Wine has long been the perfect complement for meals, especially dinner. A fine wine is more than just an accompaniment however; when the right wine is paired with the right dish, it can really bring out the flavor in the latter. Wine can have a range of different colors, such as red and white (the two most popular), as well as rosse, yellow, orange, and burgundy. Color is not just a matter of appearance though, as a matter of fact, it is a reflection of the method of vinification and the time the must is in contact with the grape skins, a process known as maceration.

The main types of red wine are Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot noir, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Barbera. Syrah is paired with meats, like steak, beef, wild game and stews. Merlot goes well with almost any food. Cabernet sauvignon is usually paired off with red meat in general. Malbec is served with meat based meals as well. Pinot noir is a great choice for grilled salmon, chicken, and lamb. Zinfandel may accompany tomato-sauce pasta, pizza, and grilled and barbecued meats, it depends though on the wine’s freshness and or heaviness. Sangiovese is recommended for Mediterranean style cuisines such as Italian. Barbera is a versatile wine that matches many dishes.

As for white wine, there are Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot blanc, and Pinot grigio. Chardonnay is served with foods such as chicken and fish. Sauvignon blanc goes along well with seafood and poultry cheeses, salads and peppers. Riesling is paired with white meats like chicken, fish and pork. Chenin blanc is a good complement for white meats, seafood and spicy rice dishes. Gewürztraminer mingles well with Asian cuisine, grilled sausages and pork. Pinot blanc is paired off with either salty or sweet foods. Finally, Pinot grigio goes with foods such as seafood, chicken, light pastas and cheese and crackers.