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09.29.2005

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and something to drink?
pairing food with wine
by Yee-Fan Sun |
1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

Once you get a sense of the typical characteristics of various types of wines, it becomes a little easier to guess which bottles might make a good match for your meal. Still, while getting yourself educated is good, it also helps to turn to those with a little more experience for advice on what they might choose in your place. The helpful guy/girl at the wine shop is one good source of advice; here are some more suggestions on what to try with various foods...

Roast or grilled chicken | Pinot Noir or Beaujolais, Chardonnay if you want a white wine (pairs especially well with citrusy or herbal sauces)

Roast or grilled pork | Merlot or Zinfandel

Roast turkey | Pinot Noir, light Spanish Rioja or light Zinfandel

Duck | Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, both of which have rich berry flavors that complement duck

Beef or lamb | Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for straightforward broiled/pan-fried/stewed concoctions; Zinfandel if the sauce is peppery or spicy

Grilled red meats | Shiraz or Zinfandel, both of which tend to have spicy/peppery qualities that go well with the charred goodness of grilled steak, sausages and the like

Salmon or similar fatty, flavorful fish | Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Beaujolais

White fish and other light seafood | Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, unless the fish is served in creamy sauce, in which case a buttery Chardonnay might be better

Tomato-based dishes | Chianti is the classic choice. If the dish is spicy or meaty, a Shiraz can also work nicely

Mushroomy concoctions | Pinot Noir, which often has mushroom tones

o o o

Ultimately, no matter how carefully you've mulled over whether the words on this particular bottle's label are going to go with that particular meal, the only way you'll be able to know for certain is when you actually try things out. Which, after all, is the fun part, right? In the end, the most important thing to do when you're choosing wine for your meal is to pick something you think you think you're likely to enjoy. And remember: if the wine and food don't happen to result in perfect harmony, no biggie. Eat your food first, and enjoy the wine on its own later. And next time you're choosing wine to go with said meal, you'll know to pick something else.

check out these related articles:
crash course in wine | ripe for the picking: how to choose a bottle of wine | cheers: how to host a wine tasting party

or browse the drink recipes!

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