Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is it true that we have to drink white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat?
—Sanjeev S., New Delhi, India
The old adage of “red wine with meat and white wine with fish,” while easy to remember, is no longer considered gospel. These days, you’re more likely to hear, “Drink what you like, eat what you like.” But there are still guidelines that can help your wine pairing choice to be a sound one.
Here are today’s basic rules of pairing: do your best to match the weight and mouthfeel of the wine and food, balance their intensity, and try to either match flavors or counterbalance them. Intense foods call for intense wines. Red wines typically pair well with red meat because meat stands up to the tannins, but you can substitute rich, full-bodied whites. White wines tend to have more acidity than reds, which can counterbalance rich foods and cut through heavy notes, especially when a dish is served with a sauce or in a stew. I find it really depends on how a meat is prepared and what kind of sauce or side dish is served. For example, I might pair grilled salmon with a Pinot Noir, but I’d pair a poached salmon topped with a melon salsa with a Pinot Blanc.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions