the Perfect Bottle of Wine
NAPS NEWS SERVICE
you are having wine at home, as part of a holiday meal, or in a
restaurant, choosing the correct type of wine need not be a bewildering
experience as you face the multiple shelves in a store or extensive wine
list in a restaurant. A few basic tips can help anyone navigate the maze
and look like an expert to family, friends or colleagues.
the perfect wine companion to complement food might seem difficult. Many
people fall back on the “old rule” of a red wine with meat and a
white wine with fish and chicken. With so many different styles of
cooking and a new relaxed approach to dining in or out, it’s more
acceptable today to go with a wine you like.
should be enjoyed with food without fear of rules, so these days it is
much more important to go with what you like,” says Doug Gore,
award-winning wine maker for Columbia Crest, one of the largest domestic
wineries. “Merlot has increased in popularity more than anything
because it goes equally well with a variety of foods, from meat dishes
to grilled salmon, as well as being a great accompaniment to party
appetizers.” Experimenting with different combinations of affordable
wines and foods at home will stand you in good stead when you are out in
is by no means a guarantee of quality and quality does not have to come
with a hefty price tag. To ensure the flavor and quality you are looking
for, follow some of these suggestions:
Read the neck tags on bottles des-cribing the flavors and qualities of
Ask the servers at restaurants, they should be able to guide you, and
don’t be afraid to ask what they enjoy.
Work with the on-site wine consultant in retail stores, in the same way
you would with your butcher, to ask for his or her recommendations.
Winery Web sites offer information and advice on different types of wine
and great food pairings to try at home or out.
Check how the wine scored in a wine industry publication such as The
Wine Spectator (80-100 indicates a high-scoring wine). They rate all
price categories of wine and these scores often show up on packaging at
Favorite Wine Varietals
Chardonnay has become the most popular
type of white wine. If it is described as oaky, nutty or smoky,
you can expect it to be a bit drier. Descriptors such as apple, pear or
coconut are typical for this variety and indicate a sweeter and more
Cabernet Sauvignon is often described as rich with tannins, meaning
you’ll experience a full and somewhat dry flavor. This is why this red
wine works best with stronger flavored foods and meat dishes.
Merlot is a softer, lighter red wine and often is described with fruit
descriptors, such as cherry and raspberry.
ordering wine by the bottle, remember there are between five to six
glasses of wine in a standard size bottle of wine (750 ml). So for a
party of four, one bottle would provide everyone with at least one glass
of wine with dinner.
a restaurant setting it is always important to be inclusive of
everyone’s tastes. Ask what food items your guests are choosing and
whether they would prefer a red or white, and dry or sweet wine.
Ordering two bottles of wine is recommended if a variety of entrees will
be served to your guests.
planning a gathering at home, a good rule of thumb is to plan for half a
bottle of wine per guest and to provide a mineral water option to clear
the palate, especially when you are serving different types of food.
an affordable, high quality wine, like those from Columbia Crest, gives
you the opportunity to decide on the varietals that match your taste
buds and make your next meal even more enjoyable and memorable.