Wine is all about discovery! And it is all about what you like and what tastes good to your palate. The nice thing is everyone’s palate is at a different place in terms of advancement. So whether you are a novice wine drinker or a more seasoned one here’s to enjoying and learning more about wine.
Did you know there are tens of thousands of different grapes throughout the world that make up 75,000 different varieties of wine? That certainly is a lot of wines from which to choose. But because wine is a matter of personal preference, there is something for everyone.
Also, wine is produced in 40 countries with Italy, France, Spain and the United States (in that order) being the top producing wine countries in the world.
In speaking to Lucia Matheny, my favorite wine steward and friend, your basic more readily available wines here in the U.S. are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in the white family and Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the red family.
Rule of thumb when choosing a wine to pair with food: heavy with heavy and light with light such as red wines accompany meat while white wines go better with seafood.
She and I talked about the body of wine, which is how heavy or light it feels in ones mouth. Lucia said to compare the taste of wine to the taste of milk. Low fat milk tastes light in your mouth, while whole milk will be heavier and cream will be heavier still.
So in saying that, in the white family, Riesling will be the light wine, Sauvignon Blanc will be medium and Chardonnay will be a heavier white wine. In the red wine family, Pinot Noir will be light, Merlot will be medium and Cabernet Sauvignon will be heavy.
Wine is a staple in our home! My husband’s grandfather, who was born in Italy but moved to the states in his 20s use to make wine in his basement using his own press. That piece of history has found its way into our home and now is filled to the brim with wine corks.
Whether we are enjoying a glass together or appreciating a bottle with friends, we have learned the best way to experience wine is to try all sorts. We have also learned price is not a good measure of quality. So with that being said, here’s to enjoying and to learning about wine.
To help start your journey here are six wines we highly recommend:
- Clean Slate, 2013 Riesling, Mosel region of Germany
- Starborough, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
- Estancia, 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay, Monterey County
- Sterling Vintner’s Collection, 2012 Pinot Noir, Central Coast
- Josh, 2011 Merlot, Joseph Carr
- Carnivor, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, California
The above wines can be purchased for around $15 or less at either a local grocery store, wine store or through an online wine company.
As I continue this journey, be on the lookout for more recommendations on wines, food, pairings and a plethora of interesting items from the world of wine accessories.