Start by thinking about the dish or meal as a whole. What are its dominant characteristics?
- Is it mild or flavorful?
- Is it fatty or lean?
- Is it rich or acidic?
With these characteristics in mind, select a wine that will:
Keep flavors in balance, Match mild foods with mild wines. Match big, flavorful foods with big, flavorful wines.
(For example, pair a bold-flavored Pepper Steak with a spicy, bold red Zinfandel.) Similarly you generally want to match the richness of the food and the richness of the wine. (For example, pair a rich Chicken in Cream Sauce with a rich Chardonnay.)