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How do I choose wine for my meal?

Selecting a wine to enjoy with your meal doesn’t have to be hard, and we're here to help. Our top tips make it really easy to work out exactly which wine will best complement your meal.

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.

Garlic and thyme steak 617x405

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.

Charred chilli corn 617x405

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.

Spanish squid stew 617x405

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:

617x405 Bangers with smashed spring potatoes

Now you're feeling inspired, why not browse the great choices we have available?

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