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Perfect Wines To Pair With Appetizers (Your Illustrated Guide)

Find the right wine to match with your favorite snacks and tasty apps. Here are some top-rated recipes and the wines that live to love them.

1) Sparkling Wine and Salty Snacks

Sparkling wines are very food friendly. Their acidity keeps the palate refreshed and on the alert, and their lowish alcohol level won't overwhelm food. Yes, they pair well with fancy, sophisticated foods (Champagne is a classic match with caviar, for example), but bubbles also thrill to no-frills salty snacks (like french fries, potato chips, and popcorn) and fried foods like fish-and-chips. Sparkling wine loves them all!

Chef John's French Fries


Chef John's French Fries

Photo by Baking Nana

Homemade Potato Chips


Potato Chips

Photo by Tricia

2) Cabernet Sauvignon and Beef Sliders

Full-bodied and rich, Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic pairing partner for meaty dishes like beef and lamb. Nothing's better than a simple grilled cheeseburger and a Cab. With burgers, also consider Merlot (Cab’s gentle neighbor in Bordeaux), Syrah, or Zinfandel.

Beef Sliders


Blue Cheese Burgers

Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic match with blue cheese...and beef.


Blue Cheese Burgers

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

3) Chardonnay and Chicken Quesadillas or Grilled Shrimp

Try rich, full-bodied Chardonnays with flavorful dishes like chicken quesadillas or marinated grilled shrimp.

Chicken Quesadillas



Quesadillas | Photo by naples34102

Grilled Marinated Shrimp


Grilled Marinated Shrimp

Photo by jrbaker

4) Riesling and Spicy Appetizers

Try Riesling with spicy foods. It’s frequently bright with acidity and typically on the low-alcohol side with flavors of apple and citrus.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings


Photo by LashGal

Southwestern Egg Rolls

Here’s a recipe that would do well with either sparkling wine or Riesling.


Southwestern Egg Rolls

Photo by Aja

5) Sauvignon Blanc with Salsas and Guacamole

To describe the fresh, food-friendly acidity of Sauvignon Blanc, break out the z-words -- zingy! zippy! zesty! With lots of citrus and grassy flavors, along with herbal aromas, Sauvignon Blanc excels with vegetarian dishes. And it’s one of the few wines that can endure asparagus and raw tomatoes. It also likes dishes that are prepared with herbs, particularly cilantro and parsley. Goat cheese? Sauvignon Blanc loves it.

Fresh Tomato Salsa


Fresh Tomato Salsa

Photo by lutzflcat

Simply Guacamole


Simply Guacamole

Photo by Dianne

6) Syrah and Foods from the Grill

Syrah loves the 'que. Try it with ribs, grilled burgers, or even grilled eggplant or portabella mushrooms. And bacon-wrapped dates? Yes please.

Steve's Bodacious Barbecue Ribs



Bacon and Date Appetizer

[caption id="attachment_1169" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Wine Pairings for Snacks and Apps | Bacon and Date Appetizer Photo by Jessica[/caption]

7) Sangiovese with Pizza and Meatballs

Sangiovese's refreshing acidity and nice tannins make it a terrific friend of food, with flavors and aromas of cherries and violets. Sangiovese-based wines like Chianti are classic partners with pizza and tomato-based pasta dishes. They’re also terrific with grilled meats and poultry. Barbera would also pair perfectly with pizza and cocktail meatballs.

Brick-Oven Pizza


Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Photo by Chef John

Cocktail Meatballs


Cape Cod Cocktail Meatballs

Photo by Shearone

Your Illustrated Guide to Perfect Pairs for Snacks and Apps


Perfect pairs for snacks and apps

By Allrecipes

Check out our complete collection of Appetizer and Snack Recipes. Crunched for time? Take a peek at our Quick and Easy Appetizer Recipes


Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.