How to Choose The Best Wine For YOU! ~ The Review Stew
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Choose The Best Wine For YOU!

Let me just start by clarifying...I am not by any means an expert on wine! But you may have noticed from my many wine reviews, that I enjoy a good glass every now and then!

For people who would like to get into knowing wine or want to know the basics, I have put together some important and easy to remember information for you that I think is important as you enter the wine world!

Keep in mind, wine is available in many places these days: grocery stores, winerys and there are even online wines. Regardless of where you buy your wine, the key is picking one you will enjoy and enjoying it to the fullest!

Types of Wines

All wines are manufactured with the help of grapes, however, different flavors are created by combining the basic wine with fruits, or other additives, and the actual manufacturing and ageing process. 

1. White wines - White wines can be made from any color grape, but only the clear juice of the grapes is used.
2. Red wines - The juice used to make red wine includes the skins, stems and seeds of red or black grapes.
3. Sparkling wines - When the wine is prepared in a way that produces carbon dioxide. The sparkling wine that specifically comes from the Champagne region of France, is what we all know as "Champagne".

Pairing Wine with Food

You probably have seen suggested wines with certain foods at restaurants before and wondered why? 

Well, when wondering what wine to serve with your dinner, keep in mind these few simple pairing rules:

1. Pair Light wines with Lighter Foods (fish, chicken and creamy sauces)
2. Match full-bodied wines with bolder foods (beef, game and tomato-based pasta sauces)
3. Spicy foods go with a sweeter wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio)
4. Just want to sip on a glass after a long day?? (Pinot Noir, Cabernets, Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling)

This is a good rule of thumb to follow for the beginner, but with a bit of experience, you’ll find you can break the mold a little -- some nice light-bodied reds pair very well with fish and chicken, for example.


Too often people drink white wines too cold and red wines too warm, limiting how much you can enjoy the wine. A white that’s too cold will be flavorless and a red that’s too warm is often flabby and alcoholic.

Keep in mind that the typical refrigerator temperature, in the high 30s or low 40s, is too cold for most white wine. If you chill your wine in the fridge, take it out beforehand

Here are a few rules of thumb for temperatures:
  • Tart, bright white wines: 48-52 degrees
  • Sparkling wine: 50-55 degrees
  • Rich white wines, like an aged chardonnay: 58-62 degrees
  • Light red wines (Chianti, Beaujolais, young pinot noir): 60-65 degrees
  • Heavy red wines: 63-68 degrees
How to Taste & Drink Wine

I have been to a lot of wine tastings at winerys and there are some very key basics to tasting, drinking, and enjoying wine and its "bouquet" to its fullest!

Whenever you have a glass of wine in your hand, make it a habit to take a minute to stop all conversation, shut out all distraction and focus your attention on the wine’s color, swirl, smell, taste, savor. Remember these five words with every glass of wine you taste!

Color, Swirl, Smell, Taste, Savor

1. Examine the Color: Hold the wine down (not up in air) at a 45 degree angle against a white background. Different grape varieties have different hues.

2. Swirl the wine: Is all that swirling really necessary? Absolutely! Swirling oxygenates the wine and releases the wine’s bouquet. Swirling can also help you determine the weight of the wine. Look for tears or legs to form inside the glass. The more pronounced the legs = more alcohol in the wine. Alcohol = Body.

3. Smell the wine: Swirl the wine and stick your nose deep in the glass and take a big sniff! Then swirl again and sniff again. Try to identify the aromas you are experiencing.

4. Taste the wine: Let the wine warm in your mouth for a few seconds. As the wine warms up, more of the bouquet and aroma are traveling up through the nasal passage then on to the olfactory bulb, and then to the limbic system of the brain. Remember, 90 percent of taste is smell!

5. Savor the Wine: Now that you have tasted the wine, think about it. Talk about it. Share it with your friends!

Now that you have savored your wine, preservation of the leftovers is key! As wine comes into contact with air, it quickly spoils. To slow down the deterioration process, use a quick vacuum pump to suck out the excess air. The less air in the bottle, the longer the wine’s lifespan.

Hope this helps you on the road to becoming a wine extraordinaire!

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