Let's start with the basics...
Nowadays there is so much disagreement about what food matches what wine it's hard not to feel confused.
When you match food and wine you are looking to either complement flavours or contrast flavours. For example, the clean, green flavours of young, spring vegetables is best complemented by a fresh tasting, light white wine similar delicate, green flavours. A good example of contrast is to match an oily fish like smoked salmon with crisp Champagne which will cut through the mouth-coating oiliness of the fish, refreshing your palate and making both the food and the wine taste better.
There are three basic principles in matching food and wine - matching weight, matching acidity and matching intensity. The simplest thing of all is to match white wine with white meat, e.g. Chardonnay with a chicken salad, and red wine with red meat, e.g. Merlot with sausages and mash. The only problem is that a lot of dishes aren't that simple.
Exactly as it says; a big strong wine is best with big strong food and light, simpler wine is better with similar food. Most red wines are going to be better with the heartier dishes on your menu and most whites will suit the lighter ones.
Acidity is an important part of any wine. It's the thing that makes your mouth water and makes the wine refreshing; stimulates you to take another sip. The trick here is to make sure that foods with a lot of acidity, for example tomatoes or vinaigrette dressing, are better with a crisp refreshing wine, which is why Sauvignon Blanc is going to be a better match with a dressed salad, for example. Wines which are crisp and mouthwatering will also be good with oily food. A great example of this is an Italian red wine with Italian food where the chief ingredients are olive oil and tomatoes.
This refers to wine and food that have very intense flavours but not much weight. Think of Thai or Chinese food with the strong flavours of chilli, garlic, coriander and lemongrass but don't sit too heavily on the stomach. Similarly intense and fragrant wines which are still light bodied are grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. A word of warning about chilli - big, hearty, tannic reds accentuate chilli making it unbearably hot. Hot and spicy foods are better with softer, fruitier reds like Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.