Walker Bay wine region. In August, Miles Mossop of Stellenbosch’s Tokara winery organizes more than 50 local winemakers for a two-day surf contest called the Vintners Surf Classic. The entry fee: six bottles, which Mossop blends and bottles in magnums.
American Wine Awards 2009 F&W’s 12th annual American Wine Awards honor a shrewd importer, several terrific winemakers and great bottles that are also great values.
Wineries by the Sea: Portugal This stretch of coast is filled with fishing villages and tiny beach towns, including Sintra, the former summer retreat of the Portuguese royal court. Colares is also one of the world’s most unusual wine-growing zones, because its sandy soils are immune to the vine pest phylloxera.
A Lesson in Spanish Tapas At New York City’s Boqueria, chef Seamus Mullen creates exceptional tapas and small plates. F&W simplifies and supersizes his best recipes.
Wineries by the Sea: France & Spain Straddling both France and Spain, this region has long been synonymous with glamorous beaches, great food and hard-to-pronounce wines. In recent years, the area has also become known for its waves; both Mundaka and Biarritz are now destinations on the world surf circuit.
Favorite New Dessert Cookbooks This preview of fall’s top baking books celebrates easy American desserts of all kinds, from a creative chocolate-nut pound cake to a classic Southern lemon icebox pie.
Wineries by the Sea: Australia Western Australia’s vast wine region, four hours south of Perth, became famous in the 1960s when surf film The Endless Summer featured its epic waves. Today, wineries around this 60-mile coastal area and its main town, also called Margaret River, grab the world’s attention with superior Cabernet and Chardonnay.
Wineries by the Sea Some of the world’s best beaches are minutes from world-class vineyards. F&W’s Jen Murphy names the best places to combine wine tasting with surfing, swimming, sunning and eating.
Joe Bastianich’s Energizing Italian Recipes Looking to lose weight, star restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich began running. And running. Now a marathoner, he stays energized with the recipes here.
Where to Stay and Eat in Oaxaca, Mexico Oaxaca de Juárez has long been a city celebrated by cultural travelers: revered for its complex cuisine and its contributions to folk and modern art. Here, some of this Mexican city’s great restaurants and cafés.
Insider’s Guide to French Wine Country Famed wine regions like the Loire are becoming more accessible—and friendly new restaurants are a big part of the attitude adjustment.
Wine-Shop Stars For sommeliers, a visit to one of these stores is as much fun as it is work.
How to Be a Smarter Wine Shopper F&W’s Ray Isle tells how to navigate every part of a wine store, from the discount bins to the cabinets under lock-and-key, and come home with a delicious bottle.
Mind Blowing Glass Designs Twisted or puffy, tall or squat, the international assortment of glasses and decanters at Clo wine bar in New York City are a beautiful break from tradition.
Eating in Wine Country Sommeliers often travel to scout new wines, discovering restaurants along the way.
F&W Wine Guide 2010 Food & Wine’s Wine Guide 2010 is like a pocket-size sommelier eager to tell you what to drink, why it’s good and what the important trends are. Here, a peek.
Wines for Drinking, Not Overthinking Why can’t we talk about wine as easily as we talk about food? Writer Salma Abdelnour seeks out a common language while drinking Pinot Grigio with burgers.
What Sommeliers Know Best F&W asked 24 of the country’s savviest wine experts for tips on everything from finding the best value bottles to coping with a crumbly cork.
Oaxaca’s Art and Food Rebels While tracking down art for a provocative exhibit, writer Douglas Anthony Cooper discovers fabulous recipes from this Mexican city’s great restaurants and cafés.
Understanding Oregon Pinot Noir Country Novelist Chang-rae Lee explores the Willamette Valley and meets winemakers stubbornly protecting their independence.