Pairing French Wine with Your Meal at Brasserie du Monde


We at Brasserie du Monde consider our restaurant to be one of Sacramento’s premier destinations for creating an exceptional culinary experience. Yes, we’re known for our exquisite French cuisine and an extensive selection of French wines, but we also pride ourselves on creating unforgettable dining experiences for our guests. We believe that one of the key elements that elevate a meal from good to extraordinary is the art of wine pairing. The right wine can enhance the flavors of your dish, creating a harmonious balance that delights the palate.

At Brasserie du Monde, we bring you fabulous wines from around the world. This being said, we do have a soft spot for French wines; renowned for their unique characteristics and rich history. From the robust reds of Bordeaux to the elegant bubbles of Champagne, our wine list offers something for every taste and occasion. In this guide, we’ll explore the different French wine regions, provide pairing suggestions for various courses, and offer tips to help you make the most of your dining experience.

wine end caps of bottles in a shelf

Understanding French Wine Regions


Bordeaux, located in southwestern France, is one of the most famous wine regions in the world. Known for its exceptional red wines, Bordeaux produces blends primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. These wines are characterized by their deep color, rich flavors, and aging potential. At Brasserie du Monde, we offer a selection of Bordeaux wines that showcase the region’s diversity, from full-bodied reds to elegant whites.

Popular Bordeaux wines available at our restaurant include Château Margaux and Château Latour, both of which are perfect for pairing with hearty meat dishes. For those who prefer white wine, our selection includes crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blancs from the Graves sub-region, ideal for lighter fare.


Burgundy, or Bourgogne, is another prestigious wine region in France, celebrated for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Burgundy wines are known for their complexity, elegance, and ability to express the unique terroir of the region. Our wine list at Brasserie du Monde features a variety of Burgundy wines, from the delicate and aromatic reds to the rich and buttery whites.

Recommended Burgundy wines at our restaurant include Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Joseph Drouhin. These wines pair beautifully with a range of dishes, from poultry to seafood, making them a versatile choice for any meal.


Champagne, synonymous with celebration and elegance, is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. Known for its fine bubbles and crisp acidity, Champagne is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed with a wide variety of foods. At Brasserie du Monde, we offer an array of Champagne options, from well-known houses like Moët & Chandon to smaller, artisanal producers.

The elegance of Champagne makes it an excellent choice for toasting special occasions or starting your meal with a touch of sophistication. Whether you’re enjoying it with oysters, caviar, or simply on its own, Champagne adds a festive flair to any dining experience.

Loire Valley

The Loire Valley, often referred to as the “Garden of France,” is known for its diverse range of wines, from crisp whites to vibrant reds and luscious dessert wines. The region’s cool climate and varied terroir contribute to the distinctive qualities of Loire Valley wines. At Brasserie du Monde, we offer a selection of wines from this region that highlight its versatility and charm.

Our menu includes popular Loire Valley wines such as Sancerre and Vouvray. These wines are perfect for pairing with seafood, salads, and light appetizers, thanks to their bright acidity and refreshing flavors.

Rhône Valley

The Rhône Valley, located in southeastern France, is renowned for its rich and robust wines. The region produces a wide range of styles, from powerful reds made from Syrah and Grenache to aromatic whites from Viognier and Marsanne. At Brasserie du Monde, we feature a selection of Rhône Valley wines that showcase the depth and complexity of this region.

Rhône Valley wines offered at our restaurant include Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côte-Rôtie. These wines are ideal for pairing with hearty meat dishes and flavorful sauces, making them a perfect choice for those who enjoy bold and intense flavors.

appetizer from Brasserie du Monde is perfect for pairing French wine

Pairing French Wine with Appetizers

Light Starters

When it comes to pairing French wines with light starters such as one of our seasonal salads or delicate appetizers, it’s essential to choose a wine that complements the freshness and subtle flavors of the dish. For our salads or even one of our seasonal fish tartares or Gravlax, Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley is an excellent choice, thanks to its crisp acidity and vibrant citrus notes. This wine pairs beautifully with green salads, goat cheese, and light seafood dishes.

Another great option for light starters is a dry Rosé from Provence. With its refreshing acidity and delicate fruit flavors, Rosé is versatile and can enhance a variety of appetizers without overpowering them. With the added tannins, you could even pair one of our rosés with our beef tartare or duck paté. 

