Tonight’s the night. You’ve got that special dinner party with friends and you want it to be perfect. You’ve got the menu completed but the question is which wine will complement the meal best? Here are some tips for choosing a fine wine.
Lighter foods need lighter wines while heartier foods need full-bodied wines. For example, fish is light and thus a wine like Pinot Noir goes very nicely because it is also light.
The way the food is prepared will also influence the type of wine you choose. Whether your meal is grilled or roasted as well as the spices you use will affect your wine choice.
Which Foods to Choose
Bitter foods need a fruity wine that will complement them, such as a Chardonnay or Merlot. Shiraz or some of the other heavy tannic red wines go great with a grilled steak because of the fat in the meat tones down the bitterness in the wine.
Foods that are salty or oily go much better with a wine that’s higher in acid like Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. Sweet foods do much better with a slightly sweet dry wine such as Riesling or Chenin Blanc.
Dry wines, both red and white, work well with a wider selection of foods so if in doubt go this route. A general rule of thumb is that you want your wine to offer a nice contrast from your food but you don’t want it to clash.
Choosing Wine is Personal
The most important tip to remember is that wine is about taste and it’s a personal choice so trust your taste buds. It’s always a good idea to test a wine before purchasing it, and don’t base your wine buying decisions on what your friends or family say. Use your own palate to make your choices.
You should also be patient with yourself because learning to buy good wine has quite a learning curve. The best way to learn is to try many different wines and expand your wine cellar. People tend to find a wine they like and then stick with it spending little time experimenting with other wines. Why not explore other wines and find some other great choices?
Ignore the Price when Choosing Wine
The price of wine doesn’t dictate the quality. Of course many would like you to believe it does but the British Columbia wine industry is proving that’s just not so, producing some top quality wines at a fraction of the cost of imported wines. Of course, as with many things, the best costs more but there are plenty of excellent choices and it really does pay to shop around.
Always put together your wine cabinet with thought. Think about your budget, the types of food you most often serve, and how much entertaining you do. Set aside the most expensive wines for those special occasions and serve the less expensive, but still delicious, wines for your daily use.
These tips for choosing fine wine will have your wine cabinet looking very healthy in no time and your wines will complement your meals nicely!
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