While your dinner guests may not be M and Mme Lafite-Rothschild, you don’t want your starters destroyed by the wrong plonk. Captain Vino himself and author of 250 Best Wines 2011, Oz Clarke, helps us match-make.
A “Don’t think red with meat, white with fish, we’re not Victorians. We used to drink red with roasts because we didn’t know how to make red wine and the meat cancelled out the grapes. Find a wine you love for less than £12. Don’t spend more or people will worry too much about how to enjoy it.”
B "For difficult spicy dishes and curries, something crisp and neutral like an Italian white is an alternative to beer. Grillo, pecorino and falanghina are grapes we’ve hardly heard of, but there’s no oak barrelling, less flavour and the perfect neutrality for a spicy dish.”
C “For other difficult-to-match dishes such as seafood or creamy dishes, always think region not grape. We’re all so obsessed with fruit these days. For a wine that will please every guest, whatever the dish, go Chilean. You’ll struggle to go wrong even under a fiver with Chile.”
(Image: Rex Features)