Seafood Appetizers

Seafood appetizers, such as our Brandade de Saumon, call for wines that can enhance their briny and delicate flavors. Chablis from Burgundy, made from Chardonnay grapes, is an ideal pairing. Chablis is known for its minerality and crisp acidity, which complement the natural sweetness of seafood.

For a more luxurious option, consider pairing your seafood appetizers with Champagne. The fine bubbles and bright acidity of Champagne make it a perfect match for oysters and other shellfish, adding a touch of elegance to your meal.

Cheese Platters

Cheese platters offer a variety of flavors and textures, making wine pairing a delightful challenge. For soft and creamy cheeses like Brie and Camembert, a Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) is an excellent choice. The wine’s bright acidity and red fruit flavors balance the richness of the cheese.

For goat cheese and other tangy varieties, Sancerre from the Loire Valley is a perfect match. The wine’s crisp acidity and citrus notes complement the tanginess of the cheese, creating a harmonious pairing. Be sure to ask your waiter for seasonal pairing suggestions.

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Pairing French Wine with Main Courses

Poultry Dishes

Poultry dishes, such as chicken and duck, pair well with wines that can enhance their flavors without overwhelming them. Pinot Noir from Burgundy is a classic choice for dishes like our Supreme de Vollaile (pan seared Mary’s chicken breast & drum). Its light to medium body, bright acidity, and red fruit flavors make it a versatile wine that complements a variety of poultry preparations.

For richer poultry dishes, such as our Confit de Canard (duck leg confit), consider a fuller-bodied wine like a Rhône Valley red. The wine’s robust flavors and spice notes can stand up to the richness of the dish, creating a balanced and satisfying pairing.

Beef and Lamb

Hearty meat dishes like beef and lamb require wines with enough structure and intensity to match their bold flavors. Bordeaux blends, with their firm tannins and complex flavors, are an excellent choice for our Beef Bourguignon or even our classic Steak Frites. Wines like Château Margaux and Château Latour offer the depth and richness needed to complement the savory flavors of beef and lamb.

For a different take, consider a Syrah from the Rhône Valley. Known for its dark fruit flavors and peppery notes, Syrah pairs beautifully with grilled or roasted meats, enhancing their smoky and savory qualities.

grilled pork chop from Brasserie du Monde is perfect for pairing French wine

Seafood Main Courses

For seafood main courses, such as grilled fish, lobster, and scallops, it’s essential to choose wines that highlight the delicate flavors of the seafood. White Burgundy, made from Chardonnay grapes, is a fantastic option. Its balance of fruit and acidity complements the sweetness of Les Sint-Jacques (pan seared Hokkaido scallops), creating a harmonious pairing.

While a glass of bubbles may not seem like an obvious choice for Pairing French wines, Champagne is another excellent choice for seafood main courses. Its bright acidity and fine bubbles can cut through the richness of dishes like lobster and scallops, adding a touch of elegance to your meal. So, don’t wait for a reason to celebrate to pop open a bottle of your favorite bubbles.

Vegetarian Options

Vegetarian dishes offer a wide range of flavors and textures, making wine pairing an exciting adventure. Rosé from Provence is a versatile choice that pairs well with a variety of vegetarian dishes, from roasted vegetables to grain-based salads. Its refreshing acidity and delicate fruit flavors enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables.

For richer vegetarian dishes, such as our sweet potato gnocchi, consider a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir from Burgundy. The wine’s bright acidity and red fruit flavors can complement the earthy and savory notes of the dish.

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Pairing French Wine with Desserts

Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate desserts, such as chocolate mousse and flourless chocolate cake, pair beautifully with wines that can match their richness and intensity. Banyuls or Maury, both fortified wines from the Roussillon region, are excellent choices. These wines offer sweet, rich flavors with notes of dark fruit and chocolate, creating a decadent pairing.

For a different take, consider a full-bodied red wine like a Syrah from the Rhône Valley. Its dark fruit flavors and spice notes can complement the richness of chocolate, creating a balanced and satisfying pairing.

