How to: Selecting the perfect wine

Know that the old adage of serving white wine with white meat and red with red meat is too simplistic. In general, enjoy your favorite wine with your favorite food but the key is to select wine based on the “weight” and texture of the meal. Heavier meals and sauces require bigger wine to match their weight and lighter meals and sauces will require lighter and more subtle wines.

Here are some tips:

  • Weight-wise meals from heavy to light will be Red meat with heavy sauces, game meats (and Turkey) with heavy sauce, pasta with Alfredo sauce, things with lots of butter or gravy, lighter sauces, chicken or meat lightly sauteed to sea food in lighter sauces to lobster or shrimp in light sauces.
  • To match wines in the same order (from heavy weight to light) you can select from Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Piedmont (northern Italians), Bordeaux blends, Tuscan wines like Chianti (from Italy), Merlot, Pinot Noir, Burgundy wines, California chardonnay, white french wines, sauvignon blancs.
  • Spicy foods go better with slightly sweeter wines like Sancerre (France), Sauvignon Blanc (especially good from New Zealand), Gewuertztraminer (Germany and California), and Pinot Grigio (Italy and California).
  • Despite what people have you believe–e.g., that a port wine or coffee is require–chocolate may pair wonderfully with dry Cabernets.
  • Champagne tastes much better if you pay at least $20 for it and it goes well with delicate and subtle textured foods.