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Light, Bright & Sparkling: How To Choose Your Next Bottle Of Wine

Plenty of people are intimidated at the thought of buying wine, because ‘wine is so confusing’. That is not too far from the truth, because the sheer variety of wine can certainly be bewildering. Therefore, most wine buyers, unless they are experts, prefer to stick to tried and tested brands and vintages. However, you can be a little adventurous when you choose your next bottle of wine. Don’t believe us? Here’s how:

First up, trying new wines is not as risky as you think. ...

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Plenty of people are intimidated at the thought of buying wine, because ‘wine is so confusing’. That is not too far from the truth, because the sheer variety of wine can certainly be bewildering. Therefore, most wine buyers, unless they are experts, prefer to stick to tried and tested brands and vintages. However, you can be a little adventurous when you choose your next bottle of wine. Don’t believe us? Here’s how:

First up, trying new wines is not as risky as you think. Sometime ago, the Wine Market Council released data that showed that Merlot, Chardonnay, and White Zinfandel are the most popular wines in the U.S. However, with close to 20,000 different wines available in the country, there’s certainly room for experiment.

So when you choose your next bottle of wine, you could well afford to be a little daring and buy a wine you haven’t tried before. Obviously, price will be a factor, but once you establish your budget, you could try asking the wine store staff to give you some helpful tips about various brands and labels.

Wines, as you probably know, are classified into five broad types depending on their method of vinification: table wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines, aperitiv wines and pop wines. However, unless you’re an expert, and we’re assuming you’re not, you are best advised to classify wines according to taste. Ultimately, you will be the best judge of what tastes good to your palate, so no matter how much anyone recommends a label or a vintage, trust your taste above all else.

Tastes the best

Wines are essentially made up of chemical compounds fairly similar to those occurring naturally in fruits, vegetables, and spices. The taste of a particular wine depends on the grape variety that has gone into its making, but the ‘oak cask’ factor is at work as well – to be explained later.

So a wine may be dry, off dry, fruity, or sweet, depending on the grape variety. To take an example, a wine’s sweetness is determined by the amount of residual sugar it contains post-fermentation, relative to its acidity. Dry wine, for instance, has extremely low residual sugar content.

However, when it comes to flavors, a wine may contain chocolate, vanilla, or coffee flavors, to take only three examples, and all of these come about as a result of ageing the wine in oak casks – hence the oak cask factor. Then again, if you detect a banana flavor, you can attribute it to the presence of particular yeast, and not any grape. Similarly, plenty of people report detecting animal scents in wine, once again attributable to natural yeasts.

Finally, here’s a list of some relatively uncommon brands that you could go for the next time you choose a bottle of wine:

Nebbiolo: A red wine that tastes of leather, tar, stewed prunes, chocolate, liquorices, and roses

Tempranillo: Another red wine that contains vanilla, strawberry and tobacco flavors

Melon de Bourgogne: A white wine with lime, salt, and green apple flavors

Viognier: Yet another white wine that tastes of peach, pear, nutmeg, and apricot

Chenin Blanc: A white wine with wet wool(!), beeswax, honey, apple, and almond flavors

Sangiovese: An earthy red wine that tastes of herbs, black cherry, and leather

Mourvèdre: Thyme, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, violet, and blackberry flavors combine in this red wine

Sémillon: An appetizing white wine that combines honey, orange, and lime flavors

 

How To Make Wine Food Pairing More Interesting

White wine pairing with fish, or was it chicken? Red wine normally goes best with steak, or is it pork? What should I serve with ribs? How does lamb even fall into this category? Sometimes pairing food and wine can be a complicated job.

Have you ever been left with the task of creating an important dinner party, and had no idea what wine to serve with the food? Have you ever felt lost while standing at your local wine dealer knowing that this dinner has to be perfect, but ...

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White wine pairing with fish, or was it chicken? Red wine normally goes best with steak, or is it pork? What should I serve with ribs? How does lamb even fall into this category? Sometimes pairing food and wine can be a complicated job.

Have you ever been left with the task of creating an important dinner party, and had no idea what wine to serve with the food? Have you ever felt lost while standing at your local wine dealer knowing that this dinner has to be perfect, but not having the background to select the perfect wine? Don't fret, as you join the ranks of those who have come before you, take a deep breath and read on to help you understand complimentary food and wine pairings.

