Know What Types Of Wines You Like
Before you go to a restaurant, have a clear idea of what type of wine you enjoy drinking. This will help guide you in your wine selection. Common types of wines that restaurant patrons ask for include light and fruity white wines and bold or dark and earthy red wines. At the very least, knowing whether you prefer a sweet or dry wine can help guide your selection, as can the decision of whether you want a light-bodied or full-bodied wine. During certain seasons of the year, your decision might already be made for you its most common to order light-bodied wines during the summer and full-bodied wines during the winter.
Think About Value And Price
Restaurants mark their wines up anywhere between 50% and 400%, although this varies across the list and between venues.
A smart wine buyer will look at which wines offer greater value within their category. For example if you find a Muscadet Sur Lie for £35, you know youre likely getting swindled; whereas if you find a Condrieu AOC for £35, chances are youve found an absolute steal.
Eye up the wine list, assess the price and think about how it compares to its retail value outside the restaurant doors. If this is a special occasion, paying that extra bit more will likely secure you much more quality in the glass.
When In Doubt Buy American
“We make it easy ;because we put the name of the grape on the bottle,” Soltani said. “For example, California Cabernet will be listed on the bottle. Not the case if you order a bottle of wine from France… For example,;if you look at a wine list and see Burgundy, that means you are getting a Pinot Noir even though it will not say Pinot Noir on the wine list. You need to know that Burgundy produces Pinot Noir for red wine and Chardonnay for white wine. So, it can be a little tricky .”
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How To Pour Red Wine
Knowing how to pour red wine is also a key to how to drink red wine properly. For red wine, only pour 1/2 glass and enjoy it slowly.
When pouring wine into a glass, the mouth of the bottle must be kept away from the top of the glass. Do not place the neck of the bottle on the top of the glass to pour.
Do not pour to the end. You should leave a little as there may be residue at the end of the bottle.
Use The By The Glass Menu As A Guide
Most restaurants will have a bottle list and a by the glass list. Wines listed on the by the glass list are typically those that are most popular, and that the restaurant feels most comfortable selling. That makes sense, right? Once a restaurant has opened up a bottle of wine, it needs to sell as many glasses of wine from that bottle as it can within the shortest possible period of time. So it makes sense that the wines sold by the glass also have the fastest velocity in terms of sales.
For that reason, its possible to use the by-the-glass wine list as a proxy to the most popular wines. These are not necessarily the wines offering the best value, but they are going to be crowd pleasers. If you are out with a group of people, you may feel pressure to order a wine that everybody will enjoy, and thats why its a natural move to order a full bottle of any wine offered by the glass.
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Seek Expert Advice From The Wine Specialist
Goal: Leverage the expertise of someone who knows the wine list.
Now that you have your short list, it’s time to call in the expert help that will help you make the final call.
To start, ask your server if theres a wine specialist available. If youve done your homework, you already know the answer to this question. If there isnt someone on hand, then you can ask your server for recommendations.
Show your server the three or four choices you were considering and ask them which they would recommend for your meal. If none of your shortlist are a good match for your entree, then at least your specialist knows what your price range is.
The sommelier or server will likely have some follow up questions for you. Before calling the server over, it can be useful to find out what your dinner companion likes and does not like. Feed this information to the server or sommelier up front. For example, tell them you want a light-bodied white wine thats not too sweet, or tell them that you hate Chardonnay, etc.
Again, its important to adopt the role of an eager student. This isnt like asking for directions at a gas station. Youre seizing an opportunity to become more educated about wine from one of the best sources available. This is how you become a wine connoisseurby learning.
How To Pair A Wine With Different Food Types
- White Wines –German dishes, pork, chicken, duck, turkey, cured meat, Thai, Moroccan, Indian, Vietnamese. Try Riesling
- White Wine –salads, fish, and light/mild cheeses. Try Pinot Grigio.;
- White Wine –fish, Vietnamese, French dishes, chicken, veal, pork, herb-crusted or nutty cheeses, Mexican. Try Sauvignon Blanc.;
- White Whine –Lobster, pork, chicken, shrimp, crab, French dishes, mushrooms.Try Chardonnay. Red Wine –Veal, duck, cured meats, cream sauces, chicken, German dishes, soft and nutty cheeses.Try Pinot Noir.;
- Red Wine – Beef, lamb, white cheddar, Mediterranean, American and French dishes.;
- Sparkling Wine- The wine can be paired with cheese, sweet bread, buttercream sauce, oysters, salami, foie gras, egg dishes, shellfish shrimp, desserts with fruits like tarts, crepes, honey-focused desserts.;
- Rosé Wine- –Prosciutto, brie, raspberries, chocolates, smoked salmon.
