White wine with fish

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6. Identify Most Expressive Components
When considering a dish, consider its most expressive components. For example, fillet of sole with cream sauce and Chardonnay. In other words, when deciding if your dish is sweet, acidic, rich/meaty/ heavy, bitter, light, intensely flavored or some combination, don't look to its main ingredient. Consider the dish as a whole, identify the dominant flavors and textures, and then let those elements inform your wine choice.

In this example, the light fish might suggest a light wine. But the most expressive, or dominant, component of the dish isn't the fish—it's the cream sauce. And since that's rich, according to General Pairing Tip 4, the dish would be best with a rich wine, like Chardonnay.