Lots of things can be enjoyed with wine. The same can be said with bread. But can you enjoy the two together? Lots of things that go on a bread can be enjoyed with wine but can bread work as a stand-alone snack for this alcoholic drink?

The answer is yes. It may not be as typically done as cheese or other finger foods (that are sometimes served on top of small chunks of bread) but it is completely possible to pair bread and wine.

Every bread enthusiast will know this for a fact. Since breads come in various textures and flavors, it is definitely a good pick to pair with wine. They can complement each other nicely if you know which ones will go well together.

To help you get some good ideas on what to try pairing together, here’s a quick guide that can get you started:

The Rule of Thumb

Let’s start with the most basic rule: pair light breads with light wines and complex wines with heavier breads. Their flavors and textures will complement each other better.

Avoid acidic wines when you want to have some bread as they just don’t go well with these items. However, if you’re going to have some cheese with your bread, then, you can pair them with some acidic wines.

The main idea is that the wine should enhance the flavor of the bread, just like with other food and wine pairings. Don’t be afraid to play around but be wise in doing so to make the most out of your food and beverage.

Sweetbreads go with sweet, light wines.

One of the most popular pairings for bread and wine is champagne and sweet brioche. Since this bread is tender and delicate with some richness when toasted, the bubbliness and fizz of champagne complements it well.

Sweet riesling would be perfect with bread with nuts and fruits. It will highlight the flavors of the add-ons, giving your tastebuds a feast.

Mild flavors go together.

A proof that mild flavors go together is the pinot grigio and French baguette pairing. This is a popular combination as their taste and texture complement each other perfectly. Pinot grigio is actually quite versatile and works nicely with lots of other breads so you can definitely test the waters with this grape.

Another is the ciabatta and chardonnay pairing. While the Italian bread is of the sourdough variety, it won’t be too overwhelming for the citrusy taste of the dry white wine.

Mild whole wheat breads, if you’re more of a health nut, can be great with rosé. However, if the wheat bread is heavier in texture, it would be more suitable to pair with pinot noir.

Bold flavors need to be balanced with full-bodied grapes.

Those who enjoy bolder flavors on their bread should also go for bold reds. Experts say that if you serve something like a black olive bread, it should be treated as if you’re serving pasta with fatty meat sauce, so it should be paired with bold Italians like Sangiovese.

Where to Get Some Nice Bread

Can’t bake your own fancy bread yet? Here are a few good places to pick some up:

Panera Bread

Panera Bread prides itself as a major purveyor of artisanal bread in the country so you can certainly pick up some of their offerings for your wine and bread evenings. The best thing about this brand is that you can either get their stuff from their stores or from supermarkets that carry the Panera at Home line. You can view Panera bread menu prices here.

What to get: Whole-grain baguette, Sourdough, Whole-grain loaf

Au Bon Pain

Like Panera Bread, Au Bon Pain is a top pick for those who are into hearty meals and delicious breads. They also offer healthier fare than most other fast-casual chains, even if some of their meals can be high in calories. Their bakery will be a great source for tasty breads for those who want easy access to a good variety of them.

What to get: Ciabatta, Semolina Bread, Multigrain Baguette

Great Harvest Bread Company

Offering ‘real food with great taste’, the Great Harvest Bread Company has a very straightforward business model. They’re mostly really just here to sell their great tasting bread. They’re also quite friendly because if you’ve never tasted their offerings before, you can do so before you purchase since they have a breadboard where you can grab a slice of bread for free.

What to get: Honey Whole Wheat, Autumn Apple bread, Superfood bread

La Brea Bakery

This chain may only be a fraction of the size of the other three but you’d definitely want to try to pair their breads with some nice bottle of wine. They offer various artisan breads so you can take your pick from their wide selection. And since their breads are available in many national grocery chains, you don’t have to miss out on their tasty treats.

What to get: Cranberry Walnut Loaf, Country White Sourdough Loaf