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How to Order Wine Like a CEO

Travelers Today       By    Derek Schroeder

Updated: Feb 24, 2014 08:00 PM EST

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It never fails. You're dressed to impress, on a date with a foxy lady and some hot shot waitress comes up and asks you what red wine you would like to pair with your chicken finger dinner. Your face goes flush with confusion and that annoying speech impediment kicks in. You're sweating bullets. Do I want a Merlot or a Chardonnay? I can't even pronounce Valpolicella. What if I pair the wrong wine and she laughs at my face. Fear not my simple-minded friend. All you need to know about wine is a simple scroll away.

Red Versus White
It's hard to say which is better-Red or white wine. They're both wet. And come from grapes. White wines tend to be sweeter and are therefore the gateway wine into vino-dom. The grapes used for red and white wines generally look very different-red wine grapes are darker because they have more pigment. When making white wine, the grapes are pressed and then only the juice is fermented. But when making red wine, the grape juice that gets fermented still contains pieces of the grapes. The solids are removed after the wine is fermented. That accounts for red wine's darker color and more robust body. Spout that somewhat useless knowledge information around the wine cooler (that's a thing right?) and even your snoodiest friends will be eating out of the palm of your hand.

The most common white wines are Champagne, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Viognier and Chenin Blanc. The most common reds are Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Malbec and Sangiovese.

Wine-Food Pairings
If you want to play it safe start out by ordering red meat - It's full range of flavor profiles will be sure to tick off one of the many accent notes in any red wine. Rioja, Chianti, White Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are all standbys when it comes to a good steak and wine affair.

On the other hand a chicken or pork meal is more suited to a Merlot or white wine such as Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Same goes for seafood dishes, but if you're a vegetarian try a Valpolicella or Pinot Noir. If you're dish is hot and spicy go with a Red or White Zinfandel, a Malbec or a subtle white wine like Riesling.

How to drink your wine like a wine drinker
Smell it first. Our sense of smell is the strongest sense we have and the only one that gets stronger the more we use it. The reason wine has such a complexity of flavors is because grapes can't tell a lie. Everything that goes into viticulture (the art of wine making) is expressed in the wine. The more you know what to look for and taste in a wine, the more acquainted you become with its character profile. This guy nails it:

When you taste a wine ask where it came from. Think about the region and imagine the vines growing in a hot, dry climate, or a moist, lush one. Close your eyes and stop thinking about the wine and start feeling it.

The most regionally respected wines are:

France
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Pinot Noir
Pinot Grigio
Chardonnay

Italy
Chianti
Valpolicella

New Zealand
Pinot Noir
Chardonnay

Australia
Shiraz
Merlot
Riesling
Cabernet Sauvignon

Chile
Merlot
Shiraz
Cabernet Sauvignon

California
Zinfandel
Pinot Noir
Merlot
Cabernet Sauvignon

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
wine, how to, red, white, food
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