By Amy Reilley
Because Im a young woman working in the wine business, friends forever grill me for wine-buying advice. Whether you need wine for a party, to give as a gift or to share with a friendall wine is not created equal, and each situation does require some knowledge and forethought. (Beyond which bottles on sale!) A little wine know-how really can go a long wayyoull be able to tell by the impressed looks on your friends faces. Here are a few of my best tips for navigating your way through those rows of bottles. Cheers!
I know its tempting, but do not pick your wine by the cute animal on the label or the awesome bottle shape when cruising the wine aisles. Ask the clerkyou may just find a steal or delicious gem. If youre dining out on the town, its the sommeliers job to help you find the right wine. Put him or her to work. If youre ordering by the glass, ask for a taste first. A good restaurant is always happy to accommodate. When in doubt, go for a name you can trust for consistent wines, such as Mondavi, Geyser Peak, Antinori, Peter Lehmann or, for Port, Taylor Fladgate. An internationally recognized winery cant afford to let customers down.
A word on pairing.
Ladies, dont get hung up on pairing your food and wine. If you dont like the style of a wine that is supposed to go with your meal, youre not going to like the wine no matter how perfect the pairing. But for those of you interested in a little experimentation, Ive included some of my favorite pairings below:
Chardonnay: The most popular white wine in America, Chard grapes generally produce full-bodied wines. California, Burgundy (France) and Australias Margaret River all produce world-famous Chardonnays.
Foods to pair: grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable lasagna, steamed lobster or crab, chicken tamales
Names to try: Louis Latour (France), Ruffino Libalo (Italy), J Lohr (USA), Kim Crawford (New Zealand)
Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir grapes produce elegant, food-friendly red wines. The most famous region for Pinot Noir is Burgundy, but Pinots are also produced in abundance throughout the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Foods to pair: anything in mushroom sauce, grilled salmon or tuna, pumpkin soup
Names to try: Dehlinger (USA), Mount Riley (New Zealand), Drouhin (France), Byron (USA)
Gamay: Learn this name, for it represents some of the best bargains in the red wine world. This fruity red is most famously the grape used in Frances Beaujolais wines, but Gamay is also becoming better known in California and Canada.
Foods to pair: potato dishes, spicy sausage, roast chicken, pizza
Names to try: Jadot (France), Preston (USA), Mommessin (France)
Cabernet Sauvignon: The most popular red wine grape in the Unites States, Cabernet is the one youll need to know to impress the average man. Most California cult wines are made from Cabernet or are Cab blends.
Foods to pair: pot roast, wild game, chicken and mashed potatoes, hamburgers and fries
Names to try: Joseph Phelps (USA), Penfolds (Australia), Clos du Val (USA), Montes Alpha (Chile)
Sparkling Wine: Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all bubbly is Champagne. Confused? In order to be called Champagne, a wine must come from the Champagne region of France. But that doesnt mean that other bubbles are inferior. Great sparkling wines come from Spain, Italy, Australia and the United States.
Foods to pair: There are two types. For Blanc de Blanc, try popcorn, potato chips, caviar, bacon and eggs. Brut Champagnes are great with cheeses, fish in cream sauce and even chocolate chip cookies.
Names to try: Perrier Jouet (France), Iron Horse (USA), Gosset - pronounced Go Say - (France), Gloria Ferrer (USA)
So bring on those wine lists! Nothing says you know what youre doing like recommending a Latour Chardonnay for your date to try with his steamed lobster. Keep exploring and expanding your wine IQ, and soon youll be recommending your own favorite grapes and pairings. California Cab with that casserole, anyone?
This article was originally published on http://www.savvymiss.com, a free website community dedicated to connecting, empowering and informing women everywhere. SavvyMiss.com features articles on dating, love, careers, fashion, health, beauty and important societal issues. Members also use message boards and blogs to build relationships with other members.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Amy_Reilley
See also related articles: www.d-i-wine.com, www.infozeek.net