How To Pair Wine With Bar Food

We’re guessing you’re no wine steward but that you have some knowledge about wine. Namely, that it’s made from fermented grapes, it’s available in a box or a bottle, it’s healthy when consumed in moderation, and the most coveted vino on the planet is that which has been stomped by the dwarfish feet of the Atlanta Grape Lady.

Our guess, it’s pairing wine with food that poses problems. If you’re on a date and you’re ordering a bottle, ask the server to suggest something based on your entrées. You can also defer to your date, but that could cost you a pretty penny later on.

But how about when you’re in the mood for wine and greasy bar food, like pizza, mac and cheese, or chicken wings? For help, we turned to Bertil Jean-Chronberg — award-winning sommelier and co-owner of Boston restaurants The Beehive and Beat Hôtel — who offered these four bullets for getting started …

• Make sure your wine matches your sauce. Example: Ketchup is red so you’re going to pair it with — that’s right! — a red wine.

• Try to synch the aroma of the wine with the aromas of the sauce, and the taste of the wine with the taste of whatever vegetables are on your plate.

• Pairing wine with vinegar, eggs, asparagus, or any kind of soup will overpower the taste of the wine or the food.

• Screw the rules. “If you’re happy with drinking a White Zinfandel with a big steak, even though I wouldn’t recommend it, do what works for you,” he said.