There are perhaps two primary ways one can combine food and wine. One can do it by drinking the wine with the food you eat. The second mechanism will be to actually use the wine in the preparation of the food you or others are about to eat. Of course, one should always follow the second mechanism with the first, unless circumstances and timing suggest you should not. Combining food and wine is not suggested for those two young, too feeble, or too stupid to know the benefits, but most folks should do both if they are able. One can also actually participate in both mechanisms at the same time providing the most complex of combinations of food and wine.
Drinking Wine As You Eat
A good wine will help digestion, bring out the flavors of the food and if it is a red wine, assist you in keeping your heart healthy. There are many schools of thought as to what wines to combine with what foods. However, the modern rule of thumb is that if it tastes right, it is right. There are, indeed, some gourmands who may argue with this. In any case, there would seem to be truly very little downside in combining food and wine in this manner.
Cooking With Wine
The art of cooking with wine is perhaps exhibited best in the French and Italian modes of cooking. In both styles of cooking, combinations of food and wine include using reds in meat sources and bastes, and the use of sweet white whites in the preparation of certain deserts and vegetables. This is a vast oversimplification, but in general wines add depth to flavor and can help in tenderizing certain meats and vegetables. In most cases the combination of food and wine in this manner does not result in alcoholic tasting food as the cooking of the food typically boils away the alcohol or changes the way the alcohol itself is constituted. Any age may eat this wonderful combination of food and wine.
Cooking With And Drinking Wine
This is by far the most fun of all the combinations. Though of course with this degree of fun there is always a risk and a downside. One must be careful when combining food and wine with wine drinking to take care in not drinking too much to forget how to cook. Perhaps even worse would be to drink too much and actually combine the wrong food and wine. This has been many the undoing of some of the great chefs. Too much imbibing and not enough sense can lead to real drama in the kitchen.