To help you get the most out your selection, we've compiled the following ‘golden rules', although they're more hints than rules as taste is such a personal thing. Therefore you may want to just stop at Golden Rule 1. Alternatively, you could just throw caution to the winds, be brave and experiment. Whichever route you decide to take – enjoy and have fun. Bon Appetite!
Golden Rule 1 – Pair wine with people first!
You may have lovingly prepared the finest Beef Wellington in the world – but if one of your guests only drinks white wine, it probably wouldn't be a great idea to force that great Haut Medoc down their throat! Therefore you may need to consider serving a white wine too!
Golden Rule 2 – light and dry first!
If you're having several bottles of wine for your dinner party - try to serve light wines before heavy full-bodied ones and, if possible, generally serve dry wines before sweet ones.
Golden Rule 3 – Weight is key!
Try to match the weight of the food with that of the wine. For example heavy meat casseroles and goulashes really need a full bodied wine whereas grilled scallops need a light crisp wine. With certain dishes a full bodied white wine may be a better choice than a light red or vice versa – which is why you will often see a choice of wine styles when using the ‘What Goes With What' guide.
Golden Rule 4 – Beware of strong sauces!
If you're serving a course with a dominant flavoured sauce – try to match the wine with the sauce rather than the meat or fish.
Golden Rule 5 – same region if possible!
Try to match the dish with a wine from the same region. After all the French, Italians and Spanish have had thousands of years to perfect the art of food and wine matching and therefore know a thing or two about whether something works or not.
Golden Rule 6 – Balance
Pairing wine and food is all about balance – neither should overpower the other.
And finally remember, wine which you enjoy by itself or as an aperitif may taste completely different when served with food.