How To Pick Out Wine For Dinner
The tips above will provide a great start to establishing your taste in good wine. However, sometimes you arent looking for how to choose good wine, but rather how to pick the right wine for a particular meal. A great wine may not always shine in tandem with the wrong food. When it comes to wine pairing, you can revisit the basic characteristics of wine sweetness, acidity, tannin, body and alcohol and apply them to pairing.
The overall goal of choosing wine for dinner is to find a wine that either complements or contrasts the flavors. A good wine pairing will give you a more complex burst of flavor from your dining and drinking experience. Here are a few general guidelines for the best wine and food pairings.
1. Acidic food needs an acidic wine.
If you choose wine with low acidity to pair with a meal that has higher acidity, such as meals with citrus or fish, youre sure to be disappointed. The acidity in the food will overpower the wine, leaving your taste buds with much to be desired. In this case, its best to find a higher-acidity wine to match your meal.
2. Salty food is the perfect partner for sweet wine.
The combination of salty and sweet is a classic that carries into the wine-pairing world, too. A sweet wine can help cut the saltiness of a dish, while also highlighting the pleasant sweetness of the wine.
3. Fatty foods work best withbitter, highly acidic or higher ABV wines.
4. Foods and wines from the same region can make great pairings.
How To Find Wines Youll Love
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Here are a few helpful tips for how to find wines youll love when you shop at nakedwines.com
There are a lot of great wines on this site, but only some of them will be perfect for YOU and your palate. And because we only work with independent winemakers and wines made exclusively for Angels, you may not recognize your favorite labels or brand names.
Budget Supermarkets Can Have The Best Wine
James Button from says that while Marks & Spencer and Waitrose are generally seen as the go-to places for supermarket wine, two of the most popular pages on his magazines website are for the ranges at Aldi and Lidl. Theyre often working with smaller producers from less well-known areas, which means better value for money, he says. For example, Lidl have a lot of good eastern European producers they recently had a dry Hungarian tokaji for under £8 its a voluptuous white thats waxy and fruity and works really well at this time of year.
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But No One Understands The World Of Wine Better Than Sommeliers So We Asked A Bunch Of Them For Their Best Tips And Tricks For Picking Out A Good Bottle Every Time
Our pros were Bianca Bosker, sommelier and author of “Cork Dork” Kimberly Prokoshyn, sommelier at Scampi Dustin Wilson, master sommelier and co-founder of Verve Wine Brahm Callahan, master sommelier at Grill23 and Laura Maniec, master sommelier and co-founder of CorkBuzz. Here are seven of their most useful pieces of advice.
Penfolds Koonunga Hill South Australia Shiraz
Once upon a time, only one Australian wine was considered first-rate: Penfolds Grange, a Shiraz and Cabernet blend. While Grange remains the country’s standard-bearer, Penfolds also makes many other excellent wines, especially its blackberry-scented, fruit- forward Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most reliable reds from Down Under.
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Tips For Picking A Good Bottle Of Wine
Since good wine is so subjective, knowing how to choose the right wine means considering several factors including occasion, flavor preferences, labels and price points. While the combination of these factors is different for each person, the tips below will help anyone in search of that perfect bottle of wine.
1. If you are new to wine, start with a white or rose.
Just as your food preferences evolve as you mature, the wines you enjoy are also likely to change over time. However, a study of consumer palates by Sonoma State University found most people first enjoy a sweet white or rose wine, then later fall in love with dry reds or wines with more distinctive flavors. Fifty-four percent of respondents in the Sonoma State University study said they preferred semi-sweet or sweet white or rose wines when they started drinking wine. While each persons experience is different, an early distaste for drier wines or wines with high tannins may be due to their unique flavor and sharp bitterness.
If the thought of drinking a sweet wine makes you cringe, that doesnt necessarily mean you should jump to reds. Instead, opt for a dry white or rose. Beginning with a lighter-bodied wine can be a step to learning to enjoy a variety of wines.
2. Reflect on other flavors you enjoy.
3. Consider the occasion.
4. Be sure to read the label and learn what youre reading.
5. Look for second-label wines.
6. Dont stress over the age of the wine.
7. Dont let price dictate your choice.
Keys To Know A Good Wine
In the market there is a great variety of wines and we dont always know which one is the best. Hence, on some occasions, having dedicated much time, money and effort to prepare a great evening, we find a wine that is not up to par.
