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Nothing elevates a beautiful meal quite like the perfect drink pairing. Pairing is a much broader idea than most people assume it is. For instance, some of my favorite pairings are Chardonnay and popcorn, or Merlot with a deep, dark chocolate bar. You can even pair wines with cigars if that's your thing.

Pairing your favorite foods with an amazing wine may seem daunting, but it's really not. The main thing to remember is that you don't want the drink or the meal to overpower the flavor of the other. Rich foods require a rich wine, and clean, crisp wines pair better with lighter fare.

Your personal preferences absolutely matter, so booking a tasting is also a great idea. But if you're still uncertain, a sommelier is an excellent resource to match your meal and your taste to the perfect wine. And every sommelier I've ever met was beyond excited to share their knowledge with me. I would definitely defer to a sommelier if I was planning a charcuterie board for friends, for example.

English Newsom Cellars at Caprock Winery (408 E. Woodrow Road) has taken the guesswork out of pairing their award-winning selections with our favorite foods. This "flip book" is so handy that I cannot wait to try and pair them all! Would it be weird if I printed this out and kept it in my purse?


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