(pairing wine with beef)

Choosing the right wine depends on more than just the main ingredient, but it's a good place to start. While you may be able to get away with a very full bodied Chardonnay or something similar, the best rule of thumb with beef is to start with red wine.

For a plain slab of meat (perhaps in the form of a steak) you will want a wine with a lot of body and flavor that can stand up to the power of the rich, fatty red meat. A wine with lots of tannin will help balance the meal, as the tannins are great at standing up to the fat in meat and getting your mouth ready for the next bite.

Some simple, easy winners with steak are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah and Bordeaux reds.

Bringing in other flavors or ingredients with the meat can affect your wine choice. If you want to bring out the smoky qualities of grilled meat, going with something from the South of France like a Cotes du Rhone or a Chateauneuf du Pape would be a great choice. If you start to get a little saucy and throw in some barbeque sauce, you'll want a red with more fruit to balance the increased flavors and sweetness. A peppery Zinfandel or a big jammy Australian Shiraz would do the trick well.