Hope this information helps you to choose yourWine in a Million.
But what is drinking wine without the perfect wine glass? Wine lovers would agree that a wine glass is as important as the wine itself. If you do not already know the importance of the wine glass, then here is a little experiment for you-;
Pour some wine into a regular glass you use for drinking water and pour the same wine into a wine glass. Swirl and feel the difference for yourself. The perfect wine glass can enhance the aroma and taste of wine to the next level. Whereas wine in the regular glass wont aerate and wont taste good enough.
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How Do You Serve Red Wine
Temperature is key. Aim for 55° F to 60° F for lighter reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller ones. A wine served too cold will be muted. Serve it warm and it will taste too alcoholic. If you have a wine fridge or cellar, youre set. If not, place the bottle in your refrigerator for 20-30 minutes prior to serving. Next, some reds benefit from a few minutes or more of aeration in a decanter. This exposes the wine to oxygen, which helps release the compounds responsible for aroma and taste. As for drinking red wines, the best glasses have a stem and a bowl large enough to allow proper swirling to allow release of aromas. Fill your glass no more than halfway.
When Baffled Ask Questions
We actually know somethingabout wine, but we dont know a single thing on this list! That was Raghuraman, who, when not being perplexed by the wine list at Allora, is an anthropology professor at Sacramento State. In other words, a smart, capable, wine-savvy personwho was looking at a list without one single wine he recognized on it.
Id been working at Allora for three days at that point, and this was not the first time Id heard something to that effect. Wine director Elizabeth-Rose Mandalous 19-page list has no comfort choices: no California Cabernets or Chardonnays, no Veuve Clicquot or Whispering Angel. What it does have, to go with the Mediterranean-inspired menu created by her husband, Deneb Williams, is a fascinating abundance of Italian, Slovenian, and Greek varieties, many of them little-known and almost all from small, family-owned wineries. Its a list that is designed intentionally, Mandalou said, to encourage guests to reach out to the staff.
Just talk to me, Mandalou said post-service one night over a glass of Pallagrello, an obscure variety from Italys equally obscure Terre del Volturno wine region. Thats the whole idea. No matter what, Ill find you a wine that youll love. We have a lot of people come in who like Caymus Cabernetthats fine. I dont have anything like that on my list. But I do have a Nino Negri Sfursat from the Valtellina thats a fantastic option for someone who likes that wine.
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What Are The Types And Styles Of Red Wine
There are hundreds of types of red wine varieties in commercial use, from light and finessed to bold and structured, however, only about 35 varieties contribute to the majority of red wine production. The most grown grape varieties are:
- Tempranillo. Red and black fruit, earth and herbs.
- Syrah. Dark fruit, pepper, spicy and savory.
- Grenache. Ripe red fruit and sexy texture.
- Pinot Noir. Earthy, silky and complex.
- Sangiovese. Red fruit, earthy and herbal.
How Do You Order A Glass Of Red Wine I Want To Try Zinfandel But Im Not Sure How To Word It
Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
How do you order a glass of red wine? I want to try Zinfandel but Im not sure how to word it.
Ordering a glass of wine doesnt have to be complicated. Just look for the word Zinfandel on a wine list . If you dont see a wine list or find it hard to understand , you can say, Id love a glass of Zinfandel. What do you recommend?
This line works even if there isnt Zinfandel on the wine list. Say youre in a restaurant that only serves Spanish wines. You can just say you are in the mood for something like a Zinfandel, and ask what wine on their list they think is closest to that.
Servers, bartenders and sommeliers are incentivized to make sure youre happy, so remember they are on your side. I dont think you have to worry that someone will misunderstand you and serve you a white Zinfandel . But if thats your concern, you can always add a note about how youre in the mood for a robust red like a Zinfandel, and that should get your message across.
