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How Do You Choose A Good Wine?

Blog 🕔April 28, 2017

There is no ‘best wine’. Every wine has its own distinguishing characteristics, and some may be preferred over the others based on individual tastes. Because we want you to have a memorable experience with wine, Winevertisement.com is more than a directory of wine listings. There are plenty of articles on the different types of wine, how to identify them, and pair them with food. In fact, it is said that there is a wine for every occasion.

Wine is also to be enjoyed even when there is no special occasion – the wine is what makes it an occasion!There are two ways you could go about pairing your food with wine. You could either choose a wine to complement the food, or you could choose the food to go with the wine of your choice.

Wine Cheese
Sparkling wine Robiola
Champagne Camembert
Chardonnay Brie / Colby Jack / Mild Cheddar
Pinot Blanc Taleggio
Cabernet Sauvignon Cheddar
Sauvignon Blanc Gruyere / Mozzarella / Monterey Jack
Bardolino Fontina
Valpolicella Pecorino
Zinfandel Double Gloucester
Chianti Parmesan
Merlot Gouda
Sauternes Stilton
Riesling Blue cheese
Eiswein Cambozola
Port Gorgonzola
Pinot Grigio Ricotta
Tocai Friulano Burrata
Beaujolais Feta
Chenin Blanc Goat cheese
Moscato Muenster / Pepper Jack
Sweet rose Chipotle / Colby Jack
Dry rose Mild cheese

 

This is an example of how cheese can be paired with wine, or the other way around. Learning how to do this is very good starting point to the world of wine. Wine by itself makes for a good drink, but when paired with food, the experience becomes more memorable.

Wine-cheese pairing has its origins in Europe, when these two were the most predominant agricultural products available. It was only later, as in when cooking techniques improved, that wine began to be paired with other types of food such as vegetables, fish, and meat.

Because cooking techniques are still improving and cuisines still being perfected, it makes sense to start with the basics. Having a solid foundation in cheese-wine pairing is your stepping stone to finding out how wines pair with different types of food.

At the heart of wine-cheese pairing is figuring out which flavours complement each other. For instance, how mild cheese goes well with a Pinot Grigio, simply because the former is high on acidity and the latter is a light, white wine which offsets this with hints of pear and melon. Together, they make for an unbeatable combination.

The above list has been compiled after years and centuries of testing, mostly by trial and error. You could follow the list and avoid making mistakes; or learn by yourself, mixing and matching different types of cheese with different types of wine. After all, even the best chefs and hosts in the world became perfect by making mistakes on purpose.

Either way, you are guaranteed to learn something, be it a dreamy experience or a gastronomical disaster. At the end of it, you emerge with a better understanding of both wine and food flavours, and how they work together.

There is also another advantage to learning wine-cheese pairing. You could present your friends, family members and relatives with the right combinations and earn their admiration, apart from gifting them an experience. This is what wine has always been about, never intoxication. If the latter were the case, there would be no need for light wines, and so many of them. The stronger, full-bodied wines would always win. There would be no reason to pair wine with food/cheese either if getting intoxicated was what wine was all about. You may have noticed that those who appreciate wine drink it only in small quantities. This is because they can taste the individual notes in the wine, and not let them pass by.

Tip: When serving cheese with wine, place the cheese on a cutting board in the centre of table, so that it is easily accessible to all. Regarding the quantity, there is no need to place a huge piece if there are only a few persons around. Estimate how much will be required by each person, and have on the cutting board an amount that will be sufficient for all.

The cheese also needs to be warmed up first. It should not be served straight from the refrigerator. This is not to suggest that you heat it up so that it melts. Let it warm up by itself. You could place it near a fire and remove it when you feel it has warmed up enough. This will also make cutting the cheese easier, as well as those eating it really getting to experience its flavour along with the wine.

If you want to centre everything around the wine, that is also possible. You could choose foods that complement the wine, and plan your meal accordingly. Winevertisement.com also provides such suggestions (and substitutes as well, in case the suggested pairing is not to your liking).

For example, say you like Chardonnay. If you want a meal to complement the experience, we would suggest either provolone, gruyere or mild cheddar. But cheese alone would not suffice, so a roasted/grilled chicken sandwich is what is recommended as an appetizer. The cheese can be melted over the chicken filling, or the sandwich as a whole. For the entree, Winevertisement.com is of the opinion that you should choose a creamy mushroom or vegetable soup, which would go excellently well with an oak Chardonnay. The wine’s texture and acidity don’t contrast the cream, but mingles with it so that you taste all flavours. Chicken soup could be a substitute for this. In case you are not a fan of chicken, turkey could be used for the gourmet sandwich. Or shrimp/lobster/crab, if you love seafood. But if this is what you decide to have, pasta cream sauce is also to be used in place of the cheese.

For the salad, a white winter salad containing apples and grapes would be ideal. To add more substance, cauliflower and pine nuts are also to be included in the salad. A yoghurt-enriched dressing tops off the combination, but not before buttermilk being used plentifully for the salad. If this is not to your taste, a grilled pumpkin salad would do. What should avoid with Chardonnay are raw tomatoes, olives, and citrus fruits in the salad. These are acidic, and don’t complement, but supplement the acidity of Chardonnay. The dessert paired with Chardonnay needs to be simple, with caramel, toffee, vanilla or butterscotch flavours. You could even opt for any combination of these.

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