So that you do not see yourself again in this situation, it is best to learn several tricks with which to recognize a good wine. For this in WINERY ON we have written the following article in which we will give you some clues. Read carefully and start applying each of our tips from today. Your lunches and dinners with friends and family will be a major success thereafter.
KEYS TO KNOW A GOOD WINE
According to the most prestigious sommeliers, there are a number of characteristics that unite good quality wines. Paying attention to these small details when choosing can give us the key to success. They are the keys to good wine and are summarized in the following:
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Consider Alternative Regions For Your Favorites
If you have a favorite grape variety, such as merlot, chardonnay, or cabernet sauvignon, look for regions that grow those grapes where the wines aren’t typically as pricey. “If you want cabernet, stay away from Napa and probably look for cabernets from Italy, Chile, Australia, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles,” Levine says. “I would look for other regions that aren’t as popular.”
Best Australian Red: Penfolds 2017 Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet Shiraz
Region: South Australia, Australia | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherries, Cassis, New leather, Fruit cake
Penfolds, unquestionably the greatest winemaking estate in Australia, is best known for its iconic wine, Penfolds Grange. Chief winemaker Peter Gago made it his mission to produce well-structured wines with deep flavors and, as he puts it, a propensity to age.
While Grange is primarily shiraz, with a splash of cabernet sauvignon sourced from specific sites in South Australia, Penfolds’ Bin 389 combines 54% cabernet sauvignon with 46% shiraz and is often referred to as Baby Grange. Plus, this wine comes at a more approachable price tag than the Grange.
Region: Mendoza, Argentina | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Cherry compote, Salty dark chocolate, Cedar spice
Achaval-Ferrer’s Quimera blend is a wine of remarkable precision: Co-founder Santiago Achaval, one of the most respected winemakers in Argentina, and winemaker Roberto Cipresso comb the vineyards, tasting grapes and hand-selecting vines specifically for this blend. In 2014, they conceived a dynamic and complex blend of 50% malbec, 24% cabernet franc, 18% merlot and 8% cabernet sauvignon.
Region: Ribera del Duero, Spain | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Spiced plums, Forest underbrush, Cigar box
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Cabernets Pinots And Beyond
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Liquors / Chloe Jeong
Best Value French:Chêne Bleu Abélard 2011 at Vivino
Silky soft, elongated tannins support a panoply of flavors, from warm cinnamon and brown sugar spices to curry powder-dusted red berry fruit, with generous dollops of black cherry and red licorice.
When it comes to red wine, there are a variety of classic grapes to choose from, including cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. However, the style of each classic red varies greatly from maker to maker.
Take pinot noir, for instance: a hard grape to cultivate because of its delicate skin and difficulty ripening in areas that lack sufficient sunshine. The style of pinot from California is typically ripe, powerful and fruit-forward. The same grape grown in the various Burgundy villages of France returns a much different style: wavering in degrees of ripeness, with some more fruit-forward than others, but remarkably earthy and imbued with ample acidity and firm, taut tannins.
Taking all of the red wine grape varieties into consideration, here are some of the best red wines from around the globeso get that corkscrew ready.
Don’t Get Stuck On Expensive Wine Regions
If you’re looking mostly at some of the more coveted, big-name wine regions like California’s Napa Valley or Bordeaux, France, you’re typically going to run into pricier bottles. Consider expanding your horizons beyond the most popular regions and you’re bound to discover some incredible wines for less. “The key is always looking for quality and value, though there are some challenges to that,” Levine says. “Domestically, with the cost of grapes and the cost of land, it’s hard to keep wines at lower price points. So if there are particular regions of wine that you want, you may have to accept that you’re not going to find value wines from it.”
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Looking For The Next Best Deal In Brown Spirits Try Brandy
For better or worse, many whiskey drinkers still scour shelves for bottles with the oldest age statements, causing Bourbon prices to skyrocket over recent years. While waiting for the whiskey-bubble to burst, savvy customers would do well to consider grape- or apple-based spirits that deliver comparable delights like Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados and the recent rise of impressive American brandies. Take a chance and youll soon discover the wealth of value still to be found in other barrel-aged brown spirits.
Compared to other amari, fernets are more bitter and end with a cool or minty finish. What many shoppers dont yet know of are the plethora of options beyond stalwart Fernet-Branca.
