You know, wine paired with food is fun. Not just the drinking of the wine, but also in deciding which wine you want to purchase and what foods you want to pair it with . Let’s start with some ideas when you go to purchase the wine.
First of all you need to decide the reason you are buying the wine. Is it to be served with dinner, or just with Hours d’oeuvres? Are you going to a friend’s house or having a romantic evening? How much do you want to spend on the wine, $8.00, $10.00, $15.00, $25.00 or more? Whatever the reason, and at whatever price point you should first find a merchant you can turn to that will make a recommendation. After they make the recommendation, ask them why they did. This will help you gain knowledge. Also, ask if you can taste the wine. Remember, even the highest rated wine will not be good if you don’t like the flavor.
If at all possible, and you live close to vineyards, take a trip and let them help you. (This is something we will discuss later.)
Remember, have fun. Don’t feel embarrassed by any questions that come to mind. Ask them, soak in the answers. I guess another way of putting it is to act like you did when you sat on your parents lap and drove them crazy with questions. Didn’t you learn something from that?
Another thing, if you are looking to match wine with food, think of the flavors of the food and then try to find a wine that will either pick up the flavors or will contrast the flavors of the meal which will keep your palate awake and asking for more. Both methods have great results.
As far as finding a wine retailer in your area, well, I like the smaller wine stores with the owner on the premises. Generally they are doing this business out of love for the grape….I find that many times they have a wider range of knowledge. I have a wine store here in the Buffalo, NY area that I believe is the best in the country. The man has knowledge, and loves to share it. Many times we will discuss food and wine pairings; his ideas are always on target. I would love to give you his name but that’s for another article.
Here’s to your wine and dine success,
P.S. There are great wines being produced today in the $10.00 to $15.00 range. We will get to them in another article.