Learn Wine Picking Skills
The vast and unfamiliar world of wine can certainly be daunting. It’s no fun to go to a restaurant and have no idea what kind of wine to have with your meal. This is especially true if you are with someone else. You might feel like you are being judged on what kind of decision you make. It’s cruel, but true.
Well, selecting the right wine does not have to be rocket science. You can make a reasonable choice most times, and eventually, you’ll feel more at ease. The primary thing you need to know is, wine is a personal experience. You really don’t have to go with everyone else on your decision. Let me make a case in point.
When you were a child, you were probably told that there is a basic rule for picking wine with food. If you are having red meat, choose a red wine. If you are having seafood or vegetarian, pick white. Poultry? Maybe a blush or pink wine. Well, those are excellent starting points, but that’s all they are. They are merely suggestions.
If you don’t have experience picking wine, next time you go out to eat and you are confronted with the wine list, just question the waiter what he or she would order with your meal. They are trained to give you decent suggestions, so don’t be afraid to go with what they say. Believe it or not, they don’t make it a habit of telling patrons something really wild so they can return to the kitchen and laugh about your decision with the chef. Well, maybe in some of the snootier restaurants, but do you really want to eat there anyway?
After you are feeling a bit more confident, ask the waiter to suggest two wines that might go well with your food choice. Then, note the part of the wine list he is picking them from and then select your own slightly more expensive bottle. Give him a line something like “that sounds good, but you know what? I’ve never been disappointed with this one” and then try to say the name of the wine correctly. Pick one you know you can pronounce. The waiter will probably say something like “excellent choice” and that’s that.
Once the wine comes back and it’s time to taste, don’t bother with smelling the cork. That’s just a wee bit too snobby. Instead, just visually inspect the cork and make sure it’s not cracked or otherwise in bad condition. That’s a telltale sign that the wine has been stored improperly, like standing up instead of on its side. If this is the case, the wine may not taste as good as it should. But you still be the judge. If the wine still tastes good, accept it. If not, send it back. Don’t be afraid to send wine back. They inflate the cost of wine about 5x from what you can buy it for in the store, so it’s no big loss to them. And they’ll probably drink it or mix it into the house wine anyway.
To get yourself feeling even more confident, go to your local Beverages and More or similar store and purchase a few bottles each of white and red wine. Pick some sweet and dry wines. They are usually marked in the descriptions above each selection of wine. Stay in the $10 to $20 range with these selections. Bring them home and try a different bottle each night. See what you like. Drink with food and see what goes with what. The key here is, it’s really all up to you. What do you like to drink with what food? That’s the most important thing.
Next time you go to a restaurant, you’ll feel much more confident in your wine selection, and your dining partner won’t feel like you’re a wine fool. But remember something: please don’t become a wine snob!
For more information on selecting the best bottle of wine with your meal, check out Wine Vintage Chart
Author: chaz1323This author has published 20 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.