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Red wine pouring into a glass

Complement & Contrast:

Pairing Red Wine with Food

There’s nothing quite like a glass of red wine. Pair it with the right food and you've just taken it to the next level! When pairing wine with food, you can look for complementary and contrasting elements, with many dishes being a combination of both.

1. Complementing matches similar flavours to enhance them or accentuate subtle notes.

2. Contrasting creates harmony through opposing elements.

Niagara wineries produce some incredible cool climate red wines. When growing grapes in a cooler climate, they typically don’t ripen as quickly which results in complex wines with higher acidity, lower sugar content and rich fruit flavours. Below are a few pairing suggestions for our red wines that we hope you enjoy.

Full Bodied Baco Noir Red Wine
SFR Cabernet-Merlot

Baco Noir is known for its resilience, making it perfect for Ontario's climate. Enjoyed for its ripe, dark fruit flavours and herbal notes, it’s quickly becoming one of the most grown grapes in the region.


  • Brisket is known for its rich meaty flavour which pairs well with the bold palate and tannic structure of the Baco Noir. The wine's dark fruit and spice notes complement the savoury character of the meat, enhancing the overall dining experience.
  • For something out of the ordinary, pair Baco Noir with strawberries rolled in black pepper. The fruitiness of the Baco Noir complements the sweetness of the strawberries while the Baco Noir's spice and tannins balance out the pepper's heat and enhance the overall profile of the dish.
  • Baco Noir helps to cut through the high acidity of tomato sauce to accentuate ingredients like garlic, onion, and herbs such as basil or oregano used in the sauce, contrasting them with its fruit-forward notes.

Try one of the recipes below for a delicious pairing experience.

You may have heard this grape referred to as the “heartbreak grape”. Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult grapes to grow as its thin skin leaves it vulnerable to breakage. Although it’s not always an easy process, when it’s done right, it’s certainly worth it. It’s no wonder why Pinot Noir is so popular amongst wine connoisseurs. This grape grows best in cooler climates making the Niagara Region the perfect area for it to flourish.


  • The bright acidity of Pinot Noir works as a palette cleanser, making it perfect for pairing with rich, creamy pasta dishes and risottos. Risotto, especially when prepared with mushrooms and cheese, has a rich and creamy texture with subtle flavours that harmonize with Pinot Noir.
  • Pinot Noir also pairs excellently with fish dishes like grilled salmon, tuna or halibut. The lightness of fish dishes helps complements the subtle flavours of the Pinot Noir, creating a combination where neither the wine nor the food overpower each other.
  • The spicy flavors of honey hot pepperoni pizza contrasts with the delicate flavours  of Pinot Noir, creating a contrasting pairing between the wine's fruitiness and the pizza's spice.

This complex wine aids itself to many food pairings. On your next wine night try one of the recipes below for a perfectly paired meal.

Our Cabernet-Merlot is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot which combine into a fruit forward, rich and powerful wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is often described as a fuller, more robust wine with high levels of tannins and acidity. Cabernet Franc is medium bodied and often yields notes of pepper and tarte fruits. Merlot is softer with more bright fruit notes.


  • Cabernet-Merlot's robust flavours of dark fruit, oak and spice help complement the hearty flavours of meat. This wine is excellent to pair with dishes such as steak, lamb chops, and roast beef. Red meat is also high in protein and fat which can help to soften the tannins in Cabernet-Merlot, bringing balance to the pairing.
  • The fruity notes of Cabernet-Merlot can help balance earthy flavours of grilled vegetables like bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and zucchini. Both Cabernet-Merlot and the grilled vegetables share similar depth and richness, enhancing each other's flavours without overpowering.
  • Cabernet-Merlot is a robust red with notes of oak and spice that balance the heat of the curry, creating a dynamic and flavourful combination.

Try out the recipes below to find your perfect match.

Want to learn more? We recommend reading Wine Folly's Guide to Pairing.


Birthday party? Bridal shower? Business meeting? Be the host with the most.

Intimate spaces for special occasions

Henry of Pelham offers several spaces for formal and informal events and meetings, with room for up to 30 people. We've helped host anniversaries, office parties, showers, birthdays, annual general meetings and more. Our light-filled ballroom, which is also a beautiful gallery space featuring work from Canadian artists, is a bright venue for daytime events and an elegant room to host evening gatherings. Our barrel cellar is a cool retreat from the summer heat and cozy space for fall and winter events for smaller groups. Catering is available from the Coach House Café.


And with anything from Henry's wine list available to event organizers, the drinks are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers.


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September 25-26, 2017


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A Classic membership gets you complimentary tastings for two on every visit to the winery, 15% off regularly priced non-wine items in our retail store, and advance notice of special release wines, events and contests—all for free! We'll even mail you a membership card.