Pairing Wine with Cajun Food at 1803

CorkRules | Jun 05, 2023

1803 is a Cajun restaurant that brings a little of New Orleans’ eclectic culture to the streets of New York. It’s a sexy, sultry space with a penchant for Deep South decadence and jazz. For a memorable culinary experience, this is the place to bring a date.

Cajun cuisine was developed by Acadians (who were originally French) when they were deported from Acadia (an area that stretched from Massachusetts to Gaspe, Canada) to Louisiana during the 18th century. The Acadians developed a unique cuisine that was a melting pot of  West African, French and Spanish cooking techniques. This rustic fare was based on locally available ingredients, including crawfish, shrimp, pork and sausage and aromatic green bell peppers, onion, and celery. These vegetables are known as "the trinity" by Cajun chefs, to which they may add parsley, bay leaf, green onions, dried cayenne pepper, and dried black pepper, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

So, what style of wine pairs well with Cajun food?

Steer clear of full-bodied reds that are rich in tannins. These wines are too heavy for the spices and the tannins will taste metallic when combined with seafood or spice. If you have your mind set on a red wine, consider choosing a lighter pinot noir or gamay that are low in tannins and won’t overpower the spice or clash with the aromatic flavors.

However, it may be wiser to stick with white when dining Cajun style. Thanks to the abundance of locally-sourced seafood, catfish and shellfish dominate Cajun recipes. A riesling or gewurztraminer are wines that pair well with any Cajun seafood dish, these light German wines are well-structured and can handle heavier dishes without contradicting or altering the flavor of the spices.

If the dish is heavy with tomatoes, a medium-bodied and acidic red wine works well to match the acidity in the tomatoes. If the wine is low in acidity, the high acidity in the tomatoes will make the wine taste flat and metallic. So, with tomato-based sauces choose a Rioja, zinfandel or pinot noir.  You could also choose a  full-bodied white such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, or Chenin blanc.

Of course, there are many more high acidity wines and low tannin wines to choose from, for expert advice, enlist the help of the sommelier, or pop over to the CorkRules podcast with certified sommelier Grace Hood where she identifies a few bottles of bubbles and offers expert advice on wines to pair with Cajun food.  


About the CorkRules Podcast: Each week we pour a glass and share top restaurant wine list picks, providing you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the wine list through sommelier recommendations, suggested food pairings and expert insights

About CorkRules: CorkRules, the first digital wine app experience, makes it easier for you to navigate the restaurant wine list, and provides you with personalized wine recommendations from your favorite restaurants. Through CorkRules you can find the perfect wine for every occasion based on your preferences. Connect with friends and wine experts to discover new wines to try and learn about wine. CorkRules makes it easier to discover and drink what you love.  

About the Author

CorkRules makes it easier to discover and drink what you love at your favorite restaurants. Coming soon to Apple iOS devices.

Get the CorkRules App

Use the QR Code or
click on Download to install!