Wine and food pairing are difficult for those of us who are just beginning to learn about wines. I must admit that I did not drink wine in my youth; however, as I have matured and my pallet has changed I find that I enjoy a good bottle of wine with my meals. Choosing a wine to accompany your meal is a matter of individual taste; however, there are a few food pairings that you should avoid with each wine because the food will actually damage the taste of the wine. For example, fish and goat cheese should never be paired with a red wine and red meat tends to alter the taste of white wines. I have learned a few tips along the way (through trial & error as well as a little research) about how to pair red wine with food.
When planning a meal, remember that wine is like the rest of your meal – – you drink lighter wines at the beginning of your meal and progress to heavier wines at the end. For this reason, red wines are typically not paired with appetizers. You may use a red wine with cheese as an appetizer; however, you will want to choose cheeses that are stronger in flavor such as Feta, Muenster or Roquefort. Keep the red wine to something lighter such as a Beaujolais or Zinfandel. This will keep your guests from becoming overwhelmed by a heavy wine before the main course is served.