Wine is such an interesting drink; it’s much more than fermented grape juice. The thing with wine is that it takes you on tour around the world with its flavours and aromas, and that’s exciting!
The problem is, there are so many types of wine, from over eighty countries, made with at least two thousand grapes. How to choose? Well, studying wine is quite enjoyable, but it still needs dedication.
To get you started, here’s a cheat-sheet and a few quick tips to help you choose the right wine for every occasion.
Whether it’s for a casual get-together with friends or a formal dinner party, the right wine is often the one that goes best with the food.
Choosing the right wine starts by understating the wine itself. Although there are no two bottles alike, we can categorise wine in a few families. This can help us determine the right wine for the occasion.
There’s white, red, pink, sweet and sparkling wine. In this short guide, we’ll focus on red and white, which we can further divide into smaller groups.
(Light-bodied white wine - Image Source: pexels.com)
Light-bodied white wine is dry, crisp and fresh. It’s the most common type of wine made with white grapes. Think Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino or Albariño. This light-bodied drink is always refreshing and easy to enjoy.
(Full-bodied white wine - Image Source: pixabay.com)
Full-bodied white wine is rare. The most common is the oak-aged Chardonnay, which brims with butter and custard aromas over a creamy core of golden apples.
(Light-bodied red wine - Image Source: pixabay.com)
Light-bodied red wine is silky and smooth; it has a pleasant acidity and the loveliest cherry aromas, too. Think of Pinot Noir.
(Full-bodied red wine - Image Source: pexels.com)
Full-bodied red wine is quite popular, and it’s always structured, bold and tends to have an astringent palate. Some of the most common red wines in this category are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese and Malbec.
Whether it’s for a casual get-together with friends or a formal dinner party, the right wine is often the one that goes best with the food. For light foods like salads, fresh cheese, steamed veggies, white fish, sushi and other delicate foods, your best bet is going for a dry and crisp light-bodied white wine.
For food with more intensity, like white meat, poultry and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or tuna, then you might want to go for a full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay.
Light-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir are also compatible with white meat, poultry and fatty fish. You could say they overlap with the above when it comes to food pairing abilities.
Last but not least, full-bodied red wine is perfect for red meat, hearty stews, game, barbecues, grilled veggies and any other flavorful meal. They’re lovely with aged cheese as well.
Think about Your Guests
Wine and food pairings are essential, but they’re not as important as your guests. It doesn’t matter how well you pair dinner with a bottle of wine if your friends and family don’t appreciate it.
If you’re having dinner with friends with little to no wine experience, then look for a younger wine that’s fruit-forward and enjoyable. They often come from New World wine-producing countries like Argentina, Chile, Australia or the USA.
If you’re sharing the table with wine connoisseurs, then you can choose a more complex wine, one that’s more than fruit. You can find all types of scents in a glass of wine, from black olives and cured meat to leather and damp earth. Most of the time, these wines come from European countries.
Drink What You Like
Choose the right wine thinking of your dinner and your friends, but most importantly, choose a wine that you enjoy, one that really brings out your passion for our favourite fermented drink.
Wine needs not to be expensive or rare to be enjoyable. The world of wine is so complex that you’ll indeed find the wine you like from all corners of the earth and at all price points.
How to choose the right wine for every occasion? Go with your heart and share a wine that speaks to you; that just feels right. Do that, and you can’t get it wrong.