Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tips on Wine

I know… basically crap about wine but my friend Gordon knows quite a bit. I respect Gordon a lot so I try to learn about wine here and there. My hurdle is that I don’t drink enough to buy bottles of wine for myself and my girlfriend doesn’t drink at all.

I thought I’d share what he shared with me on how to do well as a wine newbie.

Both of you have asked me about what wine to buy. Here is a list a
wineries that produce good wines each year. The list is in no particular

  • Berringer

  • Kendall Jackson

  • Robert Mondavi

  • Meridian

  • Kenwood

  • Clos DuBois

  • Beaulieu Vineyards

  • Michael Pozan

  • Beaujolais Villages

  • Macon

  • Yellow Tail

  • Rosemount

  • Santa Rita

As far as types of wines goes, Chardonnay is the most versatile white
wine and most variable depending on what region it comes from. Bringing
Chardonnay or White Bordeaux for fish is always safe. I have found
Pinot Grizio and Sauvignon Blanc to be good with lighter fish and
especially shell fish. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Grizio is not
easy to find but it is the best I have found for shell fish.

Merlot is the most versatile red wine and the most variable. It is
heaviest (Cabernet like) from California and France. It is much lighter
(like Beaujolais) from South America and Australia. With meat or highly
seasoned food it is always safe to bring a Cabernet, Syrah, Malbec or a
Merlot from California. For an italian meal or pizza Valpolicella,
Chianti (not a Chianti Reserve which is a good substitute for a
Cabernet), a Shiraz from South America or Australia as well as a
Beaujolais or a Merlot from South America or Australia are all good
choices. For Cheese a Cabernet from South America or Australia as well
as a Bordeaux from France are good choices. A Bordeaux from France is a
little heavier than a Merlot from South America or Australia and lighter
than a Merlot from California. A Bordeaux is a versatile wine and goes
well with meat dishes as well as Italian Food. I have found Bordeaux to
be much more consistent than Merlot. Your mother and Ilona have a
decided preference for French wines.

In terms of countries, the French are the most consistent. A French
Chardonnay is always a good choice for fish. A French Cabernet for
steaks is a good choice. A Bordeaux is great for lamb or Italian food
or spicy foods in general. A Beaujolais is great as a red wine for fish
especially when highly seasoned as well as just for sipping or for

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