Whether you’re hosting a dinner party and trying to find the right wine, or you’re out having a meal and are spoilt for choice, it can be difficult to know which wine will complement your meal perfectly. Wine is drunk by around 118 million people in America alone, making it one of the most popular alcoholic beverages. If you believe yourself to be a wine connoisseur in need of some direction, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we will run through top tips to get your wine game on top form.

Play It Safe With Bubbles

If you’re going in blind, with no idea what’s on the menu or what anyone enjoys, play it safe with champagne or sparkling wine. Believe it or not, sparkling wine is versatile and pairs well with a range of dishes including sushi and caviar. Alternatively, if sparkline wine isn’t floating your boat, take a wine along with you that dinner guests can drink before their meal.

White wine is an excellent choice for pre-meal drinks, with Chardonnay leading the pack. In fact, it’s the most popular wine in the US, which means the chances of having disappointed guests are slim. To get your connoisseur wine, sites like Underground Cellar have a selection of premium wines.

Ask Your Guests

If you’re hosting a dinner party, you can throw traditional meal pairings out of the window and just ask your guests what they’d like. The majority of wines will tell you suggested meal pairings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go against the grain and mix your wines up. If your guests can’t decide on a unanimous wine, consider bringing red and white to the party and spreading them throughout the evening.

Match With Dinner

When you’re pairing wine with dinner, you should start by considering the main event (usually the protein). Secondarily, you should look at the sauce to help determine your wine choice. As a general rule, the intensity of your food will complement the intensity of your wine. For example, white wine works perfectly with low-intensity meats like fish or chicken. Further, if you need to choose a wine to work with your dessert, consider a Chenin Blanc – which is made sweeter in the US.

Know Your Wine Dryness/Sweetness

When people talk about dry wine and sweet wine, it can be difficult to understand what they mean if you’re a rookie. Dry wine occurs when the grape sugar content is converted into alcohol during the fermentation process. Sweet wine, on the other hand, still has some residual sugar. If you don’t know what your preferences are, buy a range of sweet and dry wines for your guests to try.

Drinking wine with a meal, or serving it at a dinner party, can add an air of class to your meal experience. Play around with different flavors, talk to your guests, and have fun along the way.