In a recent DBD 49er16 practically broke my heart by suggesting that a Lager (it doesn't matter which one) made a good pairing for prime rib. Sigh. So I thought I'd take the bull by the horns and make it a little easier for some of the denizens of CGB to start manning up and drinking wine with dinner. I think most of us learn to drink beer in college, and stick with that after we graduate, because, hey, it's what we know. Feels good, why mess with a good thing? Because there can be so much more. My apologies in advance to all the readers that don't drink alcohol.
But in truth wine is essential for the enjoyment of a good meal. Now, not every meal will be enhanced with wine, there are some foods, some cuisines that don't quite work with wine, but for those that do, it really is essential. One of the most glorious combinations in the world is a great Cabernet and a cut of meat of your choice; it's hard to improve on perfection.
So here is a helpful guide to get you started:
Notes: Strong, full bodied, firm tannins. - - - Any steak, roast beef, lamb, and any hearty and rich meal that's not too spicyMerlot
Notes: Full bodied, plush, but soft tannins - - Largely similar, but since it's softer, this is a wine you can enjoy without food.Malbec
Notes: Full bodied, but soft tannins, inky - - - Again, similar to Merlot, but works better with meat dishes that are spicierPinot Noir (Burgundy)
Notes: Medium bodied, silky, elegant - - - - - Roast chicken, pork chops, salmonSyrah
Notes: Strong, full bodied, round tannins. - - - Meat that is spicier, ribs with chilies, BBQ, hearty soups.Zinfandel
Notes: Strong, full bodied, spicy, lively. - - - - Pizza, BBQ, chef salads, hamburgers.
Notes: Medium bodied, fruity, tannic - - - - - Pasta dishes with marinara sauce
Notes: Fuller bodied, buttery mouth feel - - - - Halibut, deglazed chicken breastsSauvignon Blanc
Notes: Sharp, zesty, refreshing, bright - - - - - Asian food (not too spicy)Champagne
Notes: Effervescent, refreshing, balanced - - - Hors d'oeuvres
So, this is just a start. If you want to head down this path, there is a lifetime of discovery ahead of you. But the important part is to just have fun on this voyage of discovery - don't be worried about what you know, ask questions and learn along the way. Find out what you love, and dinner will be more rewarding when you do.