Wine Questionary:

Matching food and wine: Here's how

Worried about finding the right wine to go with a special dinner? Don't fret! Humans have been making wine for more than 5,000 years, and since Bronze Age days, it has been made for the primary purpose of washing down food. Most wines go very nicely with most foods. Drink what you like, eat what you like, and you won't go far astray. The basic rule is simple: The only taste buds you have to please are your own.

Generalizations are always suspect, especially in the world of wine. Still, the old saying "red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat," works as a simple guide. A powerful, tannic red wine would overwhelm delicate white fish, while a light, ethereal white like a fresh Viognier would seem mighty wimpy alongside rare roast beef.

Here's another hint: Look for a wine with characteristics that evoke the flavors of your entree. A slightly sweet, rich seafood like lobster or crab makes a wonderful marriage with a slightly sweet, rich white wine like a big Chardonnay. Add a sprig of rosemary to your pan-grilled steak and watch it wake up with the herbal qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon.

For more details on the principles of matching food and wine, along with dozens of specific examples, see our copyrighted Food and Wine Matching Engine. For further reading, see our articles Red \r\nWine and Beans? (matching wine and vegetarian fare) and Chinese Food and Wine.

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