Reliable Wine Choices at a Restaurant

With all the thousands of wines in hundreds of styles out there, you can’t be expected to remember all the wines and how they pair with food. To make it easier for you, here is a shorter list of a few types of wine that are on most restaurant wine lists and that are consistently reliable choices with food.

Reliable Wine Choices when Ordering in a Restaurant
When You Want . . . Order . . .
A crisp, dry white wine that isn’t very flavorful to accompany
delicately flavored fish or seafood
Soave, Pinot Grigio, or Sancerre
Dry, flavorful white wine that’s perfect with mussels and other
shellfish
Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa or New Zealand or an
Albariño from Spain
Medium-bodied, characterful, dry white wine for simple poultry,
risotto, and dishes that are medium in weight
Mâcon-Villages, St.-Véran, Sancerre, or
Pouilly-Fuissé
Full-bodied, rich white wine for lobster or rich chicken
entrées
California or Australian Chardonnay
Medium-dry white wine for Asian-inspired dishes Chenin Blanc, Vouvray, or German Riesling
Easy-drinking, inexpensive red, perfect with roast chicken Beaujolais
Versatile, flavorful, relatively inexpensive red that can stand
up to spicy food
California Red Zinfandel
A lighter red that’s delicious, young, and works with all sorts
of light- and medium-intensity foods
Oregon Pinot Noir, Malbec
The basic French version of Pinot Noir; try it with simple cuts
of steak
Bourgogne Rouge
Dry, spicy, grapey, and relatively inexpensive red wine that’s
perfect with pizza
Barbera, Dolcetto
A very dry, medium-bodied red that’s great with pasta and
simple cuts of meat
Chianti Classico