To test how well a wine pairing works, do what the pros do: Take a sip of the wine and think about how it tastes, then take a bite of the food and think about how it tastes after the wine, then take a final sip of the wine. All the flavors will linger and meld beautifully (or not!).
These five wine bars on three continents serve some of the world's best pairings:
Around 30 bottles from Monvínic's list of nearly 4,000 are available by the glass; chef Sergi de Meià provides the top-notch tapas.
This natural-wine bar leans toward organic wines made with minimal intervention. Balanced against that purity are Terroirs' addictive "duck scratchings," basically salty nuggets of deep-fried duck skin.
Paris: L'Avant Comptoir
Many of the selections at star chef Yves Camdeborde's minuscule Paris wine bara tiny zinc counter seating 12are from the French Basque regions where the chef grew up.
Sydney: Ash St. Cellar
Australian cult producers like Mac Forbes share space on the wine list with international stars like Gaja at this elegant, cozy wine bar in the hip, maze-like Ivy restaurant-bar complex.
Dubai: Oeno Wine Bar
At this airy space in the Dubai Westin, diners go inside the temperature-controlled cave to choose from 60 cheeses to match a selection of 400 or so wines. The wine wall (photo) is part of the spectacle.