Do You Know Your Wines?

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Do You Know Your Wines?
by: John Parks

Are you a wine conneisseur, or do you just love wine? Either way, it's a good idea to at least know something about wine. You don't want to appear uninformed while dining at an upscale restaurant with your date. With the following wine facts, you'll be good to go.

Let's say you're dining at a seafood restaurant, and want to order your wine like you know what you're doing. For pastas or seafood, white wine is best. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Riesling are all good choices, unless you're having salmon or duck, and in that case Cabernet Sauvignon would be the perfect choice. If you're a true meat eater, and steak or prime rib are your favorites, then you might order a nice Merlot or Shiraz. For some people, the Shiraz and Syrah wines can be a bit bitter, whereas the Merlot is known to be velvety smooth, if you order a quality brand name.

Champagne lovers will truly enjoy their bubbling effervescense with such food choices as smoked salmon, eggs or oysters. It's also good for breakfast served as a Mimosa. The great thing about champagne, is it's good any time of day, and it's a necessity for those special occasions when you're looking for a nice wine out of the ordinary for your celebration.

If you've never had real sangria before, then it's time you indulged yourself. By simply adding a few choice fruits to your wine, it will make any occasion a party. Just pour a bottle of red wine in a large pitcher, and add lemons, limes, star fruit and mangos, and then toss in a sprinkle of brown sugar and a few cinnamon sticks, and you're all set. You'll be the hit of any party, as long as you know your wines.

If you've never been to a wine tasting, then you must try it. This is the first step in deciding which wines are pleasing to your palette. First, swirl your glass of wine, to open up the aroma, or bouquet of the wine. Then smell the wine, and finally, the taste test. Do you like your wine sweet, dry or fruity? If you prefer the sweet wines, such as Port or Sauterne, then you're a classic dessert wine drinker. If you like the fortified wines, with a higher alcohol content, then look for the wines that have the addition of a spirit, such as brandy.

If you prefer the dry wines, then you would probably choose a wine with a small amount of residual sugar. The more sugar in the wine, the sweeter it will be. The sweeter wines tend to linger on your tongue a little longer, but if you like a crisp, dry wine, then stay away from the sweet wines.

If you're saving that vintage wine for a special occasion, make sure it will improve with age, as some wines tend to spoil if they're kept too long. The red wines are usually better choices for aged wine, because they form more complex subtleties. Most premium wines are only at their best many years or even decades after their bottling.

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