Inspired by one of VinePair’s most popular site sections, the Wine 101 podcast takes an educational, easy-to-digest look into the world of wine. This episode of Wine 101 is sponsored by J Vineyards & Winery. For over 30 years, J Vineyards & Winery has developed a reputation as one of the top sparkling and varietal wine producers in California. With styles from bright and bubbly to bold and complex, J wines offer remarkable range and exceptional craftsmanship that you’ll want to share. J has come to be known for its celebrated estate vineyards, contemporary winery, and world-class hospitality. Uncork life with J and let life bubble over.

Welcome back to Wine 101 with Keith Beavers, VinePair tastings director. Beavers spoke with Carl Shelton, executive chef of J Vineyards & Winery, prior to this episode, to learn more about food-and-wine-pairing basics. In the episode, he dishes on the elements to consider when selecting a bottle to drink with dinner.

As Beavers explains, pairing food and wine goes beyond the adage, “White wine with fish and red wine with meat.” While it is true, he says, it is not as simple as that. Often, the pairing is more about what the protein is dressed with and the dominant characteristic of the dish. For example, sauces like tomato sauce and barbecue sauce have natural sugars, so each of these should be paired with a wine that matches its level of sweetness. (Beavers suggests Chianti and Malbec, respectively.) On the other hand, acidic dishes such as those with citrus sauces pair best with a wine with a similar level of acidity.

Pairing is about finding characteristics in both the food and wine that complement each other. After this week’s episode, listeners will know all about paring their favorite meals with a good bottle of wine, and what they should be looking for when doing so.

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