Few things in life are more satisfying than a delicious meal paired with the perfect complementary wine. Novice wine connoisseurs can often be left confused when it comes to finding the ideal wine to pair with a specific dish. To help you sort through the recommended pairings, here are a few basic guidelines to follow:

CHAMPAGNE: Because of the naturally sweet undertones, this sparkly beverage is a good partner with salty foods. Try it with risotto or snack foods such as pretzels and nuts to help bring out the refreshing taste of the beverage.

PINOT NOIR: This favorite red wine is ideally paired with earthy flavors such as mushrooms or truffles. Pinot noirs with a bold, tannic undertone pair well with duck, pheasant, and other game birds.

CHARDONNAY: This white wine is a perfect match for fish and chicken served in creamy sauces. The dry bite of the Chardonnay will help to cut the richness of the dish.

SAUVIGNON BLANC: The snappy taste of a Sauvignon Blanc is best served with tart foods designed to balance the crisp undertones. Good choices to pair with this wine would be scallops, fish, or any dish with a tangy aftertaste.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON: As one of the most popular red wine varietals, this choice works well with any type of red meat. The strong tannin presence pairs beautifully with steak, lamb chops, and more making it a versatile wine choice.

PINOT GRIGIO: This delicate white wine is an exceptional choice to pair with light seafood dishes. Bring out the flavor of dishes such as grilled halibut or lemon chicken piccata with a solid Pinot Grigio.

SYRAH: This spiciness of a Syrah will be able to stand up to dishes heavy on flavor and spice. For this reason, it works well with any meal with a strong flavor profile such as barbeque or smoked meats.

MOSCATO: The bright fruit profile in this wine makes it an excellent choice to pair with nearly any cheese while balancing out the strong flavor of the food. The Moscato is also an excellent complement to any fruit-based dessert because it will draw out the sweet profile and enhance the flavor without overpowering it.