You’re standing in front of a shelf lined floor to ceiling with wines. Reds, whites, rosés, sparkling, dry, dessert… there are seemingly endless options, but all you need is one.
How do you even pick?
Choosing wine can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Brush up on our five secrets for selecting the perfect pour, and you’ll have no problem picking the next time you want wine.
- Start Sweet
If you’re new to wine, don’t dive in with, say, a complex red. Instead, select a white or rosé. These wines have just enough sweetness to start shaping your palate.
Most first-time wine drinkers enjoy sweeter whites and rosés. So, for starters, think about trying, for example:
- Pinot Grigio
These and other light, sweet wines will open the door to soft reds and dry whites. Then, you’ll be ready to try bolder flavors.
- Match the Wine With the Cuisine
Once you’ve found wines you like, you should move onto pairing it with what you’re eating.
In general, white wines pair well with milder meals, such as chicken or fish. A bold red will bring out the flavor of a steak or other red meats. But if you’ve covered your dish with a special sauce, you’ll want the wine to go with that flavor — not the meat itself.
You can also choose wine based on the cuisine you serve. Italian wine will likely go well with your pasta, for example.
As time goes on, you’ll learn how to pair wines based on their sweetness, acidity, bitterness, and more.
- Decide: Basic or Bold
Do you want your wine to be the showcase or the side dish? You should decide this before you go shopping.
A bolder wine can be an experience in and of itself. Perhaps you want to have a nice glass after dinner and savor it. In this case, you can choose something unique that won’t interfere with the flavors of your food.
However, you’ll want to pair dinner with a more modest pour. That way, you can sip it with every course and still taste the flavor of whatever’s on your plate.
- Ask the Experts
There’s no harm in relying on the staff at your local wine shop. They’re there to educate customers, after all — so, don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions.
You can tell them what you’re cooking or the type of wine you crave. You can also give a price point, which will help them find you a reasonable bottle.
If you have wine-loving friends, ask them for their favorites, too. You can build your list, but it’s always nice to start with a recommendation.
- When In Doubt While Choosing Wine, Go Pink
Even with the above secrets, you may feel stumped. So, remember that pink wines — sparkling or not — are incredibly versatile. You can pair them with just about any dish you’ll serve.
Explore the Wonderful World of Wine
See? Choosing wine doesn’t have to be a headache. With thoughtful consideration, some research and a few tricks, you’re ready to pop bottles and explore the wonderful world of wine.