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wine with dinnerThe rules for wine pairing have relaxed a bit, but the fact remains that certain flavors of food and wine mix better together than others.

While it isn't unheard of to have a white wine with meat or a red wine with fish or seafood, you don't want to serve a very strong tasting wine with a delicate entree, or the other way around.

The wine and the food should complement each other, not do battle in your mouth. So how can you tell if a wine will go well with a certain meal?

It's not rocket science, but it is science -- coupled with creativity and ones own taste and perception.

Bold reds are the classic match for red meats, but most cheeses can also usually soften the tannins in a rich red wine making a Merlot or a Shiraz seem more fruity.

Don't pair hearty red, high-alcohol wines with spicy foods, however, or you may find the spice intensified -- leading to an explosion in your mouth that is memorable -- but certainly not in a good way!

What about wine with turkey dinner? As with any meal that combines a banquet of flavors (also see wine with Indian food) a nice middle-of-the-road wine is called for. What wines are guaranteed to play nice with both sweet cranberry sauce and herb stuffing? They include medium dry to sweet light alcohol wines, such as a German Reisling or Gewurztraminer. Sparkling wines and champagne are also good choices along with an Italian Zinfandel or a non-threatening rosé.

Of course, these are only the basic tenets of wine and food pairing. The ONLY way to find out what food best pairs with wine your serving is by ... experimenting! That's what wine tastings are for, and helps you and your fellow wine enthusiasts come together to discuss exactly what works, and what doesn't. Despite the occasional failure, some unexpected pairings (like uptown Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example, and neighborhood pizza) can turn out to be, as one wine taster recently admitted, "the greatest invention since chocolate and peanut butter".

Have fun experimenting.

More about wine & food pairing around the Web:

Just up ahead, check out more advice at top sites on the subject to help explain what foods pair well with which wines and why, with reviews of some combinations for you to use as a basis for your own selections and menu planning.

also see -> Wine with Sushi | Red Wine & Barbecue | Wine with Lamb


The secrets of matching Indian food with wine
- Are you serving Indian food and just about given up on finding wines to match? You're in good company with the tasters in this article, but they do find several solutions that will cool your curry without ruining your meal. Also check out several recipes for Indian favorites.

What to Drink with Japanese Food - A report on Japanese sake and suggested light-bodied Chardonnays, Sauvingon Blancs and Rieslings, from the Wine Spectator.

How to pair wine with Chinese food - Check out this guide to matching the right wine with fried rice, egg rolls, chicken dishes, and more.

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