Pairing wines or other drinks with food may seem really complicated because of the intricate play of flavours. You don't have to have a sommelier's trained palate, though, to explore and learn more about how drinks pair with foods. One easy meal to use as your base is pizza.
Photo by feeb.
Eric Asimov writes in the New York Times that, first, don't think of pizza as fast food. We're talking good, classic pizza made with fresh ingredients. It's perfect for a bunch of drinks, from beer to wine and even champagne:
Pizza is one of those rare foods with such versatility it can be enjoyed with an enormous assortment of different beverages. Sure, some things will clash, or deaden pizza, like very oaky wines with little acidity. But most pairings, including champagne, work well. It's a joy to experiment and make your own discoveries.
Remember, though, don't worry about finding a perfect match. As Asimov says, "The probability is far greater that you will be right and happy than wrong and miserable, especially if you like the beverage you are serving in the first place. That's the most important point of all."
Hit up the link for some examples of how specific wine notes and flavours match up with pizza. For more help getting started, train your palate like a wine snob.
Wines and Beers, by the Slice [The New York Times]