This article is sponsored by Bertolli. 

As you leave your early twenties and get closer to a quarter of a century, you may feel the pressure as a real adult to know a bit more about the quality of wine you're drinking. Or maybe your desire to drink more vino was simply brought on by that one Monday night your roomie opened a bottle, you had a glass before bed, and you felt extraordinarily chic and mature. 

Regardless of how your wine curiosity began, one thing remains—you have no idea how to buy wine at the store.

The thoughts race through your head: What's the difference between good wine and bad wine? Can I drink my favorite Moscato with my red sauce and pasta? Is picking a wine based on the prettiest label age appropriate? Can I drink out of the bottle, y/n? 

These are all fair questions—and that's where I come in. I'm a 25-year-old food editor who loves vino but struggles to use big words, just like you. This means you'll actually be able to understand the following and no longer awkwardly linger in the wine aisle.

Photo by Spoon University

I'm not going to get to everything today, but with the help of my friends at Bertolli, I'm going to teach you which wine to pick out of that overwhelming wine aisle based on what's currently in your freezer or fridge. Specifically, I'm going to pair some of my picks with my favorite go-to Bertolli frozen meals. They taste amazing, are super easy to prepare (bless), and are the perfect pairing for a number of different whites and reds. Read on for my majestic, super profound, in-depth reasonings behind our pairings... or watch our "Wine Pairings" video below if you're already standing in the wine aisle.

Let's lay some ground rules.

I only have one gargantuan rule for people who don't think they know much about wine: Get comfortable with the fact that you're not going to like everything, and be empowered by your pickiness.

Just because you still think Chardonnay tastes like yuck doesn't mean you're less of an adult, inadequate to try other wines or should swear off wine for good. There are no expert opinions required. Be confident enough to form your own opinions based entirely on your taste buds.

Photo by Spoon University

Today we're basing our pairings off of the food first, not starting with the wine. My point being, if you've been turned off by wine in the past, or currently only drink ONE type, shake off the shame and follow these pairings. This is an easy way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and have an excuse to try a wine you wouldn't normally pick. Leggo!

On the first day of wine pairing, do I choose red or white? 

Photo by Spoon University

If you've done the softest amount of Googling or have listened to your parents at dinner at all, you've probably heard that red goes with dark meat and white goes with light meat. For the most part, this tip will put you on the path of pairing righteousness. However, the "drinking wine life" is better lived when "the rules" are considered more like guidelines. Case in point: Dry reds totally work with chicken and robust tomato sauces.

Now, let's focus on what's actually happening in my shopping cart.

Chianti for your soul. 

If you're a big pasta and chicken fan, try pairing a Chianti with Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne. The Chianti (an Italian red wine) is bold enough to handle the tomato, but it still works well with the chicken. This pairing will make your go-to chicken dinner feel like a mid-week win.

#SpoonTip: When you're really stuck or you can't remember this magical article, remember that wines usually work with foods that are from the same region. Think, Italian reds with Italian dishes. 

Call me Cab Sauv 'cause I'm bold and beautiful.

Photo by Spoon University

For the wine newbies who are nervous that your Dad will lose it if he sees you drinking white wine with steak, you can't beat a classic Cab and steak duo. Cabernet Sauvignon works with steak because it's a fuller-body red and has a good amount of tannins. The full body and tannins (explanation ahead) will cut through those fatty moments in a steak—like filet mignon or ribeye—and bring out the rich flavors of the wine and meat.

Body and Tannins 101 in 21-year-old speak: The longer you feel the flavor on your tongue, the fuller the body of the wine. For example, if you take a sip of Cabernet, you'll taste it for longer than if you had taken a sip of Pinot Noir. Knowing this will help you pair wine based on how hearty or light your dinner is going to be.

Now, let's define the word "tannin." Tannins are literally the compound you taste when you consume things like grape skins or tea. They taste bitter and make your mouth feel dry, right? To get an idea of what this all means, pour yourself a glass of Cab, have a bite of steak, and feel the slow wave of flavors combine in your mouth. Yes, all is right in the world.

Pinot Noir, did we just become best friends?

Food pairings aside, a lot of people have strong opinions about red wine. So, if even after that glorious "tannin" and "body" vocab lesson, you and your roommate are still hesitant about red wine, Pinot Noir is your best bet for easing into it. Pinot Noir is very versatile, so not only does it work for white wine lovers, it is also ideal for group dinners or movie nights in with the crew.

#SpoonTip: If you prefer cold dranks, try Pinot Noir on ice in the summer. Sounds sacrilegious, but the fruitier, lighter notes taste great chilled and reminiscent of a soft sangria. Ah.

Fresh is the game, Sauvignon Blanc is the name.

Photo by Spoon University

To a lot of people, white wine tastes like white wine tastes like white wine. As a personal red wine gal, I too had my reservations about white wine and didn't see the appeal. That was UNTIL I discovered Sauvignon Blanc. It's a drier white that has herb-y flavors.