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Wine Tip #: Check The Vintage
When you order wine, be sure to check that the vintage they bring to the table is what you ordered. In all but rare exceptions, a younger wine should be less expensive. If theyve brought you an older vintage and explain they are out of what you ordered, its a polite gesture to extend you the same price on the better bottle.
Proper Handling Of Red Wine Glass
When drinking red wine, avoid using your hands to hold the bulb because body temperature will warm the wine, losing its inherent flavor. Ideally, you should hold the base or the tripod and slowly enjoy it.
The proper process of enjoying red wine is watching – gently shaking – smelling flavors – tasting and sipping. Better yet, when drinking wine, you should not be in a hurry but need to be very slow to feel the sophistication of this drink through all your senses.
The best glasses for wine drinking are gourds, with high handles and legs. Different from the champagne glass, which is tall, elongated.
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How Long Does Red Wine Last
Opened and re-corked, a bottle will stay fresh in your fridge for one to two days, a bit longer for more tannic reds. . Unopened, red wines stay good for one year to several decades. Optimal storage means bottles lay on their sides in a moderately humid environment at 57°F, but assessing how long to age a bottle is complicated. Seek a wine professional for advice if you are unsure.
Red Wines From Lightest To Boldest
Identify similar tasting red wines based on their intensity from lightest to boldest.
Red Wines from Lightest to Boldest
Just 32 red wine varieties make up a majority of the wine available in the marketplace. If all red wines were placed on this chart, there would be hundreds!
Where does boldness in wine come from?
On the other hand, wines with lower alcohol, less tannin, and higher acidity are lighter-bodied.
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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
Good to Know:
Approve The Wine Sample
Approving the sample is simply to determine if the wine is flawed in any way. There are three common ways a wine can be flawed. Once you determine that its not flawed, tell the server to pour around!
A corked wine smells like wet cardboard and is super musty. It isnt bad to drink but the aroma is ruined by the off-smell. TCA is the culprit and can affect anywhere from 1-10% of a winerys production. Its caused by mold from unclean corks. It can also be caused in the winery from improperly cleaned barrels and even from some flame retardant paints that cause mold to build up behind the paint on the walls. Our noses are super sensitive to the smell of TCA, so itll be obvious when you smell the wine if TCA is afoot!
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Be Clear About Budget
No matter where I was working, the most common things customers said to me about how much they wanted to spend on wine were statements like, Oh, something about in the middle, or Lets keep it sort of reasonable, or You know, kind of moderately priced. This presents the sommelierme, in this casewith a quandary, since reasonable for you is not necessarily reasonable for the brain surgeon at the next table. So unless you are flashing status markers like a Patek Philippe watch or a wad of hundreds, Im probably going to take you to something in the sweet spot for that restaurant: about $90 a bottle at Allora, or more like $150 at Oceana.
But you will make the sommelier your friend, and cause yourself less stress, if you are simply clear about how much you want to spend. One way is to do what Lorie, a guest at Oceana hosting a table of five coworkers, did: Point to a bottle on the list and say, Wed like a red around this price.
Dont Count Out Established Regions In Your Quest For Value
Regions with famed and pricey wines often also have terrific, less-heralded offerings. Examples include white Bordeaux, or Pinot Noir from Germany or Australias Adelaide Hills. There are always value regions within the well-known wine countries: Alsace and Languedoc-Roussillon in France; Puglia, Campania and Sardinia in Italy.
And look for your favorite varieties in less-obvious places. Robert Smith, who juggles more than 4,000 labels as wine director at three locations of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Texas, says youll usually spend less on great examples of Bordeaux varieties from Washington State than from Napa. Washington wines have a freshness and balance to them, and the reds age very well.
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How Much Should I Spend
Your first instinct may be to choose a wine based on price. Resist it. This has nothing to do with coming off as a cheapskate, since many modestly priced wines are indeed quite good. Likewise, a bottle of wine wont go well with your meal simply by virtue of being the most expensive on the list.add
Theres really no formula for determining how much to spend on winejust spend what you feel comfortable with. Part of the reason why youre choosing two or three choices is to communicate to your server what your price range is. Even if they dont recommend one of the wines you choose, theyll know what youre willing to spend.
On the other hand, if you are trying to impress by being a big spender, dont get the most expensive bottle on the standard wine list. Ask for the reserve wine list. But you had better know what youre doing if you pull this one!