The Basics:

To begin and understand food and wine pairings, look no further than your own senses. Naturally, your tongue picks up the overall tastes: it tells you what is sweet, salty, bitter or acidic. Although, it is your nose that will help you to determine whether you like the wine or not. Some wines are more fruity and others seem to taste more "earthy", and all of them can have you react differently dependent solely upon your sense of taste and smell. The reason this is important, is due to the fact that there can be a stark and unpleasant contrast when combining uncomplimentary flavors and smells.

Pairing Food And Wine:

A general rule of thumb in food and wine pairings is that red goes with red. What this usually means is that steak, ribs and even pork are best complimented by a red or heavier wine like cabernet, port or a pinot noir. Even though the pinot noir is a little lighter in color, it is a heavier wine and can compliment a dish like steak or pork quite well. While many people would serve beer with ribs, you can dress up that table by serving a similarly heavier wine or with a chilled white zinfandel.

When, however, you are serving lighter type meats, a lighter wine is normally the best compliment for your guests’ palates. So, when the plan for the evening is oysters, poultry, or cream sauces on pasta, then reach for the lighter wines: try serving a chardonnay with oysters, chenin blanc with poultry and those lighter pastas with sauvignon blanc. There are other possible combinations you can try, but these offer a good place to start.

Picking that perfect food and wine pairing for that dinner party should not be a difficult task. Just remember that it is going to be a palate thing dependent upon your sense of smell and taste for success. When you become more confident with your choices, feel free to experiment, because there are no food and wine pairing police to criticize you. Until then, you may confidently use the tried and true combinations given here to relax and enjoy preparing that party.

 

How To Play Cupid For Food And Wine

When it comes to food and wine, most people are brought up with the rule stating “red goes with red, white goes with white”, which means red wine goes with red meat while white wine goes with fish and poultry. Then came the “postmodern” maxim which says that ‘if you like the taste, the match is perfect’.

Despite the presence of these simplistic guides, many people still don't know how to match food and wine well. The truth is, many really don't know what tastes good and w...

wine tasting,wine,wine tasting party,wine tasting tour,

When it comes to food and wine, most people are brought up with the rule stating “red goes with red, white goes with white”, which means red wine goes with red meat while white wine goes with fish and poultry. Then came the “postmodern” maxim which says that ‘if you like the taste, the match is perfect’.

Despite the presence of these simplistic guides, many people still don't know how to match food and wine well. The truth is, many really don't know what tastes good and what doesn't. Fortunately, the art of food and wine matching follows a simple logic that is quite easy to follow.

The bottom-line with food and wine matching is that the food should have an equal fighting chance with the wine and vice versa. Simply put, one shouldn't dominate the other. When you bite into food, its tastes and pleasures should be enjoyed. When it is the wine’s turn to be sipped, it should evoke an equally pleasurable sensation. Now, when it is time to bite into the food again, it should be the star of that moment. And finally, when it's time for the wine to draw, it should rise up to prominence once more. Learn the art of Wine Tasting

In short, the food should be able to replace the flavors of the wine with every bite, and conversely, the wine should be able to replace the taste of the food with every sip. When the combination isn't good, one will overpower the other.

To achieve this, you have to take in consideration the dominant tastes found in both the food and wine. Sweet food, such as dessert, goes with sweet wine. Food with hints of bitterness, such as charbroiled meat, would go better with a bitter wine. Acidic foods or those foods that go great with a dash of lemon or vinegar, go with acidic wines.

Here is a short overview of wine flavors:

Acidic wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, White Bordeaux for whites and Pinot Noir, Red Burgundy, Sangiovese, and Gamay for reds. Acidic white wines usually go well with seafood because of their delicate flavor. Acidic red wines go well with tomato based dishes and grilled seafood.

Wines with bitterness include Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Bordeaux, Red Zinfandel, and Merlot. These usually go well with steaks and roasts.

Sweet wines include Vovray, Asti Spumante, Chenin Blanc, or most German wines for whites and Lambrusco, Port, Sherry and Vermouth for reds. These usually go well with dessert or by themselves.

Matching wine with food is not that complicated with this simple guide. Happy matchmaking!




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