1. Expensive wines are better wines
A common misunderstanding is that the more expensive the wine, the better it will taste. Surely if you have a bottle of 73-year-old French Burgundy in your wine cellar, you know the worth but isn’t this more about personal taste and value? Many of us are not wine collectors and investors but we like to enjoy a fine glass of wine or two! Fortunately, there are a plethora of wines available to us that offer great value for their price. Wine quality comes from best practices in the vineyard and attentive production. Muscadet from Loire, Carmenere from Chile or Gruner Vetliner from Austria will not break the bank and won’t disappoint you.
2. Chardonnay is always buttery and rich
Chardonnay is a fabulously neutral grape that gets its taste from the soil and climate where it grows along with the style used by the winemaker. Because of its diversity, Chardonnay can be fermented in stainless steel tanks like in Burgundy France, where there is less oxygen and provides greater preservation of freshness and acidity. A majority of Old World winemakers will rarely age their chardonnay in oak, if at all. Contrary to oak aging, unoaked Chardonnay has a wide range of aromas such as citrus, mineral and floral notes.
3. You must pair red wine with meat and white wine with fish
What if you do not like white wine but you love a delicious grilled fish with herbs and spices? Relax, you got this! Grilled fish may exude a smoky flavor or may be cooked in a savory sauce, these profiles will pair very well with a dry red wine. Look for a medium bodied red with higher acidity like Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto or Pinot Noir. Focus your wine pairing on the smokiness or the herbs. What if you only like white wine? It is perfectly acceptable to serve a creamy chardonnay with a steak. New amazing Wine and Food pairing combo are experienced all the time!
4. Wine always gets better with age
Within my cellared wine stash, I have a 1996 California Red, with Tim McGraw on the label. I received the bottle as a gift because I am a huge fan of this music artist. Should I open it and let it age longer? Most wines are produced to drink within a few years, especially those from the New World. Wines that age well are that of exceptional quality grapes, high tannin levels and/or acidity, (European wines) as these 3 components help preserve the wine for years and even decades. So, as you take inventory of your beloved wines, reflect on the memories of why that wine was important to you and if it is past its prime, consider keeping it as a memento.
5. Red wine should never be chilled
If you are just beginning to enjoy wine, you may conclude that white wine should be served ice cold and red wine at room temperature. When a red wine is warmer than it should be, the tannins and alcohol start to take over and the aromatics are altered. Here is your chance to do an experiment. Select two of the same bottles of red wine, chill one bottle until it reaches between 68-60 degrees (lighter reds can chill to 55 degrees) and keep the other bottle at room temperature. Do a side-by-side comparison and note the differences.
6. The only way to enjoy champagne is in a flute
Champagne is often enjoyed at celebrations or special occasions and a champagne flute seems to be the logical stemware for serving. Let’s face it, it is fancy yes. However, flutes have a narrow diameter which limits the amount of oxygen that meets with the liquid and therefore lessens the flavor. Try using a wider glass like a burgundy type of glass. It will allow the aromas expression, harmonize the effervescence and show your expertise!
On our next newsletter, we will learn about the factors that affect a wine style or price.
See you next week!