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Step Five:<br>Know Your Need!


Step Five:
Know Your Need!

Everyone has an opinion about a bottle of wine. That's because everyone has a unique set of taste buds. As you taste more wine and understand more about how wines differ from each other, you'll choose your own favorites.

If your local wine merchant gets to know your tastes, he or she will be able to recommend bottles to you. In the meantime, here are some very general guidelines to help you make your first few selections.

Wine With Food:

  • When eating heavier meats such as beef and venison, choose a full red wine. Heavier Cabernets, Syrahs and Zinfandels are likely candidates.

  • For lighter meats, such as lamb and pork, a medium bodied red is a good bet. Merlots, Pinot Noirs and Petite Sirahs are all good choices. These wines also pair well with tomato sauced pastas.

  • Chicken and fish dishes can be overpowered by most reds. Try a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc instead.

  • With "no-meat dishes," try a Chardonnay or a spicy, fruity red such as a Zinfandel. A dry white "Blanc de Blanc" should go very well with delicate fish and vegetarian entrees.

Wine By Itself:
  • Many medium priced Pinot Noirs, Merlots and some Cabernets are made in a softer, more accessible style, and can be very nice to sip while sitting in your easy chair at night.

  • When picnicking, try a slightly sweet blush wine, such as a white Zinfandel, or a lighter red, perhaps a chilled Beaujolais. If you're looking for a crisp white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice. Rieslings and Chenin Blancs are good for those who prefer sweeter whites.

  • Champagne and other sparkling wines are great for celebrating, store well, and can be a nice change when served with appetizers.

    A "Brut" wine is the driest, "Extra Dry" is a little sweeter. The cheapest sparklers are best for mixing with juices or syrups. Choose a medium priced or more expensive bottle for special occasions.

  • The most important thing to remember is that wine is for enjoying. When you find a wine you like, drink it. Who cares if it's not considered appropriate for the occasion, or the food?

This is not to say that it's not worthwhile to develop a sophisticated palette. If you do, chances are you'll enjoy wine more than ever.

| Before You Begin: Ah, Sweet Nectar of Zeus! | Step One: Know Your Wine Regions | Step Two: Know Your Grape Types | Step Three: Understand Vintages And Aging | Step Four: Understand Pricing Pressures |

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