Fruit-Based Desserts

Fruit-based desserts, such as fruit tarts and sorbets, pair well with wines that can enhance their natural sweetness and acidity. Sauternes, a sweet wine from Bordeaux, is an excellent choice. Its honeyed flavors and bright acidity complement the sweetness of the fruit, creating a harmonious pairing.

Muscat, a sweet and aromatic wine, is another great option for fruit-based desserts. Its floral and fruity notes can enhance the flavors of the dessert, adding a touch of elegance to your meal.

Ask your waiter about what our seasonal dessert offerings are and what wine selections they might recommend. 

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Cheese-Based Desserts

Cheese-based desserts, such as cheesecake and cheese platters, pair beautifully with sweet wines that can balance their richness. Sweet wines like Monbazillac, with their honeyed flavors and bright acidity, are an excellent choice. These wines can complement the creamy texture and tangy flavors of cheese-based desserts, creating a delightful pairing.

For a different take, consider a sparkling wine like Champagne. Its bright acidity and fine bubbles can cut through the richness of the dessert, adding a touch of sophistication to your meal.

Tips for a Perfect Wine and Food Pairing Experience

Balancing Flavors

When pairing wine with food, it’s essential to balance the flavors of both. Consider the acidity, sweetness, and intensity of the wine and how they complement the flavors of the dish. For example, a high-acid wine like Sauvignon Blanc can balance the richness of a creamy dish, while a sweet wine like Sauternes can enhance the flavors of a fruit-based dessert.

Considering the Occasion

The occasion can also influence your wine choice. For a romantic dinner, consider a luxurious wine like Champagne or a fine Bordeaux. For a casual meal with friends, a versatile wine like Rosé from Provence can be a great choice. Pairing French wines to the occasion can enhance the overall dining experience.

Consulting the Sommelier

At Brasserie du Monde, our knowledgeable sommelier is always available to help you choose the perfect wine for your meal. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations based on your preferences and the dishes you’ve selected. Our sommelier can provide valuable insights and suggestions to enhance your dining experience.

Experimenting with Pairings

Wine and food pairing is an art, and personal preferences play a significant role. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairings and discover what you enjoy most. Trying new combinations can lead to delightful surprises and a deeper appreciation for the nuances of wine and food.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Pairing French Wine with Your Meal

What is the best wine to pair with a cheese platter?

When pairing French wine with a cheese platter, consider the variety of cheeses and their flavors. Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) is an excellent choice for soft and creamy cheeses, while Sancerre from the Loire Valley pairs beautifully with tangy goat cheese. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect match.

1. Can I pair red wine with seafood?

While white wine is traditionally paired with seafood, some red wines can also complement seafood dishes. Light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir from Burgundy can pair well with richer seafood dishes, such as salmon or tuna. The key is to choose a red wine with bright acidity and subtle tannins.

2. What wine should I choose for a romantic dinner?

For a romantic dinner, consider a luxurious and elegant wine like Champagne or a fine Bordeaux. Champagne adds a touch of sophistication and celebration to the meal, while Bordeaux offers rich and complex flavors that can enhance a variety of dishes.

3. How do I know if a wine is from a specific French region?

Reading wine labels can provide valuable information about the wine’s origin. Look for regional indicators such as “Bordeaux,” “Burgundy,” or “Champagne” on the label. Additionally, many French wines include the name of the producer and the specific vineyard or appellation, which can help you identify the region.

4. Are there any French wines that pair well with spicy food?

While French wines are not typically associated with spicy food, some options can handle the heat. Gewürztraminer, with its aromatic and slightly sweet profile, can complement spicy dishes. Additionally, a Rosé from Provence can offer refreshing acidity and fruitiness that balance the spiciness of the food.


Wine pairing is an essential aspect of the dining experience, enhancing the flavors of your meal and creating a harmonious balance. At Brasserie du Monde, we offer an extensive selection of French wines that showcase the unique characteristics of different regions. Whether you’re enjoying a light appetizer, a hearty main course, or a decadent dessert, the right wine can elevate your dining experience to new heights.

We invite you to visit Brasserie du Monde and explore our French wine selection. Our knowledgeable staff and sommelier are here to help you discover the perfect pairings and enjoy the journey of discovering new flavors. Cheers to an unforgettable dining experience!