A big question among novice wine drinkers in how to choose a good wine. I know that before I started bartending at the Boise Olive Garden about a 100 years ago, I was really intimidated by wines. I mean, really, who decides what a good wine is anyway? And what if I don’t like red wines? Or what if I don’t know the difference between a sweet white wine and a dry white wine? Would I fail wine with dinner 101 if that’s the case? These were my questions as I embarked on my bartender training journey.
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Sweet Wine, Dry Wine, Is it Time to Whine?
Over the course of my training as a bartender, I did learn the answers to some of these questions. Sweet wine has more residual sugar left over after the fermenting process than dry wine does. But guess what? You can taste the difference. At least I could and have found that most people can, too. And after even more wine training, I decided it was OK if I’m not big on red wines even thought I probably “should” like them, although I did find that I liked pairing a hearty red Merlot with dark chocolate mousse. Mmmmm!
But for those who haven’t had the advantages of wine training, here are some quick guidelines from the winery of Maison Louis Jadot. And not to worry. They’re common sense simple. After reading these guidelines, you may never again have to ask yourself how to choose a good wine. You’ll just know.
What Goes with What?
- Choose wines that match a food’s flavor. For example, if you eating a tasty Tilapia with a squeeze of lemon, opt for a wine that has hints of citrus.
- If your food is heavy—think prime rib—then choose a heavy red wine like Cabernet. If your meal is a dish like chicken, you might want to choose a Chardonnay or Riesling.
- Choose a wine that has the same sweetness level as the food you’re eating. While my Merlot and chocolate preference earlier goes against this, it’s a good rule of thumb when in doubt.
- Match the color types. Dark wines go with rich, heavy foods like meats while light wines often work better with lighter foods.
- Finally, do something different and pair your wine with one of your side dishes instead of the main dish. In fact, think about extending the line even further and choosing a wine just because you like it. While wine can certainly have “snob” appeal, most of the time when people drink wine, it isn’t for some high event. Rather it’s when they’re having dinner with friends and family. That being the case, it should be an element that makes the meal more enjoyable instead of a chore.
Win a Trip to Paris
If you’d like to find out more about how food and wine go together, why not enter the Jadot’s Share Your Love photo sweepstakes? Here are the rules:
Simply like the Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Facebook fan page before midnight on December 31, 2012 and upload a photograph that best reflects the idea behind the Share Your Love theme.
The First Prize Winner will get two round-trip tickets to Paris, France, and a week’s stay at a Paris hotel. Each Second Prize Winner will receive a Jadot Beaujolais-Villages branded T-shirt. Maison Louis Jadot is the No. 1 French wine in America.
You can find further information, including complete sweepstakes rules and facts on fine wine, online at www.lovejadot.com.
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Sources: Maison Louis Jadot
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