You’ve invited some people over for a meal. Or maybe you and your significant other are having a romantic supper at home. Or it’s just an average Tuesday dinner. The same question arises: What wine are you going to serve?
But wait. Power Tasting is about visiting wineries and trying their various wines. What does that have to do with dinner plans? We think the question of what to serve should be on your mind while you’re out wine tasting. It’s unlikely that if you buy some of the wine you’re tasting that you’ll ever have the same experience as at a winery. You’ll be at home and there will be no nice server pouring you a selection of wines and explaining what they’re all about. You’ll choose a bottle, maybe two, and that’s what you’ll drink.
Photo courtesy of V is for Vino.
So we suggest that when you are in Wine Country that you consider the scenarios in the first paragraph and the decision you’ll have to make.
- Think about how the wine you’re tasting matches up with the kind of food you like to cook and eat. If you’re a meat and potatoes sort of person, you’ll probably gravitate towards big, powerful reds. On the other hand, if you eat a lot of fish you’ll probably enjoy tasting white wines. This isn’t so much about wine pairing as it is about choosing the flights at a winery that will introduce you to the kinds of wine that you might serve at home.
- You don’t have to impress. We have a tendency, when we are in Wine Country, to taste the finest wines in the area. We have also wondered what the Mondavis and Rothschilds of the world drink with a burger and fries. Maybe they don’t eat burgers; worse luck for them. We do and we bet you do too. And we don’t drink our best wines when we’re pouring on the ketchup. So it’s fair to think of what you’d serve at a barbecue and choose wineries to visit that will fit those occasions as well as the steak dinner.
- Taste – and serve – what you like. If you’re a fan of, say, Beaujolais, and your guests include people who you believe are more wine-knowledgeable than you are, you don’t have to serve an expensive wine that you don’t know anything about. It’s your dinner in your home, so you can serve what you In all likelihood, the wine will match up pretty well with the food you will be serving. Then, when you’re in France go visit Beaujolais and learn just how wide a taste palate you can find there. And if you’re tasting elsewhere, ask which wines that they make are closest to Beaujolais.
- Restaurants are different. When you dine out, you don’t serve a wine; you choose one. There is a server and if you’re lucky there’s a sommelier who will explain the wine to you before you select it. More importantly, there will be different meals consumed by each person, so the selection will almost certainly be some sort of