How to Decipher an Intimidating Wine List

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Keep this cheat sheet from Matt Lilien, founder of Wine Wala advising company, in your purse.


Tastes like: Tropical fruits, with a buttery finish

Pair it with: Pork, chicken, seafood, strong cheeses

Pinot Grigio (Gris)

Tastes like: Lemons, green apples, pears

Pair it with: Salads, light fish, light cheeses, white pizza

Sauvignon Blanc

Tastes like: Citrus, tropical fruits, herbs, gooseberries

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Pair it with: Salads, vegetables, fish


Tastes like: Apples, pears, flowers, minerals

Pair it with: Fish, cheeses, chicken, light appetizers, desserts (for sweet Riesling)


Tastes like: Lychees, spices, flowers

Pair it with: Asian foods, spicy foods, strong cheeses

Cabernet Sauvignon

Tastes like: Cassis, black currants, herbs, cedar

Pair it with: Beef, lamb, stews


Tastes like: Black cherries, plums, spices

Pair it with: Lamb shank, duck, sausage

Pinot Noir

Tastes like: Cherries, strawberries, spices, flowers

Pair it with: Salmon, tuna, pork


Tastes like: Blackberries, black pepper, spices

Pair it with: Chicken, BBQ, curries, stews

What do you think?