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 (www.wineanswers.com).

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.