Expert tips on how to choose your next bottle of wine
There are numerous factors to keep in mind when picking a bottle of wine for any occasion.
For example, will you be drinking this wine with a certain dish or nibbles? Did you plan to eat something spicy or did you plan to find a decent drinking wine without eating anything?
I won’t recommend the latter unless the rare case where you have a good reason to drown your sorrows.
There are always great wines to choose from, regardless if you enjoy the wine bottle with food, nibbles or someone special.
Below, I have listed good wines to different types of food but I must warn you that I prefer red wine, so this list will mainly be focused on red wines for any suitable situation. Enjoy your reading.
And your wine.
Wine with Red Meat
Whenever I cook beef, I love to have a bottle of red at my side, partly due to how the flavours complete each other but also because I like pouring in a little bit of wine when I make my super-duper beef stew.
I love beef stews with mushrooms, potato, tomatoes, bay leafs, etc. To round it off smoothly, I add beef cubes and some red wine.
If you’re planning on eating a meat dish without massive amounts of spices, you should go for a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Both of these grapes are super popular world-wide and can be found in most countries that are considered to have a decent wine culture.
Red Wine for fish!
As a rule of thumb, white wine should be used for fish dishes. I on the other hand, am the exception to that rule.
It might come as a cherry-popper for you as you probably didn’t know that there is a certain red wine which actually goes well with fish! The name of this special red wine is Beaujolais – A thin-bodied Red wine from the Beaujolais region with high levels of acidity.
This is actually something I picked up in Sweden, the country with the richest alcohol culture available to every citizen without having a price tag which is way too high.
I went to Systembolaget in Sweden and asked them to recommend a wine for fish since I usually just drink red wine, but they suggested a red wine for me! A bottle of Beaujolais cost less than €15 in Sweden although it’s imported from France.
That’s the beauty of Sweden’s alcohol policy. Every inhabitant can access alcoholic beverages from all over the world and the state subsidize the costs for the import to not allow the more local wine yards and breweries to control the market because of their non-existent logistic costs.
Red Bottles for Spicy Food
Whenever you eat spicy food, you should try to apply the ideology to the wine. Spicy food needs a spicy wine.
To make it easy for you, pick a Shiraz if you can handle it. The Shiraz grapes taste great but they do indeed have a spicy touch compared to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although I love a bottle of Shiraz to spicy food, I seldom drink it without anything to eat due to the powerful and full-bodied flavour. A bottle of Shiraz needs to be accompanied by a spicy dish in order to flow down the throat properly.
By the way, another word for the Shiraz grape is “Syrah”. The heavy flavour commonly reminds of the blackberry and pepper but it does rarely promote other flavours as clear.
Chilling with Red
We’ve all been there, spending time down at the river, by the ocean or on a field in the nice summer nights – sharing a bottle of wine with a friend. When drinking white wines, it’s all about personal opinion while Red wines have slightly more structure as to when you should drink which grapes.
If you plan on chilling out with a bottle of red and a friend, definitely go for one which is sweeter than the Shiraz/Cyrah as you are very likely to get heartburn from these full-bodied wines without any food in your stomach.
My personal suggestion is to drink a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon as these grapes are very price-worthy and qualitative. But hey friend, don’t forget that the most important part about chilling out with a bottle of red is always your company.
Drinking Shiraz and getting heartburn with the love of your life is 1000% better than drinking Merlot with someone you dislike.
The Primitivo wines are usually delicious, especially after a good meal. Its real name is Zinfandel and comes from Croatia originally.
This is a robust wine that you can count on any day. This grape has higher levels of sugar than most other grapes, allowing the wine to be stronger than others in general. It’s not uncommon to find a Primitivo wine of 15% or higher.
Although this red wine is stable as a hammer smith, it’s being produced as a semi-sweet rosé wine in the US for some reason. I guess this can be compared to the differences in measuring units too.
The Americans and the Englishmen are good at making their own unit systems which lacks the logic that a Scandinavians got for free through their regular length metrics. (millimetres, centimetres, decimetres, metres, kilometres, miles are all based on dividing/multiplying with 10, 100, 1000, 10000 and so on.
The name “Pinot Noir” comes from French and translates to black pine. It rather refers to the shape of grape clusters hanging together than the wine plant itself.
The Pinot Noir grapes can be found all over the world and is known to be one of the finest grapes for producing wine. The grape is however a very fragile one, making it hard to produce wine from due to the thin skin and the low amount of acids of the grape.
The grape is grown world-wide and can be found on basically every continent and it can actually show up in 3 different colours: Pinot Noir (black), Pinot Gris (Red) & Pinot Blanc (green). These grapes originate from the Vitis Sylvestris grape.