The Mediterranean diet is not a "diet" in the commonly accepted definition of the word; it's really a lifestyle. And nothing epitomizes that more than the fact that wine has its place in the standard Mediterranean food pyramid. It's true wine can have health benefits, but it also characterizes the Mediterranean way of life as one that values good food, good drink and relaxing meals. Use this guide to select the wines to pair with your Mediterranean meals.

Choosing Red Wines
Wine Taste Pair It With
Cabernet Sauvignon Dry, medium- to full-bodied, with flavors of plum, blackberry, vanilla, and tobacco Lean red meat, pastas, or a square of dark chocolate
Chianti Dry, medium-bodied, with flavors of cherry and roses All Italian foods, tomato-based pasta, Parmesan cheese, and lean chicken or beef
Merlot Dry, medium-bodied, with flavors of plum, black cherry, spice, and chocolate Poultry, lean red meats, pastas, and salad
Pinot Noir Dry, light- to medium-bodied, with flavors of cherry, blackberry, strawberry, cinnamon, and clove Poultry, fish, and vegetables; also offers a good balance to heavier dishes
White Zinfandel (Rosé) Sweet and light, with flavors of berry, citrus, and vanilla Both mild and spicier dishes, fruit, fish, and lean meats