Pairing the right wine with your food can make or break your meal. Most people follow the general rule of thumb: white wine with light colored meat like chicken and fish and red wine with dark meat like lamb and steak. But, the art of pairing the two is a bit more advanced than that. When meat is not the prominent food or you’re not sure about the pairing, try complimenting lighter foods with light wines and heavier foods with dark wines. For example, when deciding on a wine for a pesto pizza with prosciutto and cheese, try and Zinfandel rather than a Sauvignon Blanc – this will prevent the pizza from being overpowered by the wine.
Practice makes perfect, so experiment with a couple of different wines. Cook up an entree and grab a few bottles that match the criteria mentioned above. Try out each and decide which you enjoy the most. Got a special bottle of wine you want to open? Plan your meal around it. If it is a Chardonnay, consider cooking fish or chicken with a cream sauce. If a Syrah is your wine of choice (or just the evening), a delicious pepper steak will be a fabulous compliment.
Want to learn which wines go perfectly with specific meats and spices? Try this Wine and Food Pairing Guide available for free online.