Choosing the Best Wine for Each Occasion There are really no hard and fast rules when choosing the best wine for each occasion - especially when you consider the fact that people are partial to certain wines depending on their personal preference and taste. Here are a few ‘soft’ guidelines to help you choose the right wine for the right occasion. This will give you a good idea on how to complement an occasion – and certain dishe – with the right kind of wine. 1. White Wines – white wines, being lighter and drier than red wines are best served during the earlier part of the evening or before the main course. Chardonnay, having wide appeal among most wine connoisseurs, is also perfect for serving along with rich tasting courses, especially those that have creamy sauces. Sauvignon Blanc, while not as dry as Chardonnay, still makes excellent company with salads, shrimp, and fish due to its fruity nature. White wines are perfect for starting off an evening on the right foot, and are also wonderful for toasts and special occasions. Champagne is a regular fixture at weddings and is indispensable at such occasions. 2. Red Wines – red wines are great for main courses and are typically served during the latter part of any occasion. Their full bodied nature makes them a great complement to hearty meals. If you are looking for the wine that is most certain to please the most people, go for Merlot. It has a balanced mix of body and lightness that make it the perfect choice for most dishes. It particularly does well with poultry, pork and lamb. The scintillating aroma of plum, vanilla and blackberry make Pinot Noir an intriguing proposition during special occasions. It is not as heralded as Merlot or Cabernet, so many people may not recognize its unique blend. It goes well with creamy sauces. For spicy foods, Shiraz is a fiery complement. It has a peppery taste that will greatly enhance the flavor in barbeques, roasts, and chili or spicy dishes. For a hearty, full taste, look no further than Chianti. Chianti is the best wine to accompany tomato dishes and poultry. It is wonderfully versatile in having varied range in price and quality. During some occasions you may want to prepare servings of both red and white wine, and have your guests sample which they would have for the rest of the evening. Most people choose their drinks early on and keep them until the end of the reception.