Before you get freaked out about the use of "herb-y" here, referring to different foods or even inedible items (like tennis balls or rocks) that have specifics smells is A Thing in formal wine tasting. (Just watch any wine documentary on Netflix and you'll get what I'm saying.) So these "herb-y" or "herbaceous" notes in Sauvignon aren't going to taste like drinking a garden, but will give off a fresh, green taste. And because of its light, bright flavors, Sauvi B works super well with our favorite poultry, chicken. 

Pinot Grigio for the people. 

Another classic tip you'll run into in your wino journey is that white wine works with seafood. However, not all fish are made equal, so while there is a variety of white wines you could pair with your fish, there are a few reds, too.

Let's first start with the obvious white wine pairing. But if you're like me and don't cook much fish in your apartment, opt for frozen shrimp instead of a filet, like Bertolli's Shrimp Penne and Asparagus, which is beyond delicious. The shrimp in this pasta dish, in particular, is rich, so the acid in a Pinot Grigio is going to cut through it and make it the epitome of

Additionally, the real reason why white works better with seafood is that the tannins in red wine usually obliterate the flavors and delicate textures in seafood. So, if you're going for red wine and fish, make sure the fish is meaty (like salmon) and grab your trusty Pinot Noir. 

Calling all Chardonnay haters.

Photo by Spoon University

Oh, Chardonnay. It may be your mom's go-to, but it's also the least approachable (or so I think) white wine. However, recently I've learned to embrace it for what it has to offer and also complement it with the best food that the world has to offer: cheese, obviously. People get turned off by Chardonnay because it can be really rich and buttery, which is specifically true for California Chardonnay. This result happens because the wine is typically aged in oak barrels, a fermentation process that doesn't always occur in France. When you pair a stellar California Chard with cheese, it'll work with the creaminess of the dairy and bring a brighter, fruity flavor from the wine to the table.

Another big reason Chard skeptics (like yours truly) have changed their tune in the past few years is that unoaked Chardonnays from California have become a thing, which means they don't put them in oak barrels. Not using oak in the winemaking process allows for a more fruit-forward flavor and lets the acid shine a bit more instead of being drowned out by that heavy, buttery situation from the oak. The only caveat about unoaked Chard is that depending on where you live, it can be harder to find these babies in your average grocery and/or wine store. 

Riesling > Moscato, trust us. 

Photo by Spoon University

If you're big on spice and down to keep pairing your wine with the food you already have, this is your section. However, mama knows that you also may have scrolled down looking for that candy wine hallmark, Moscato. With all of the love in my heart, I'm going to push you to Riesling, especially if you're searching for a sweet wine or if you're having spicy enchiladas, curry, wings, etc. I find Rieslings cooler than Moscatos because there's generally a larger flavor profile, including super dry Rieslings, if over-the-top sweetness isn't your thing. 

Riesling works with spice because it's low in alcohol content and usually pretty sweet. The sweetness will balance the heat in your food, and because of the low alcohol content, you'll be able to drink a bit more of it at a faster pace when you're really thirsty compared to if you have a glass of something really boozy. To give you a sense, anything over 17% is going to be more of a fortified wine (like sherry or port), and a lot of wines exist between 12-15%, but you can find wines as low as 5% alcohol. 

#SpoonTip: If you're planning on staying up late and sipping on wine, look for something closer to 11% versus 16% — this will help ease the after-effects the next morning, because your body will have less alcohol to digest over the amount of time you're sleeping. But overall, be sure to drink responsibly and drink lots of water. 

May all good things end with Rosé. 

Photo by Spoon University

If I didn't talk about Rosé, then I'd probably be kicked out of the millennial sisterhood—and I'm definitely not above a glass of chilled pink wine. Thankfully, appetizers (our neglected food group in this article) are perfect with Rosé. Rosé is born after wine has had a quick love affair with red grape skins, meaning the wine doesn't sit and ferment for a long time with the skins in the same way typical red wine does. That being said, you can treat your Rosé like many white wines or our favorite flexible red, homeboy Pinot Noir, and pair it with foods that work with those wines.

The reason the Rosé, white wines, and Pinot work with apps is because these wines have a lot of versatility and are generally lighter than your heavy reds. So, if you're having the pals over to snack on your favorite foods (cheese and more cheese and pepperonis from the bag) instead of eating a real meal, pick up a bottle of Rosé. Then, put on a playlist with lush vibes, light a fruity candle, and pretend it's a summer night, even if it's a Tuesday in March. 

I know that was a whole lot of wine talk, but again, don't be afraid to start trying wines and embracing your opinions about the taste. And if your head is still spinning, watch this video for a Wine Pairings 101. Go forth and pair! 

Bertolli® is a registered trademark of Mizkan America, Inc., used under license.