Which wine to drink with fish? And other pairings

Whether you want to impress your dinner party guests or simply improve your knowledge of wine, it's always handy to know which wines complement which foods.

Should I have more than one type of wine?

The first thing to know is that wine and food pairings are subjective. Some people will happily drink a sauvignon blanc with a steak or a pinot noir with key lime pie - just because a wine will complement the food doesn’t mean that everyone will like it, so it's a good idea to cover all bases and get a variety of wine.

However most diners will appreciate a wine that goes well with their food, so selecting a good pairing could be the difference between an average dinner party and an amazing one.

Which wine should I have for meat dishes?

This depends on the meat you are serving. If it’s a chicken dish, a chardonnay might be nice. A pinot noir could go well with lamb. For venison or steak, cabernet sauvignon is often recommended, and for pork a zinfandel might be good. Also take into consideration the sauces used. A lot of sauce on the dish could affect the pairing.

Which wine to drink with fish?

Again this depends on the type of fish being served. For oysters or scallops, a sauvignon blanc would often be recommended. A chardonnay would suit shrimp or crab. A pinot noir could go well with grilled salmon. If you are serving cod, a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc would go well.

To play it safe, choose a wine that goes with a lot of foods. Chardonnay or white zinfandel are usually safe bets. Avoid sparkling wine.

Any other tips?

Don’t serve white wine too cold or red wine too warm. It's a good idea to take white wine out of the fridge around 15 minutes before serving and put red wines in the fridge for around 15 minutes before serving.

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