There is a saying, “What grows together, goes together”. No matter what I am drinking with my food I tend to enjoy “like” with “like”. Meaning- if I am eating Asian food I will generally have Asian beer (Tsingtao, Sapporo, Singha,) or Sake (酒). Italian food = Italian beer = Italian wine. The flavors of different cultures and cuisines are usually a good marriage when you keep them together.
Aside from that here are some other good basic hints:
- Light bodied wine with light food
- Pair to the sauce or treatment, not necessarily to the food item. It is more important to know that chicken is going to be bathed in BBQ sauce, prepared as chicken parmigana, or simply grilled, when pairing a wine.
- color with color (white meats = white wine, red meats = red wine)
- Spicy foods need some spice, or a little sweetness in the wine. (residual sugar)
- Try to have the food and wine complement each other, one shouldn’t overpower the other.
- There are no “rules”. Eat and drink what you like.