When it comes to pairing wine with food, which is very common at wine tastings in Argentina, there are definitely some guidelines that can be followed in order make your dining and wining experience more pleasurable. Of course your number one rule is going to be drink what you like. That should take precedence over all other recommendations and suggestions because if you don’t enjoy your wine then there’s no point in drinking in the first place. A good place to start would be to take a look at your meal as a whole. Picking out the dominant characteristics is the best jumping off point so your pairing will have a sense of direction. Various elements to take into consideration would be if your meal is fatty or lean, if the flavor is going to be mild or a bit more savory, as well as whether your meal is going to be acidic or rich.
Keeping these characteristics in mind it is a good idea to keep the flavors in balance with each other. Big zesty foods should be matched with an equally big and zesty wine. The same goes for foods that are milder; the wine should be milder. Off hand examples of this would be pairing a spicy pepper steak with a bolder Cabernet Sauvignon. Similarly it is a good idea to match rich foods with rich wines such as chicken served with a creamy sauce and Chardonnay.
To delve a little deeper into flavors it’s a good plan to cleanse your palate with tannins or acids. When eating a meal that is rich and fatty and you’re in the mood for a white wine pairing it with a more crisp acidic wine provides a good contrast to the meal. If you’re in the mood for a red wine choosing one that is more tannic makes the most sense. Dishes that tend to be more acidic such those made with lemon, oranges, or tomatoes harmonize well with acidic wines. Foods that have high amounts of spices in them such as certain Central American and Asian cuisines do not couple well with wine because the spicy flavors tend to overwhelm the palate and can destroy the flavors from the wine. In general it is better to pick a different type of beverage to pair with your dish (milk perhaps?). Another flavor profile that doesn’t mix very well is acidic wines and rich cream sauces. Like I said earlier, go with what you know and like but hopefully this will prove helpful if you’re feeling a little more daring.