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My wife and I have finally built up the courage to have our first "cocktail" party where we will serve only wine and foods. The cheeses I can match to wines, but I could use your help for wines to match with the foods, to wit:

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Cleaned Shrimp (Shrimp Cocktail Shrimp)

Brisket of Beef on a piece of bread

Nova Scotia Salmon

and last,

Vietnamese Barbequed White Meat Chicken

Thank you for your suggestions. (I have pretty much every kind of wine there is, even Lagrein whatever that is.)


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I'd skip the sweet and sour meatballs. If you make these particularly well and feel you must have them, I'd serve them with a sweet wine, but not a particularly fine one, maybe a young Sauternes.

The wine for the shrimp depends on the sauce with which they're being served. My sauce of choice with wine is an aioli. With that, a big Chardonnay goes well. If it is traditional cocktail sauce, I'd suggest Champagne.

With the brisket, you could serve almost any red wine. If it is delicately flavored, it can be overpowered by a big red, so the wine should be determined by the flavor of the brisket, or vice versa.

With the Nova Scotia Salmon (I'm assuming you mean smoked), Champagne or a Sauvignon Blanc would be my choice, maybe one from New Zealand.

The wine for the chicken depends on how strongly spiced the dish is. If mildly spiced, bring out a good Pinot Noir. If spicier, go to a bigger, more tannic wine.

There are many other alternative choices for these dishes. Have a great party and let us know how it goes.

Just one more sip.
Some possibilities:

Sweet & Sour Meatballs: Some sort of Sangiovese (Chianti, Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello, some Super-Tuscans), Zinfandel, some other spicy, higher-acid red wine would also probably work.

Cleaned Shrimp (Shrimp Cocktail Shrimp): A NZ SB or Champagne would work, depending on sauce. A good Prosseco such as Nino Franco, Adami, or Zardetto could work well, too.

Brisket of Beef on a piece of bread: Most red wines, maybe something like Ciacci Piccolomini Ateo, a Sangiovese Cab blend. Or a Nebbiolo. But I may just be in an Italian mood.

Nova Scotia Salmon: Is this smoked? Cured? If smoked or Lox Champagne would work. Otherwise a Pinot Noir on the lighter side -- perhaps an Oregon Pinot.

Vietnamese Barbequed White Meat Chicken: A good Riesling Kabinett, preferably Mosel. An Austrian Riesling or Alsacian Riesling or Tokay-Pinot-Gris might also work.


"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields

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