Should be drunk before meals
Wine with your meal
Do not despair! It is the same for many people and the following help should be by your side, even if it does not claim to be complete - there are simply too many wines for that. And ultimately only one thing counts: your personal taste.
It is best to try the following tips and if something does not suit you, then do not be afraid: Simply cut off old braids and enjoy your meal according to your preferences. After all, today you can even drink red wine with fish without being ashamed of it. Although the old saying "white wine with fish and red wine with meat" is still justified.
The simplest, but not exactly cheap: champagne. It is always suitable as a stimulating drink that prepares the stomach and sets the mood for the subsequent meal. If it doesn't necessarily have to be champagne, a German vintage sparkling wine, a French crémant or an Italian prosecco will of course do the same.
Unfortunately, especially with Prosecco, the quality often fluctuates. Not so common today, but still recommended, are sherries or a light rosé from southern France or Spain.
With the starters
White wine is almost always the right choice. For example a nice, dry Riesling or a light Pinot Grigio. They go well with fish and mussels, salads, antipasti or egg dishes. Pates, on the other hand, go better with light red wines, as do salami or smoked goods.
With Italian pasta you should choose red or white wine depending on the sauce. If meat is involved, a red wine usually goes with it, which can also be stronger. And if you want something very special like caviar, then of course champagne goes best with it.
With seafood and fish
As already mentioned above, a dry white is usually recommended. Riesling is always a good choice. But a slightly stronger Chablis is also suitable for fish, especially if the sauce is finer. Shellfish and crabs also require white wine.
The increasingly popular sushi goes well with white wine, but Japanese beer or sake (Japanese rice wine) are also recommended. Somewhat stronger fish, for example from the grill, can also be enjoyed with a light red wine.
With meat dishes
What applies to red wine and fish also applies the other way around, of course, to white wine and meat. A good, spicy white wine goes well with many meat dishes. Some meat dishes, especially Chinese, even go better with white wine because of their sweetness.
A fine red wine is the better choice for most meat dishes. The strong meat taste calls for strong red wines. The stronger the sauce, the stronger the wine, is a useful rule of thumb.
Another tip is that for Italians it is best to have an Italian red with the meat dishes, for French a nice Bordeaux or Burgundy and for German a Pinot Noir. The reason for this: Usually the dishes are cooked with red wines typical of the country or the development of the recipes was closely linked to the local wines.
However, there are some dishes that simply call for the best wines: For lamb and mutton dishes, game and especially game poultry, you should choose a really good red wine, which can sometimes be more expensive. These types of meat harmonize best with very balanced, long-term top-quality wines.
Classics for dessert are noble sweet white wines such as the French Sauternes or the German Beerenauslese. The Italian sparkling wine Asti Spumante also goes well with some desserts such as ice cream or rum desserts. Sweet muscatel wine is recommended with fruit or fruit salads.
The Portuguese port wine, which is available in both sweet and dry versions, is served either with cheese and nuts or on its own. Other well-known fortified wines, which are often drunk straight, are the Sicilian Marsala, the Spanish sherry or the Portuguese Madeira.
To the cheese
It doesn't always have to be red wine. Cheese is often much too strong in taste to go well with fine red wines. A sweet or bitter white wine often goes better. A light white wine goes best with cream cheese, and a stronger white wine goes best with semi-soft cheese. Blue cheeses go very well with noble sweet wines.
Soft cheeses like Camembert and Brie tend to call for a medium-strength red wine. On the other hand, a stronger red can be served with hard cheese. As a simple rule of thumb, the following can also apply here: regional wine with regional cheese. Otherwise: Try it out and let yourself be guided by your own taste.
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