A Mini Guide to Choosing the Right Bottle of Wine.
We all experienced at least once that feeling of indecisiveness ranging from mild hesitation to severe cluelessness when it comes to choosing wine. The outcome might be as sweet as grapes nectar or as sour as vinegar. Those days are over though, as the solution is just a few clicks away and won’t take sommelier skills or a wine-tasting course.
If the idea of choosing the right bottle of wine might seem overwhelming, especially for less wine-savvy chicas, it can actually be quite an exciting and regret-free affair that will save you plenty of time and last-minute trips to your local grocery’s. Such is the aim behind The Beauty & The Taste, an East London-based fine wine online boutique: replicating the experience as it would happen in a physical wine shop by means of filters on food pairing and the celebrated occasion, to help you pick the right bottle.
Now, how to make the best choice?
Besides classic points of reference such as aromas and flavours, grape varietal, style and colour – certainly a safe bet but limiting the chance of exploration – considering what kind of food you will wet your whistle with is definitely an excellent starting point. Whether you are looking for the perfect wine for your vegetarian pasta, or are seeking the best pairing for your burger, it is key to bear in mind that your wine should always be sweeter than your food to secure a successful outcome.
Generally speaking, protein-rich food, such as red meat and cheese, is terrific with red wine due to its firm tannins (hello Bordeaux!), whereas whites perfectly match up fatty fish like salmon – just think Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. When still in doubt, going for a ‘cuisine + local wine’ combination is most definitely the safest option at hand, as in food and wine that come from the same geographical area – you can’t go wrong, but make sure the area is narrow enough for the pairing to be relevant: a whole country as opposed to a specific region might be a little too broad and dispersive!
In terms of type of event, it’s more about an exclusion game rather than pinpointing a specific wine: every bottle can be right until it’s wrong (yeah, that’s worth writing down). On a date, you might want to opt for an interesting yet unpretentious wine, whereas to impress your boss or a new client, something that reflects a fair deal of thinking is ideal. Balance is always key, so knowing your audience will help you make the most accurate choice.
Oh, and be bold!
Dare to experiment and replace “daunting” with “dainty” by exploring the story behind your bottle. You might be surprised by the many amazing stories that each label entails and that you might want to turn into a fun anecdote or to better know your wine.
Above and beyond its taste, the storytelling around each wine is the real beauty: endless features and details across winemaking, viticulture, geography and tradition. Producers are an expression of the style of their territory, with geography and tradition playing a key part in the process. Furthermore, each region has a legacy of itself and it’s fascinating to learn about the influence history, politics and social changes had had in wine over the years, sometimes shaping styles and other times influencing popularity and fame.
Knowledge is empowerment, after all.
Feature photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash