Wine is a perfect drink for every occasion – elegant celebrations, intimate dinner parties, romantic evenings and peaceful nights alone. Whether you’re planning a Christmas dinner or you just want to enjoy a glass of fine wine by yourself, there are several important considerations to have in mind to choose perfect wine. Check out my short wine guide.
Each wine varietal has its own unique characteristics that determine its flavor. The basic varietals include red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Red wines come in different styles depending on the characteristics of grapes they are made of, as well as their age. Typically, red wines are made from grapes fermented along with their skins, which gives them color and tannin. Some of the most popular red grape varieties include French Gamay, French or Australian Syrah (also known as Shiraz among Australians), world-popular Pinot Noir and others. In white wines, on the other hand, grapes are separated from their skins, which gives them light, clear color. Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are among the most loved white grape varieties.
When it comes to rose wines, they are always a classic choice, with unique flavors of red fruit. The fermentation of juice with dark skins gives them their recognizable pink hue. Dry and crisp rose wines that come from southern France and northern Spain are considered the best versions of this wine. The most popular grape varieties include Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Mourvedre and Pinot Noir. Finally, sparkling wines are typically fermented twice, which gives them their playful bubbles. While they may be referred to as champagne, this term can be used solely for the sparkling wines made in the Champagne region in France. Other sparkling wines are known as Prosecco in Italy (both grape variety and wine), Cava in Spain and Champagne-style sparkling wines in Tasmania, California, New Zealand and South Africa.
While you can find great wines at affordable prices, fine, aged wines are typically more expensive. In addition, the price can suggest some other important differences. For example, In Australia, more expensive wines have certain regional characteristics and come from specific wineries, while more affordable wines don’t have recognizable region-specific features. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t hesitate to try less expensive wines or to treat yourself to a high-end bottle once in a while.
Wine and food pairings
Fine wine and delicious food don’t always equal perfect dinner. For a truly exhilarating gastronomic experience, you need to find a perfect pairing of wine and food. While this is mostly a matter of personal preferences and taste, there are some general rules that can help you make the right choice. Heartier meals are typically accompanied by red wine, while lighter ones go perfectly with white wine. For example, you can pair a dish of seafood or chicken with a crisp white wine, while cheese and red meats along with a rich red wine can be a true feast. Certain foods that may not go that well with wine include asparagus, soy sauce, sushi, blue cheese, chocolate and Brussel sprouts, but even in these cases, you can still find wine that can transcend certain pairing issues.
If you’re a true wine lover, you shouldn’t hesitate to experiment with unfamiliar grape varieties or treat yourself with some of the best world wines. For example, you can be pleasantly surprised by some less known European varieties, such as Nero d’Avola, Barbera, Sangiovese or Vermentino. If you’ve always wanted to have a taste of fine, flavourful Australian wine, you can easily find some at affordable prices. The key to choosing world wines lies in picking a label’s second choice wines instead of the primary ones because they are more affordable yet still have recognizable flavors.
You don’t have to be an experienced wine connoisseur to choose fine wine. With these simple steps, you’ll be able to choose and enjoy a perfect wine.