Perhaps you are entertaining this season, or maybe you entertain all year. A glass of wine at dinner is better when paired appropriately. A glass of wine with friends is even better. Maybe you want to give a bottle of something as a gift. Or perhaps you are curious about great wine. Great wine doesn’t mean expensive. The terroir and nuances and enjoyment of wine and the way it plays with food pairings can be found in a bottle of twelve dollar wine. You just have to know what to look for.
There are five glasses of wine in each bottle. A standard pour is five to six ounces. This will help you plan how much to provide at a party. Serve whites at 55 degrees. Reds at 65-75 degrees. Look for wine between ten and twenty dollars.
For appetizers– a sweeter wine that holds up on its own and is quite delightful is Riesling. Pinot Noir can be paired with anything. It is the most versatile. Look for the cherries and chocolate flavors in this milder wine.
If you are serving something with butter or cream- Mushrooms with butter sauce and Parmesan or Linguine Alfredo, let’s say, or a nice salmon with a creamy herb sauce will pair perfect with Chardonnay. Chardonnay carries the crisp tropical and fresh fruit flavors of white grapes with the toasty cream finish thanks to the oak it matures in.
If you are serving seafood or salad– Shrimp Cocktail, a beautiful main-dish salad with chicken, or pork roast with apples and cabbage. Anything that has crisp flavors-apples, lettuce, briny seafood- goes best with a Sauvignon Blanc. It has crisp fruit and mineral flavors, is dry, and is made in stainless steel. It goes really nicely with food. If you want to go a tad sweeter with this type of menu, choose a Pinot Grigio.
If you are serving tomato based dishes or beans- Rich chili, thick pastas and savory sauces, olives, or bean soups all go beautifully with Cabernet Sauvignon. Anything Italian naturally pairs with Sangiovese, Chianti, or Barbera.
If you are serving red meat or barbeque- You just can’t go wrong with a Merlot or a Malbec with a smoky steak or buffalo burgers.
If you are serving dessert- a thick Port with fudge is divine, a glass of Moscato or Ice wine is a sweet way to end the meal.
A gift to a wine club is a great present to the wine lover on your list. Some of the smaller wineries offer wine clubs which gives the oenophile on your list some new and exciting small batch wines to enjoy. Some of the larger wine clubs offer treats from around the world.
Enjoy your festivities this season, my friends. Cheers!