If you follow general guidelines, like red wine with meat and white wine with fish, can you go that far wrong? Possibly not, if you accept that this is a guideline and not a rule. Many of the classic matches do genuinely work. Bear in mind, though, that sauces and sides change the balance.
So far so good, but some of the food and wine pairing received wisdom should be questioned. Take sauternes and foie gras: this is richness piled on richness.You're better off with a riesling spätlese such as the 2005 Dr Hermann Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese, £10.99, Majestic, or a honeyed cheninc blanc such as the 2010 Domaine des Forges Coteaux du Layon, £8.49, half-bottle.
For some reason, Alsace gewurztraminer is supposed to chime with Chinese food and curry, but this is not so. Better for me is an off-dry, chilled white such as the 2013 Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten Riesling Kabinett, £14.49, Waitrose, or refreshingly pear-like 2013 Cave de Turckheim Baron d'Alsace Pinot Gris, £7.99, Morrisons. Equally, the marketing bods of Champagne will have you believe that rosé Champagne and pudding go together. Not on my table, thank you.
The cheeseboard is the biggest minefield. Blue goat and sheep cheeses go beautifully with German riesling such as the appley 2012 Schloss Reichartshausen Rheingau Riesling Spätlese, Balthasar Ress, £19.95, Eton Vintners, or the 2009 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, £19.99, Waitrose. Goat's cheeses, however, work best with sauvignon blanc such as the 2013 Florian Mollet Pouilly Fumé Antique, £17, Sainsbury's, or pure Alsace in the shape of the 2011 Le Clos Sainte Odile Obernai Riesling, £13.99.Reuse content