With spring quickly approaching, many foodies and casual customers alike are making their reservations to experience the fine dining all throughout the concrete jungle. This is usually the time of the year where critics begin to indulge the true essence and culture that the city has to offer. As much as we can hail the culinary instituted found within the five boroughs, we also need to comprehend that the epitome of the perfect meal is, and will always be, complemented by the perfect drink.

When it comes to fine dining, the right wine can enhance a dish to perfection. While there is no hard and fast rule on matching food and wine, there are basic guidelines on what wine connoisseurs and food lovers consider to be a strong choice. Below, you will learn more about wine choices and how to best complement the overall flavors of your meal. Remember, choosing a wine is as much important as choosing your meal. For those that like to keep it simple and perhaps novices to viticulture’s at large, these helpful tips will best guide you in picking an optimal drink for your entrée.

1. Simple yet sweet:

Choose a light wine for light food. The same goes for the opposite. Choose a heavy wine for heavy food. Depending on your overall dining situation, this can play a large role of what the day will turn out to be. For heavy wine, you are looking a selection that can cleanse the overall palette of your meal. Any type of mix and matching can lead to unfavorable results. Worse case situation is spending a large amount of money on a wine bottle that you won’t drink because it doesn’t fit the overall taste of your meal.

2. Consider the suggestion of your server:

While it has been known that some servers will try and pass of the most expensive wines as the best option for your meal, many experienced members in the service industry are incredibly informative and content to educate and advise you with your selection. This is especially good for novices who are trying to get into the wine-scene. If you are still uncertain, try asking your server for samples before making that dining commitment.

3. Special event:

For a special bottle of wine, try and plan the overall meal around the bottle. Normally, we pick our drinks to help complement the dishes. But if this is for a sentimental event, try and focus on the wine itself. It will make your decision on ordering food that much easier.

4. Know your Taste Experience:

To help find the best bottle, you should already know the type of taste you are looking for. Go off of what you know. Make sure you know the four main types of taste: saltiness, bitterness, acidity, and sweetness. If you already have a preference, ask your server for a recommendation based on that preference and they can provide you with the best-fit selection.

5. Ask for Pairings

At times, the restaurant can do the work for you. Inquire about the food and wine-pairing menu.