A: The matter of food and wine pairing is best addressed during a personal consultation with a former sous chef and current wine retailer such as McKinney Wine Merchant but if you want to wing it, consider this: If you’re having a cookout or doing generous appetizers in a stand-up party format just get a variety of 3-5 fun wines that people can slosh around: Malbec, Zinfandel, Cote-du-Rhone, Valpolicella, Almansa for red – Whites might include one light and one bolder Chardonnay a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.
For more serious food or a more formal setting you can’t go too wrong with white/red meat/wine adage. Lighter/crisper whites such as Albarino, Pinot Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay work best where dishes have higher acid ingredients such as a lemon, wine, tomato or vinegar (btw super-acidic or brined foods aren’t ‘great’ matches for any wine – sauerkraut, pickles, salsa, olives). As for red wine – more fat, more power. Lighter to bigger reds: Gamay, Pinot Noir, Grenache, lighter Syrah, Malbec, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, heavy Syrah, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot (there are plenty of caveats/exceptions to this scale – I’m sure to hear about it!)