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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Choosing a great bottle of wine can be daunting, especially if you’re a novice. The best way of narrowing down the selection is to ask yourself a few simple questions beforehand.
What colour wine do you prefer?
It may seem simple but choosing wine colour is a great place to start. Colour plays a big part in determining the taste and aromas of a wine. Each type of wine, whether it be red, white, rosé, desert or sparkling, has a set of distinct characteristics. You may prefer some characteristics over others.
What’s the occasion?
The type of occasion can determine the type of wine you’re going to buy. Are you heading to a party or celebration? Are you buying the wine as a present? Do you need enough bottles for a dinner party? Some wines are better suited to certain occasions.
What type of food is being served?
Food plays a really important role in wine selection. Different wines tend to pair better with certain types of food and knowing your menu beforehand will help immensely. For example, spicy Asian inspired dishes match well with semi-sweet Rieslings. Pinot Noir tends to match well with citrusy dishes or seafood, and sweet wines pair better with sweet food. Get your menu sorted and then choose a wine to compliment it.
What tastes do you like?
Identifying the tastes and aromas you like will help with your selection. If you like tangy and zesty fruit flavours you may like Sauvignon Blanc or a young Semillon. If you prefer a bit of heat and spice a Cabernet Sauvignon or French Shiraz may be more your style.
What about the body?
You’ll often hear wines referred to as light bodied, medium bodied or full bodied. The body of a wine is directly proportional to its alcohol content. You can check the percentage on the wine label.
7.5% - 10.5% indicates light body.
10.5% - 12.5% indicates medium body.
12.5% and over indicates full body.
If you’re not sure, ask an expert.
Chatting with an expert, reading books or checking out reviews online are great ways to learn about wine. But while it may be helpful to get the opinion of a wine aficionado, always remember that your palate will be different. The tastes, aromas and subtleties that you enjoy will differ from your friends and wine reviewers. The best way to decide what kind of wine you will like is by trying a few, making notes of your favourites and keeping them on hand for next time.
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