Wine buying guide How to buy the right wine the next time you're at the liquor store

Have you ever walked the wine aisle, unsure what to pick? Choosing between red and white can be hard enough, never mind differentiating between a pinot noir and a cabernet sauvignon.

Well, buying wine doesn't have to be a challenge! Read on the learn about some the different types of wine, their characteristics, flavors and good foods to pair them with. The next time you're buying wine, check this guide to help you make the right pick.

Red Wine


Also known as "shiraz", Syrah is rich and full-bodied with flavors of fruit and meat and a distinct peppery aroma. It is an excellent choice for something warming to drink on cold days.

Pair with: Steak, lamb, venison


Merlot is the classic easy-drinking wine: light, fruity and low in tannins and acidity. Merlot is an excellent "starter wine" for new wine-drinkers.

Pair with: Roast chicken, spaghetti bolognese

Cabernet sauvignon

One of the world's most beloved wines, cabernet sauvignon is strong, fruity and tannic, often with tastes of cherry and black currant.

Pair with: Cheese platter, rare steak


Malbec is fruity, with tastes of oak and coffee and spice that is similar to syrah but more suitable for easy drinking.

Pair with: Lamb or pork chops.

Pinot noir

Dry, bright and low on tannin, pinot noir is one of most refreshing red wines. Tastes can vary significantly depending on the grower, so picking your favorite pinot can be a very enjoyable challenge.

Pair with: Salmon or grilled chicken


Zinfandel embodies easy summer drinking, with strong berry flavors and low tannin and acidity.

Pair with: Anything you want to throw on the grill in the summertime.

White Wine


Dry and full-bodied, chardonnay is a versatile white wine that is refreshing without being at all sweet.

Pair with: Seafood, soft cheese platter

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is fruity and acidic, usually tasting of citrus or other sour fruits. It is lighter-bodied than chardonnay, with a more acidic bite.

Pair with: Roasted fish, pork, hard and flavorful cheeses

Pinot Grigio

One of the lightest wines, pinot grigio has a gentle, fruity sweetness and low acidity, making it perfect for easy drinking or mixing into a refreshing sangria.

Pair with: Salad, mild cheese


Riesling is defined by its high acidity, which makes it very crisp and citrus-like. Dry riesling is tart and aromatic, and differs significantly from sweet varieties which are more akin to dessert wine.

Pair with: Japanese food, tuna