by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | December 01, 2003

Intimidated by the task of selecting the right wine to complement that special banquet? Consider these tips from the online experts at Wine Answers (

Power plays. Hearty dishes like roasts need a heavy, full-bodied red to support them; try a burgundy. More delicate dishes like salmon should be paired with a lighter wine, such as a pinot noir, or the wine will overpower the dish.

Sauce support. Dishes such as chicken with lemon butter need a wine that plays off the sauce. Try a white zinfandel.

Going dry. Japanese teriyakis and foods with sweet honey-mustard glazes can make a wine taste drier than it is. An off-dry wine, such as Chenin Blanc or Riesling, will balance the flavor.

Meaty matters. Zinfandels and Syrahs work best with grilled steaks and chops; the fat in those foods tones down the bite of the wines.

Salad days. Bitter greens need a fruity wine, such as merlot, to counter their acidity.