Simple rules to get started pairing food and wine.

Drink what you like.

What you like to drink always takes precedence over any recommendation that I might make.

Start by thinking about the dish or meal as a whole. What are its dominant characteristics?

Is it mild or flavorful?
Is it fatty or lean?
Is it rich or acidic?

With these characteristics in mind, select a wine that will:

Keep flavors in balance.

Match mild foods with mild wines. Match big, flavorful foods with big, flavorful wines.
(For example, pair a bold-flavored Pepper Steak with a spicy, bold red Zinfandel.)

Similarly you generally want to match the richness of the food and the richness of the wine.
(For example, pair a rich Chicken in Cream Sauce with a rich Chardonnay.)

When In Doubt...

Remember that foods generally go best with the wines they grew up with.
So if you're eating Italian food, think about having an Italian wine.
This isn't a requirement, but often helps simplify the decision.