First and foremost, don’t fall victim to advice that takes you into a wine that you know you won’t like. If you absolutely know you don’t like dark red wine, don’t buy it. Don’t drink it. Instead, figure out what you enjoy in a wine. Select wine based on the “weight” and texture of your meal. The basic rule when choosing a wine with these criteria is this: the heavier the meal, the bigger your wine needs to be to stand up to the food. So red meats and foods with
heavy sauces generally need big red wines such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot or syrah. Big reds and buttery California chardonnays also go well with sauces and pastas that are heavily-buttered or creamy. Lighter meals take lighter and more subtle flavors of wines. Thus, chicken or turkey will often be paired with white wines such as riesling or gewurtztraminer. But should you wish to eat red with a lighter meal, think about choosing a pinot noir or an Italian red like a chianti.