cous cousWine and food matching theory suggests matching red wine with red meat and white wine with vegetarian dishes. But North African and Turkish-inspired dishes are neither quite all meat or vegetable, and so they match both red and white wines equally well.

Drinking a red wine with your lamb tagine can actually make your mouth dry out. The tannins in some red grape varieties draw the moisture out of your gums, but adding moistly-cooked couscous to the meal can soften this effect.

cinnamonSteamed couscous with added almond will smooth down reds made with high tannin grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Malbec. Their fruity flavours can also cope with herby recipe extras like thyme, rosemary and marjoram and the spices ginger and cinnamon.

But Middle Eastern meals needn't only match red wines. Chicken koftas, felafel or stuffed vine leaves all match white wine wonderfully – try apple and nut-tasting Chenin Blancs from South Africa. Zalze Bush Vine Chenin is slightly expensive at £7.99 a bottle (Ocado and Waitrose), but the wine's balanced fruity flavours go so well with food that it's worth it.

Vina AlbaliAnd if you're still not sure whether to go for a white or red, then try a rosé. Rosé wine has enough strength of flavour to match most meats and refreshing white wine qualities that help wash down a meal. Reliable Viña Albali Tempranillo rosé (£5.99 Morrisons) is no exception – well-balanced creamy strawberry and blackberry flavours that combine both sharpness and sweetness. This will match almost anything.

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PG Wine Reviews

Viña Albali Spanish Tempranillo rosé

£5.99 Morrisons

More of a light red than a rosé with its blackberry and cherry flavours – with a bit of creamy strawberry to remind us that it hasn’t quite jumped across the colour divide.

Spar Italian Gavi 2011

£6.99 Spar

Mouthwateringly refreshing flavours of lemon and almond – like sucking on a pebble.

Trapiche Argentinean Pinot Noir 2012

£6.99 Co-op

Light and fruity but with some depth of flavour provided by the blackcurrant finish.

Alain Grignon French Viognier

£7.99 Majestic

Peach, pear and apple.

Zalze Bush Vine South African Chenin Blanc 2012

£7.99 Ocado and Waitrose

Balanced flavours of crisp apple with creamy pineapple and nuts.

Gonazlez Byass Finca Constancia Spanish Tempranillo and Syrah rosé 2012

£7.99 Ocado

Light strawberry, lemon and almond.

Chateau Grivière French Medoc 2006

£11.99 Majestic

Unexpectedly light with flavours of plums, blackcurrants and chocolate.

Jean-Luc Colombo La Redonne French Côtes du Rhône 2011 (white)

£12.99 Waitrose

This blend of the white grape varieties Viognier and Roussane results in creamy pear, melon and coconut flavours with a hint of mandarin.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on