Guide on amazing food and drink pairings for your wedding

Let’s be honest – aside from the actual ceremony, the food and drinks menu is the second most exciting thing at a wedding. Not sure about how to do food and drink pairing for your wedding? You are in luck; we have some ideas on choosing the right wedding menu as cocktail and food pairing is one of the most important things in planning a wedding.

It’s getting the little details like food and wine pairing right that will make the biggest impact on your wedding day. Pairing incredible dishes with delicious drinks is a sure way to have happy guests, and an even more memorable day.

In your wedding planning devote attention to your wedding breakfast and for the rest of the day – a range of imaginative drinks with some of the most popular wedding canapés, food stations and late night snack options to create a gourmet experience for your guests.

There are a thousand ways to serve food and drinks at a wedding – from hog roast to Chinese dim sum to ten-course banquet and their accompaniments. So, it’s important to get your wedding food absolutely right.

Wedding food and drink pairings made easy

For some couples, paying a wedding caterer is the simple, stress-free answer. And there is a huge number of companies, who specialise in wedding catering in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, Garden Route and the KwaZulu Natal, who will be happy to assist you in navigating your food and wine pairings for your wedding.

At the outset, it is very important to focus on the wedding menu – and you should really talk to your potential wedding caterers about this very early on. Get your event caterer to suggest ideas. 

Talk about what suits you as a couple, and get advice on what is right for the venue, the overall occasion and for your guests. 

If the produce is excellently sourced and excellently cooked, even steak and chips can be perfect for a wedding meal (in fact, this main course is a real celebrity favourite!). Ask your caterer about what is seasonal, and what they think of as their signature wedding dishes.

Wedding food and drink pairing ideas

While the matching of food and wine is a matter of personal taste, experts say just remember it is easiest to think of wine (or cocktail) as a sauce and match the strength of flavours and weight of the dish with the wine.

We searched the web for ideas to get you started. Here is what we found.

White Fish
Experts say white fish such as Sea Bass require wines with good acidity particularly if cooked in butter or cream based sauces. Classic Old World pairings would include Chablis, Sancerre & Pouilly Fumé and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs & Dry Rieslings.

Oily Fish
They say wines that perform well with oily fish such as Salmon tend to be citrussy, crisp and fresh. Go for an ultra-dry white if you can – a Chablis or Chenin Blanc.

Poultry Chicken
Chicken dishes vary hugely in style depending on how they are cooked, but you cannot really go wrong with a simple Chardonnay – not too overpowering for the delicate flavour. Or to match the gameyness of the mushrooms choose a fruity red such as a Rioja!

Meat: Slow-cooked or Roast Beef
These dishes are some of the few food opportunities for drinking a tannic, powerful wine. The chewy texture of the meat makes tannins suppler, so this is the occasion to have a big Red such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec

Meat: Pork
A low tannin Red often works best with Pork as it is usually quite fatty, because tannin clashes with fat.  Also fatty foods need wines with noticeable acidity to help cleanse the palate. So, an Italian red with crunchy acidity will be the ideal partner!

Meat: Slow-Cooked Lamb
Lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats, as at home, pair with red Bordeaux and Rioja as it is with the more fruit driven varietals. For a slow-cooked shoulder of lamb, a fattier and flavourful dish, they recommend a slightly gamey Regional French or Spanish red such as a Rioja.

Wedding Cakes
Wines that work well with Wedding Cake need well defined flavours, medium sweetness and firm acidity. Alcohol levels don’t seem to matter too much, with the more successful wines falling between 13 and 19%. Light, fortified sweet red wines are particularly suited for Chocolate desserts as they are packed with rich, red fruit characters with hints of chocolate.

Non-alcoholic food and drink pairings
Sparkling water is reputed to go well with pastas while Ginger ale complements Indian dishes. Lemonade can be used with seafood while Sweet tea and Unsweetened iced tea can be used with barbeques and steaks respectively. Sparkling white grape juice can be matched with chicken. 

The above are just ideas – in the end, tastes differ and you should be able to decide how you want things are done at your wedding.

Wedding planning made easy

Wedding & Function also offers various other tools to make your wedding planning as stress-free as possible. 

Visit today for all your wedding planning needs. Here’s to making your wedding food and drinks pairing fun!



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