First, target the main ingredient in your meal
'Body' is how weighty or light a wine feels when you taste
Think about how weighty the flavours in your dish are, then match the two. Delicate foods like chicken or fish need a wine with a light body (often a white) that won’t overpower. But for a robust steak, you might want a full-bodied wine (usually a red) that stands up to it. Always check the label, many wines will suggest dishes that pair well, whether that’s grilled fish or a rich stew.
Secondly, consider how your dish is being cooked
You want to balance the dish with the wine
Rich, creamy sauces go best with creamy wines like oaked Chardonnay. Asian dishes packed with aromatic and tropical ingredients pair well with wines with similar flavours – like a Riesling. For smoky barbecued food, like this charred corn salad, opt for a rich red with dark, complementary flavours.
Third, pair local with local
If in doubt, consider the origins of your dish
A wine from the same region is often a perfect match. Argentina produces some of the best steaks in the world... and makes one of the greatest steak wines: Malbec. Albariño from Rias Baixas, in northwest Spain, goes well with seafood, which is in abundance there.
A splash of red or white adds oomph to gravies, stews and risottos. The aroma, acidity and alcohol, which burns off as you cook, all add flavour. The golden rule? If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. There’s no need to splurge.
Kevin Meehan, Tesco wine expert
Wine pairing for everyday food
To get you started, here are some classic dinner ideas alongside their perfect wine pairing: