Wine Tasting Guide for Beginners
Contrary to belief you don’t need to be part of any elite group to enjoy a sip or two of some of Europe’s finest wines. Wine tasting has never been more accessible with so many delicious grape varieties to choose. However, there are some tips from the wine experts that will help you to develop your wine palette and understand the different flavours that the top wines product.
If you are not a professional Sommelier or wine expert then you may find it difficult when choosing the right variety of wine to pair with your food for your next dinner party. Remember that people have different tastes so you might not please everyone but you can give it a good try.
Before you decide on your wines decide what you would like to showcase the most. If you are trying to highlight your best dish, showing off all of the ingredients then you won’t want to pick a wine that over powers the meal. Where as if you selecting a wine as a pairing for a cheese board you may want to get a more full bodied wine that compliments the cheese.
TIPS FOR PAIRING WINE AND FOOD CORRECTLY
Store wine in a cool, dark place.
If you are trying a dish originating from a region see if there is a local wine to pair with it. As the saying goes, what grows together, stays together!
For wines high in acidity, avoid bitter ingrediants and focus on foods high in fat.
In general the wine should be sweeter than the food.
Pinot grigio for light fish dishes and Chardonnay for rich fish dishes with sauce.
Chianti and Pasta dishes
Zinfandel or Malbec and BBQ
Sauvignon Blanc and Goats Cheese
Pinot Noir and Roast chicken dishes
Pinot Noir and red sauced pasta dishes (bolognese, lasagne)
Spicy food with strong wines
Champagne and cake (sweet plus bubbles is generally a no no)
Ideal Serving Temperature for Wine
The best temperature for red wine is 62-68 degrees.
The best temperature for white wine is 49-55 degrees.
HOW TO TASTE WINE IN 7 EASY STEPS
- Look – It should be clear. For reds, the darker the better.
A visual inspection of the wine under neutral lighting
- Swirl – Release the aroma, the bouquet
- Sniff – Give your nose a boost of flavour
- Sip – Let the wine sit in your mouth. Don’t swallow.
- Breathe – Take a deep breath and give the wine aromas a chance to fill your senses.
- Swig – Now it’s time to take a bigger gulp and enjoy a full taste of the wine.
- Savour – Develop a complete profile of a wine that can be stored in your long term memory.
TOP 3 WINE FLAVORS TO ENJOY
Fruit flavors (e.g. peach, blackberry, plum, current)
Herbal flavors (e.g. bell pepper, mint, oregano)
Flower flavors (e.g. roses, lavender, iris)
TOP EUROPEAN WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES
- LUXURY TRUFFLES AND WINES OF ITALY – GUIDED TOUR
- VINEYARDS AND TRUFFLES OF BURGUNDY EXPERIENCE
- DISCOVER THE VINEYARDS OF THE DOURO VALLEY
- STAY IN YOUR VERY OWN WINE BARREL IN PORTUGAL
- MAKE YOUR OWN WINE IN THE ALGARVE
For more information on any of the above wine filled adventures please get in touch with one of our travel team.