The right choice of a wine, whether to drink on its own or with food, is to a large extent a personal matter and there are no hard and fast rules, but some guidelines may be useful. The notes below should assist in choosing wines that are suitable for the food you wish to serve and pleasurable to drink. The grapes used may also influence your choice - see the 'Grapes' link.

Drinking Wine On Its Own

If you plan to drink the wine on its own, perhaps as an aperitif or on a summer afternoon, it is sensible to choose a wine with a relatively low alcohol content - say upto 10% alcohol. One might choose a light German wine, such as a Mosel or a Riesling, often with only 7% or 8% alcohol, or one might choose a light red wine such as a Beaujolais, designed to be drunk whilst young and fresh (e.g. Beaujolais [Villages], Brouilly, Chenas, Fleurie, Chiroubles, etc.).

Drinking Wine With Food

If you plan to drink the wine with food, what is the appropriate style of wine to choose? Generally speaking, but it is emphasised there are no hard and fast rules, fish goes with white and meat with red. Some suggestions:

- Fish: dry to medium white (a lightly chilled red Brouilly is sometimes drunk in France)

- Fois Gras: usually drunk with a medium white in this country, but often with a sweet white wine (e.g. Sauternes) in France; if buying an expensive truffled 'fois gras', a good quality Sauternes is a rare treat, but don't waste money on cheap Sauternes (please!), as this will probably disappoint

- Lamb/Pork: medium red (such as Beaujolais or some Carbernet Sauvignons), perhaps an Anjou Rosé with Lamb or with some heavier Pork dishes a heavier red (Shiraz or Pomerol)

- Beef or Venison: medium or heavier red

- Pudding: medium or sweet white

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