Most of us enjoy fine wine during or after a good meal. Still, it's sometimes tricky to choose the right one, as there are hundreds of types you could drink. A lot of people simply get confused in their local stores when browsing wines and end up buying the one with a pretty label on it.
It's perfectly ok to not know which one to choose. Luckily, this simple guide will help you make the right decision, enjoy your meals even more and delight the guests.
Go for easy pairings
When it comes to pairing wine and food, you can go one of two ways - complementary or contrasting. And you will be right in each case.
In case of the complimentary option, combine light with light and rich with rich. In other words, crisp white wines go well with seafood and chicken, while full-bodied red wines compliment red meat and various types of cheese.
When it comes to the contrasting approach, you can, for example, eat oysters with Sauvignon Blanc. The salty taste of the oysters will be soothed by the fruity aroma of this wine.
Red meat dinner
When entertaining, most of us go for a classy dinner rich in red meat. This needs the right choice of wine to really raise it to the next level. You can opt for a red Bordeaux, while the choice for the entry can be a merlot with a touch of Cabernet. This is a cheaper option than going straight a cabernet but it's also good for people of different preferences. In other words, it's a safe option when you have a big group of people coming.
If you want an unexpected choice, go for sparkling rosé. The bubbles in it affect the fat the same way tannin does. It's also a better option if you prefer chilled wine for the evening.
When eating pasta, the best option is to choose a barbera (go for the Italian version), especially if tomatoes are a big part of the dish. Just like a pinot noir, it's of perfect lightness for eating pasta. Still, the Italian version goes even better with the dish. Actually, it's made specifically to complement pasta dishes.
Of course, you can still go for a dry pinot grigio and enjoy the meal nevertheless.
Vegan dinner party
Choosing the right wine for a vegan party is not an easy task. White Bordeaux would be a safe choice, as it's soft and goes great with grain-based dishes. Another light choice would be a Syrah. Sometimes it can be tricky to find them in a local store, but you can visit an online wine marketplace.
A barbecue option
In case you are going to have a barbecue, then get a Syrah or a Malbec. These types of wine usually come from South Africa, Australia or Argentina. You actually need a fruity dry wine that isn't too complex. They won't spoil the spicy food or the seasoned food you're barbecuing but will come as a perfect complement.
Choosing wine in a restaurant
If you happen to go to a restaurant with somebody, you may feel ashamed if you can't choose the right wine, especially if you're on a date. There's no need to feel embarrassed and ask the waiter for help. You can tell them what your budget is, as well as your tastes and your favorites. The waiter will surely give you the right recommendation. If you're waiting for your date, you can do it before they arrive.
What to do when in doubt
Maybe this will come as a surprise but if you ever will truly unsure of what type of wine you should get, then get a crisp, dry rosé. Its mild acidity will accent the majority of dishes, so you can't go wrong with that. They especially complement cheese plates.
After some time, you will feel more confident when you're choosing the wine. And you will also start experimenting (just don't go overboard!). For now, just stick to these rules and you won't be in the wrong. You'll enjoy the meal together with your guests.