Exploring New Wines. What to Buy? So many Choices!
Author: Jack Chase
Let’s face it. We all have our favorite, go to wine, that we drink on a regular basis. I hear it all the time. I like Sweet wines, I only drink Red wines. Well, what does that mean?
There are many different reds and countless sweet wines. So I present this thought. Why, as consumers, do we get in this rut of drinking the same thing over and over? Well the obvious answer is, we like it but, what if there were other wines that you like and aren’t aware that they even exist. Wines you have never heard of or tried or don’t have access to? I propose taking the plunge. Trying something completely different. Let’s get out of our comfort zone and be adventurous.
We can start by talking about White wines
As I mentioned earlier, I am often told at tastings, I only like sweet wines. My guess is because the sugar content is much higher and of course, who doesn’t like something with a little sugar? I always try and explain that wines that are sweet are generally not the best to pair with a meal. Maybe try a nice Riesling with a little higher alcohol content, if it is above 10.5%, it is not going to be as sweet. Having a salad for dinner with a Grilled Trout? Maybe think about a Chenin Blanc or Viognier or even Falanghina from Italy, white wines with more acidity and less residual sugar. Then there is Chardonnay. I often find the Chardonnay’s that are big in the “Butter and Oak” flavor profile, are not always the easiest to pair with food. Possibly consider an Un-Oaked Chardonnay. The wine is always in stainless and tends to have a profile that lends itself to being more food friendly. Thai Sushi and Idian Foods? Sauvignon Blanc, a great wine with hints of citrus and tends to pair up nicely with these foods. I am very much enjoying many of these wines coming from New Zealand.
Now let’s chat about Red wines
Here is a scenario that I see often. You are at your favorite Italian Restaurant. The table next to you orders a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to go with their Spaghetti Pomodoro. Well, me being the trouble maker that I am and letting my curiosity get the best of me, lean to ask, “With all these lovely Italian wines on this list, may I ask why you chose a Cabernet from California”? Now of course I wouldn’t really be that nosy but, it is going through my mind. I have heard this answer before, Well, Italians drink red wines with their meals. Why yes they do but generally not Cabernet Sauvignon. My point here is that as we enjoy are way through the fabulous world of wines, we should try and avoid lumping all white wines or all red wines together by stating, I like whites. I like reds. Alright, back to the Red wine dilemma. With Italian food, especially anything tomato based, try a wine that is blended with Sangiovese. A Chianti perhaps? If you are looking for a red wine that is not so heavy, try a beautiful Pinot Noir. Especially from Chile. You can find great values in some of these wines. I also find that a red wine from the Rhone Valley tends to have earthy components and a complexity that lends itself to food and if you are a lover of the Cabernet Sauvignon, pair it with a meal of substance. Yes, I am speaking to the carnivores out there. Try to keep in mind that this article is barely scratching the surface of the choices we have when it comes to wine. I am hopeful that you will run out to your local store tonight and pull something off the shelf that you would not normally purchase and enjoy something new.
Cheers until next time!
Jack Chase of Wine Tasting Washington