What Grows Together, Goes Together

One of the challenges to pairing wines with food is that everyone gives rules for how to do it correctly: white wine with fish and red wine with meat, match acidity in the wine with acidity of the food, and delicate with delicate and bold with bold. All of these rules can be helpful at times, but sometimes they can also be paralysing. Plus, all of these rules have exceptions, which only further adds to the confusion.

First things first, the most important thing is to drink wine that you enjoy with food that you enjoy. So if you want a crisp Sauvignon Blanc next to a fatty steak, I don't see anything wrong with that. That being said, I'll offer here one tip that has always been the most helpful to me.

What grows together, goes together. If you match the style of food with the kind of wine from the region, you will almost always have a great pairing. So if you're having pasta, Italian wine is the best place to start since many of the wine styles evolved to match the food of the region. Or, if you're having a fish, try wine from a coastal region like Rias Baixas Spain, Marlborough New Zealand, or Casablanca Valley Chile. By following this simple maxim, you can make really good pairings consistently, and it can be a great way to try new wines as well!