Since I started my quest to become a Sommelier, I get asked wine questions quite frequently, and I’m always happy to be of assistance to people about the topic of wine. After all, I am very passionate about my hobby, and even more passionate about drinking it. Please keep in mind, the blog is called ‘Wine – In My Opinion’, and some readers may have different answers to the questions featured. And that’s OK! Everyone has a different palate and opinion when it comes to wine, and that’s one of the things that makes the subject of wine so interesting.
Which wine should I serve with Dinner?
This is one of the most common questions I get. What to serve with what. Here’s what I would do. For a white wine I would serve Chardonnay and for red wine I would serve Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay grape is very neutral which makes it a great fit for a wide variety of dishes. There’s a reason it is the most popular white wine in the world, because it’s so versatile. Although Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine variety, it’s a full-bodied heavy wine with powerful tannins and can over-power some dishes. Pinot Noir on the other hand, is a medium bodied wine with medium tannins, balanced by a great acidity. So it doesn’t over-power food, but rather compliments it.
Here are my current favorite examples of a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Mer Soleil Reserve from the Santa Lucia Highlands in California is super tasty with tropical notes. And the Mac Murray Pinot Noir from Sonoma County in the Napa Valley is one of the smoothest examples of Pinot you will find on the shelves.
What temperature should I serve my wine?
It still amazes me how people serve their red wine… too warm! For some reason people still serve the wine at ‘room temperature’, even if the room is 25 degrees Celsius. NO! The notion of room temperature started with the temperature of the old underground wine cellars, which were about 15-degrees Celsius. (55 degrees Farenheit) Cool that red wine down people! You will enjoy it so much more because the flavors will be enhanced. Red wine too warm is too jammy and wine too cold numbs the flavors. Put your wine in the refrigerator for half an hour before serving, or you can keep it in the fridge and take it out 20-30 minutes before serving. Big bold red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon can be served a little warmer, but no warmer than 18-degrees Celsius. White wines should be served anywhere from 9 – 11 degrees Celsius.
What makes a good wine?
When I visited the Napa Valley in 2001, I remember visiting a lot of vineyards and asking this same question. And I get asked this a lot, and I always quote the guy pouring the wine at Francis Ford Coppola’s vineyard in Sonoma…”A good wine is a wine that you like”. And it’s as simple as that. As I said at the beginning of the blog, everyone has a different palate when it comes to wine, so it makes sense we all like different wines for different reasons.
New wine of the week:
I love discovering fantastic wine at fantastic prices. This is part of the 90+ program going on right now. Wines with ratings of 90 or more that are all priced under $30. Well this gem is priced under $18! The SR Secret Reserve Red Blend is from Santa Rita in Chile and is my superstar wine of the week. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Verdot and Carmenere combine for one delicious yummy blend. Full-bodied, juicy and rich, this has barbecue written all over it. $17.99 and 90 Points make this a winner.
Till next week, I hope you find your inner happiness. Cheers