Choosing the correct wine for the occasion is the most basic rule to keep in mind.

Matching Food and Wine 
I wish I just had a list or spreadsheet which would make all this much easier, but here are some factors which you can use to make your own decisions on wine selection for your meals. 

bulletDon't dwell on color - There are enough other factors to consider: the color will take care of itself.   For instance, chicken dishes can be prepared to match well with any wine, depending on the ingredients.   Lighter reds and strong whites can survive most food parings.
bulletMatch strengths - Powerfully flavored dishes require wines of equal fortitude.   Example:  Herb-crusted leg of lamb or garlicky ratatouille match well with a strongly flavored wine, usually red.   Delicate dishes need delicate wine.   Example:  Simply prepared white fish need a gentle wine, usually white.
bulletOpposites attract - Example: The spicy cuisine of the Pacific Rim needs a light, sweet wine to extinguish the fire.   Rich cream or butter sauces are well matched with an acidic "cutting wine".
bulletRegional affinity - In Europe it is a a truism  that regional cooking goes best with the local wine.  Since gastronomy and oenology evolved side by side, it stands to reason that food and wine  derived from the same soil and served on the same dinner table have an underlying affinity.
bulletSimple wine with complex food - This would solve the hypothetical dilemma of Esoffier in a "fusion" restaurant.   Pair this food with a varietal not inclined to great complexity - Pinot Blanc (among whites) and Merlot (among reds) come to mind. 
bulletComplex wine with simple food - The best way to showcase a fabulously complex (and expensive) wine is to pair it with a simple, yet delicious, background dish.  Examples:  A super-premium Cabernet Sauvignon with plain grilled steak or a great white Burgandy (Chardonnay) with plain broiled fish.
bulletMatch Price - a $50 Chianti would be wasted on a pizza, but a carefully prepared dinner deserves an equally special wine.
bulletSparkling wine still goes with almost anything - Because the bubbles make up for the lightness of flavor, sparkling wine can be perfectly fine with traditional red-wine dishes.
bulletMatch wine with the occasion - Informal gatherings call for informal wine.  Save the haughty bottles for three-fork dinner parties and/or pompous relatives.
bulletServing red wine with fish - As long as the acid level is high and the tannins are barely noticeable, red wine is fine with most seafood.  
bulletWhite wine with beef - Certain wines are big enough to stand up to charred sirloin and other beef dishes.    Consider high-alcohol and well-oaked California or Australian Chardonnay.
bulletServe cheaper wine with cheese - The fat in cheese makes wine taste better.  This makes cheese an important ingredient at receptions at which large quantities of inexpensive wine are served.
bulletFruit and wine don't match - Most fruits are acidic, and so are most wines.  Fruit acids can throw a good wine out of balance.
bulletWine and chocolate don't match - And they never will, although it's fun to try.

 

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How Much?
It is estimated that 10 mature vines will produce between 15 and 22 gallons of wine.

 

 


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