We live in France…. We drink wine.
Maybe it would be simpler to say: We live; therefore we drink wine.
Even though I hail from Wisconsin I grew up drinking wine. My mother made wine every summer, as did most of our neighbors. Okay, to be honest, we didn’t have grapes so she made rhubarb, elder-blossom, or dandelion wine but it was delicious.
We have a glass of wine with dinner every night…. Sometimes two. That being said we use normal size wine glasses and fill them half full – not the balloon glasses so popular on TV shows that hold half of a bottle or more.
Our taste in wines has evolved over the years, changing, changing again, changing back. We’ve been buying and trying wines for more years than I care to admit to. It’s a pleasurable journey.
If you are new to wine or just need a wee refresher here is a guest post to help guide your journey plus a link to Sokolin, an online wine merchant with an extensive inventory.
À votre santé ! (Cheers)
Best Wines For Any Taste Bud
Shopping for a bottle of wine is often a tiring, demanding task, especially when you have no idea what you are looking for. There are plenty of options and choices in the market adding to the confusion and you can end up walking out empty-handed.
To avoid such a dilemma, you need to learn what you like. To do that you need to explore and taste different kinds of wine to be able to choose which traits or characteristics you like best.
In this post, I will identify some of the characteristics of wine varieties to tempt your taste buds. Hopefully. this guide will help you feel more equipped and knowledgeable about choosing wine that suits your occasion, budget, and, most especially, taste.
This varietal is regarded as an easy to drink wine. Merlot’s softness has made it a perfect introductory wine for budding red wine drinkers. It can be paired with any kind of food such as Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Butter or Tennessee Meatloaf.
Merlot is a fundamental player in the Bordeaux blend, and is popular in Australia, the United States West Coast, and other countries as well. It has herbal notes as well as black cherry.
Pinot Noir is one of the most impressive and striking red wine grapes. However, it is rather challenging to grow. It is rarely blended in still wines but is blended with great success in Champagnes. It is excellent with Japanese dishes, lamb dishes, chicken, and grilled salmon.
High-quality Pinot Noir wines are produced in the Burgundy region of France, as well as New Zealand, Oregon, California, and Austria. Pinot Noir is different from Cabernet Sauvignon with a lighter, fresher, structure. The tannins are, for the most part, softer, which is because of the low level of polyphenols. The aromatics are fruity with hints of plum, strawberry, and cherry. There are often notes of worn-leather, damp earth, and tea-leaf.
Pinot Noir is very dependent on the region where it’s grown. The astounding range of wines produced makes it difficult to define which character is the best expression of Pinot Noir.
This varietal is one of the most well-known red wine grapes in the world. In Bordeaux it is usually blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc while in California and other regions it is used on its own. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually aged in oak which softens the tannins and imparts a distinctive taste.
Cabernet Sauvignon is best paired with red meat. With regards to the districts, it is planted and grown wherever red wine grapes grow. Cabernet Sauvignon is part of the premium red Médoc wines of France, and one of the most excellent red wines in Chile, California, and Australia.
The taste in this varietal is full-bodied, yet gripping and firm when young. As it ages, the tannins soften and the flavors become much more complex, ranging from fruity to earthy to woodsy to oaky.
Syrah or Shiraz, are two names for the same grape. European winemakers and vine growers use the name Syrah. This varietal is perfect with meat, specifically, steak, stews, wild game, and beef.
Syrah is unparalleled in the Rhône Valley of France, as well as parts of Australia, and California. The flavors and aromas of wild black fruit, with hints of roasting meat and black pepper is apparent in this varietal.
Notes of toffee are occasionally present in the wine, not because of the fruit but because of the wine being aged in oak barrels. The Syrah grape makes spicy, hearty red wines, and can produce some of the finest, darkest, and most profound red wines in the world.
Chardonnay was the most noteworthy white grape back in the 90s, which can be made still or sparkling. Chardonnay is a perfect choice for chicken and fish dishes.
This varietal originated in the Burgundy region of France, and now it is grown in most viticulture areas under different climatic conditions. Chardonnay is usually more velvety, wider-bodied compared to other kinds of dry white wines, with rich citrus flavors.
I hope this brief guide can be of help the next time you are looking for wine. However, the number, range, and varieties of wine is so vast that your best help is always going to be your wine merchant.
Look at the guide, decide on a grape (or not), then ask the local expert to help you choose.