Outsource The Hard Work To Your Local Wine Merchant
With all its quirks and specialist insights, building up a comprehensive knowledge of wine can take years. Even though Im supposed to be an expert in the field, Id much rather talk to someone and ask what they recommend, says Sager. If you can find a wine merchant you trust, your job will become a lot easier, as they will come up with suggestions based on your preferences and price range. For instance, I always know I will try something interesting at the east London wine bar Weino BIB, because I trust Kirsty Tinklers choices the wines she stocks are likely to be full of fruit and funky, farmyard notes. As for where to shop online, my panel of wine experts suggest shopping at Drop, Red Squirrel, Humble Grape, Tanners and even Majestic .
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Don’t Shy Away From Organic Wines
Many people often assume that when a producer puts an “organic” label on wine , the price will automatically jump up but organic wines are not necessarily more expensive these days. “More and more that’s not the case,” Levine says. “When I’m talking to producers who are really passionate about organic or sustainable production, it’s a philosophy, not a marketing ploy. And while it is costly it’s a lot cheaper to use a bunch of pesticides when you’re talking to the producers, it’s their passion.”
Region Of Origin Is No Guaranty Of Good Red Wine
For a very long time, the best wines were associated with particular regions of the world. This allowed people to tell if a wine was good or not if they knew about its origins. However, wine is being produced in every corner of the world today and the geographical basis for being a good wine has somewhat lost its relevance. You cannot say that a wine is good just because it is coming from Italy, France or Spain that are regarded as the makers of best quality red wine. You have to rely now upon your senses to tell if a wine is good quality or not. If you are not a connoisseur, the best way is to open and make use of your senses to tell if the red wine is good or not.
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Yalumba Y Series South Australia Viognier
A family-owned Australian big brand is rare today, but Barossa Valleybased Yalumba is still owned by the Hill-Smith family, as it has been for five generations. Winemaker Louisa Rose wields a deft hand with both whites and reds, and her talents particularly shine in this focused white, which stays away from the overripe peachiness that often mars inexpensive viognier. Instead, it’s aromatic and vivid.
How To Find The Perfect Wine For You
The Jordan Pond House, in Acadia National Park, Maine, serves lemonade in an unusual way. Youre given a big glass of unsweetened lemonade and a little pitcher of sugar syrup. Then you pour in as much syrup as you want until the lemonade is to your liking. Some people like their lemonade very tart, some people like it very sweet and most people are somewhere in the middle.
Thinking about wine in the same way isnt such a stretch like lemonade, some wines are very tart, some less so. In fact, although wine can seem dauntingly complex, it shares a lot of characteristics with other things you eat and drinksourness, bitterness, sweetness and so on. If you dont like intensely tangy lemonade, you probably wont like intensely tangy wines. The problem is, if youre looking at a list of unfamiliar wines, how do you know which ones youll like? You dont. And, unlike lemonade, you cant adjust a wine to your taste.
In a restaurant, of course, you can ask the sommeliera good one can divine which wines youll enjoy, even if you dont know yourself. At The NoMad in Manhattan, wine director Thomas Pastuszak refers to these skills as the Jedi mind tricks of the sommelier, a phrase I like if only because it brings to mind an image of Alec Guinness in Star Wars, pointing to a wine list and saying, These arent the Cabs youre looking for…
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Head To The Old World
While there are definitely great cheap wines to love in the new world wine regions, youre much more likely to find bottles you love in the old world, even from well-regarded regions. Thats because most old world producers have owned the land theyre farming on and the wineries theyre vinifying in for centuries. The costs have already been incurred, so they dont have to pass those costs onto you. Compare that to a new world winery in California that bought a multi-million dollar piece of land and built a state-of-the-art winery. The cost they incurred to do so is going to be added to your bottle, guaranteed.
Find A Wine Shop You Love Then Trust Them To Point You In The Right Direction
If you have access to local wine shops, start there. Unlike supermarkets or mass retailers that carry wine plus everything else wine shops can put their focus on one thing. Wine is their speciality, and buyers pay super close attention to their selections. The best shops will curate a selection of wines they’re passionate about. “The first thing you need to do to drink well is to buy your wine from someone who gives a damn,” says Bosker. “Go to the wine shops that are the indie book stores of booze, where someone has hand selected everything on the shelf and knows it well.”
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Know Which Sparkling Wines To Avoid
“You will not find inexpensive Champagne,” Levine cautions those looking for good, cheap bubbly. “There are two ways to make sparkling wine. The Champagne method, where the second fermentation happens in the bottle, a more time-consuming and costly thing. So anywhere from California to Italy to Chile to Champagne, when they’re making wine with the secondary fermentation in the bottle, we’re not going to find inexpensive.”