Red wine with red meat and white wine with fish and chicken, right? Or is it full-bodied wines with heavier meals and white wines with lighter meals? And what wines do you serve with soup, salads or desserts? Usually I tend to buy one type of wine – big, bold reds – because it’s what I like to drink best, but sometimes, I admit, I notice that my food and my wine aren’t playing nicely together.

So I’ve been having fun playing around with a new app from the California Wine Club – the CWC Food and Wine Pairing Wheel. The app provides seven different categories to choose from – Meat, Poultry, Fish, Pasta, Cheese, Starters and Desserts – and within those categories a number of specific flavors, meals or ingredients to choose from. For example, under Meat I can choose from suggestions for Roast Pork, Pork Chops, Pork Tenderloin, BBQ Pork Ribs which I love since not all pork cuts or dishes are the same. Just the same for Poultry I can choose between Cordon Bleu, Chicken Marsala, Roasted Chicken and BBQ Chicken just to name a few in the category.

For each dish, the app provides 3 different wine pairings – often both red AND white options. Welcomed news for a girl who doesn’t drink much white.  The app is a breeze to use, helps you think beyond the “red meat-red wine” paradigm and currently is free! I snuck a peak at it last weekend when the husband and I went out for dinner to find a good match for his rack of lamb (Cab, Syrah or Merlot), and used it yesterday at Trader Joe’s when I received a text for an impromptu wine and dessert get together from a girlfriend. For the record, the tawny port the app recommended was stellar with the homemade créme brulée.

I’m not very knowledgeable about the world of cheese, but with the help of the CWC Food and Wine Pairing Wheel, I just might attempt that wine and cheese party I’ve been thinking about.

The CWC Food and Wine Pairing Wheel is available for both the iPhone and iPad. Visit the California Wine Club for more information or the Apple  iTunes App store to download.


MWS was not paid for this post. We did receive an early release of the app to review.

Kate Bayless is a writer, editor and happy to attend any and all wine tasting parties you want to invite her to. Her work has appeared in Parents, American Baby, Fit Pregnancy, iVillage, Momtrends and other publications. Visit her at or @katebayless.

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