Many of us know that we like wine, yet we’re not sure what makes the wine that we like, well, likable! There are so many different aromas and flavors available, that we don’t always understand our preferences. However, if you can manage to pair the right flavor with the right occasion or meal, you’ll find that it’s enhanced even more. Here are some helpful tips for expanding your wine smarts and choosing the right wine.
What’s the Occasion?
Before we dive in, circumstances are everything. What kind of occasion are you choosing wine for? Is it a formal dinner with work colleagues? Or are you throwing a housewarming event for your older loved one who’s moved into assisted living? It’s important that you consider the occasion and setting before making your choice. More formal occasions call for complex and aged wines, while more casual events may call for something sparkling or light-bodied.
Understand Your Tastes
Take note of the wines that you tend to really enjoy. Do you find yourself enjoying pinot noir? Pinot noir is known as being especially aromatic since it has notes of cherry, strawberry and even florals. It’s also known for being generally lighter than other wines like a cab.
Perhaps most of all, it’s known for its balanced acidity which offers a more proportional taste than other varieties. Getting to know the characteristics that you like will help you choose other wines that are similar. For example, once you realize you like pinot noir, then you’re most likely to enjoy a Chianti.
Think About the Dish
While there is no rule that applies to your own personal taste, as a general rule of thumb certain wines go with certain foods. For example, white wine is almost always paired with light foods like fish, whereas red wine goes nicely with red meat.
Think about the dish you’ll be eating, and consider the flavors. Pairing something extremely heavy and full-bodied with something light and sweet is not going to do any favors for the palette. Ultimately, you want to find perfect harmony by balancing flavors that complement each other.
Never Stop Learning
Wine isn’t something that you read one article about and suddenly you’re a sommelier. It takes years of studying and doing your research to truly understand and develop your wine knowledge. Read articles, subscribe to magazines, and maybe even consider taking a wine course. If you’re truly passionate about learning more about the world of wine, then never stop learning as much as you can.
The more you evolve in your understanding of wine, the more you’ll make confident and informed choices when it’s time to choose the bottle.
Learning to choose the right wine takes time— in the meantime, while you’re developing your knowledge, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Chances are there’s an expert available where you purchase your wine who is willing to give you suggestions on what they think you would like. Cheers!