Wine is as old as civilization itself. No matter where you end up living, knowing at least several basic things about wine and wine culture is a crucial part of broad sophistication and class – and that is something that never goes out of fashion. If you feel as if you do not know enough about this beverage, here is a comprehensive wine guide that will help you choose the right wine for dinner.
Merlot is a good “starter pack” wine for all of you who are not experienced tasters. It is very easy to drink and it has an enjoyable, light taste with discreet hints of fruits like blackberries and plums. Furthermore, Merlot combines well with virtually any type of food. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Cabernet Sauvignon.
Of all the red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most common one. It goes amazingly with red meats and strong meals and it has a toasty cedar aftertaste. Pinot Noir has an earthy and cherry-like taste which means that it goes well with lighter meats, like chicken and fish. Shiraz (or Syrah in Europe) is a choice for lovers of spicier wine – the taste offers an intense mix of herbal tastes, dark fruit and even pepper.
When it comes to red wines which are not as “ubiquitous” as the ones mentioned above, Malbec is the most renowned one and its taste somewhat resembles Merlot with its plummy texture. Still, this wine that originates in France has a flavor that can depend heavily on the region it hails from. In other words, it is not that “reliable” if you are hung up on familiarity.
Carménère is another wine of French origin that is becoming increasingly rare due to difficulty of production. The specific type of grape needed to concoct this wine is dwindling, so if you get your hands on a bottle, make sure to appreciate its delightful smoky taste with a hint of cherry and dark chocolate.
Of course, of all the white wines, Chardonnay is the most popular by a significant margin, and as its name suggests, it also hails from France. It has a dry taste and a citrusy aftertaste which means it can be quite crisp and refreshing if served cold with light and lean meats. Riesling is the close second when it comes to popularity and it offers a sweeter option for those who consider Chardonnay too bitter.
Pinot Grigio is a dry wine which goes well with pretty much anything, which means that it is a true saving grace if you are serving a diverse dinner. Sauvignon Blanc, on the other hand, has a more sour note and a hint of a grassy aftertaste which is contrasted well with dark meats. It goes well with seafood and salads. If you are thirsty for something that goes well with the exotic Asian kitchen, look no further than Gewürztraminer, a German wine with a peachy texture.
Of course, this rundown does not mean a lot if you do not get some “tasteful” experience of the Dionysian beverage from every corner of the world. Use the next opportunity for a vacation to go on a double whammy adventure and visit new regions of the world that are renowned for their wines. You will not make a mistake if you begin your pilgrimage in a delightful winery in Melbourne and proceed to savor the wines on the Australian coast. Storm the vineyards of Canada for the best white wines and visit Mediterranean Europe to see where the modern wine culture as we know it originated.
Now that you have become the wine expert that knows which wine goes with what type of meal, there are several things you should know to avoid. If the wine comes in a big plastic jug or a box, it is most likely not a fine beverage made with care. In fact, it is most likely an “imitation” of wine, so if you don’t want your dinner ruined, avoid purchasing wine-per-gallon as much as you can. If you can, avoid pairing wine and plastic at all costs, even if your dinner guests are your close friends.
The taste for food we tend to develop exists in a sophisticated neural network of our brain that has been forming since the day we were born. Thankfully there are as many foods, dishes and nutritious combos as there are idiosyncratic palates. Each person has a favorite meal and a glass of specific wine that goes with it. If someone claims that they do not enjoy wine with their meal or at all, they simply haven’t discovered the “right match”.