Many people suffer some level of anxiety when pairing wine with food. You, good reader, can say goodbye to that forever. While there are some finer points one can consider, pairing wine with food can be distilled down to 2 rules on which I will elaborate below. Those rules are not drink white with fish and red with meat.
1. Drink something you like.
2. Pair body with body.
On rule 1, if someone is having a filet mignon with mushrooms and a bordelaise sauce that person should not drink a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux-style blend if that person just plainly does not like those types of wines. There are many other full bodied wines, especially red but also white, that will work. That is where rule 2 comes in to play, but never violate rule 1.
The old and outdated rules of white with fish and red with meat actually came from the same basic principles as rule 2. Fish dishes were generally light-bodied and white wines were generally light-bodied. Meat dishes were generally fuller bodied and red wines were generally fuller bodied. It made sense. However, with the evolution and expansion of both culinary and vinicultural techniques over the last few decades those rules needed some updating. All wines, both red and white range from light-bodied to full-bodied. So when you have a guest that only drinks white but is having that filet with mushroom sauce it is your responsibility as a server to be able to guide that guest to a wine she/he will enjoy. The same applies to your guest that only drinks red but is having a filet of sole.
In future installments I will go over some of those finer points mentioned above. In the meantime, don’t be afraid of doing a little ‘personal research’. Cheers, everyone! I’m out for now.