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By Laura Matney

Affordable wines that go with everything

Finding one wine that goes with everything is the wine lovers search for the holy grail. While it is impossible to find just one wine for any food, there are wines that are deliciously versatile. While ranging widely in prices, versatile wines do not have to break the bank to be good.

Pinot Noir

This is a wine that has all the flavor of a red wine without being as heavy as many other reds. Because of this, it works well with fish, chicken, pork and even some of the more subtle beef recipes. Pinot Noirs from Burgundy, Loire or Oregon are the best bets. One wine to try is Cave Spring Pinot Noir. This wine has cranberry, cherry, earth and spicy flavors. It can pair well with lighter meats like pork and turkey and not take over the meal. The price is right at $17.95.


Chardonnay grapes can be fuller than most white grapes. The lusciousness of the grape makes it work well with vegetables, fish, chicken and pork. It is not a great choice for beef, but if you are a fan of Chardonnay and want to make it work with everything, make sure to pick a full-bodied Chardonnay.

One wine to try is the Malivoire Chardonnay. The creamy feel along with citrus and apple notes will go well with most dishes. There is also a note of oak that will go with the smoky flavors of roasting or grilling. The cost per bottle is $17.95.


Most Rieslings have enough sweet and fruit flavors to go with just about anything. Riesling goes will with salads, fish, fowl, soup, pork and veal. A good wine to try is Vineland Estates Semi-Dray. It pairs all with appetizers, turkey or ham. It can also work well with spicy dishes because the sweetness will offset the heat of the food. The cost per bottle is $13.95.


Still not sure what bottle of wine is right for tonight's dinner? Use a bottle of Rose. It stands in the middle of traditional red and white wines and so can work in a variety of situations and match a wide range of foods. Try Eastdell Estates Rose. The bright pink color is fun and it has hints of cherry and red berries. It is especially good with turkey – think about it the way you would the classic cranberry dish for Thanksgiving. The cost per bottle is $11.95.

Dinner party tips

Bringing a bottle to a dinner party and don't know what they are serving? Don't forget the magic of a dessert wine. The opportunity to savor a sweet wine allows us to linger longer and enjoy time with friends. Many dessert wines can stand on their own, so it won't matter what is being served.

Sparkling wines are also a good choice in this situation. They not only pair well with many foods but they lend themselves to a celebratory feeling. If a white is preferable, choose a dry wine. The acidity will refresh and cut through heavy food. If red wine is preferable, then read about Pinor Noir above.

Picking the right wine does not have to be overwhelming or expensive. There is no one perfect wine that works in every situation, knowing the basic types of wine that pair with different food groups will help even the novice wine enthusiast make a smart and affordable decision.

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