Friday, July 20, 2007

Wine - Getting to Know the Differences

Did you know having a glass of red wine a day is a healthy part of your diet regimen? Do you also know what wines compliment foods best? If not, here are some tips and suggestions on a wine for every meal.

Traditionally, red wine can be used for poultry, beef, veal, ham, pasta, lamb and pork.
What kind of wine? For poultry, ham, pork and veal, try a red Zinfandel or Beaujolais. For beef, pasta and lamb; a cabernet sauvignon or merlot would suffice.

White chardonnay would compliment strong cheeses, pork, poultry and seafood, including shellfish. A white Zinfandel or rose wine could accompany appetizers, mild cheeses, desserts, ham, lamb, poultry and seafood. Sparkling wine such as Spumante or Champagne could also be served with appetizers, mild cheeses and desserts. The rule of thumb when serving wine for a particular meal is selecting a light-bodied wine with lighter food and a full-bodied wine with heartier, flavorful dishes.

In addition, here are some suggestions on how to serve wine. First, quickly chill the wine by placing the bottle in a bucket of ice water for ten minutes, rather than in the freezer. Chill sparkling wine in the refrigerator for at least four hours before serving, or chill in ice water for twenty to thirty minutes. When filling a wine glass, you need to allow the wine to breathe; thus, filling it half way is suggested.

If you still have a problem deciding on what wines to service with your meals, here is a safe bet. When choosing white wines, pick out a Pinot Grigio (deliciously light and dry);
Sauvignon Blanc; Riesling; or Champagne (only for the most suitable occasions), and other Sparking wines. Rose wines can include White Zinfandel; and Red wines can include Beaujolis, Pinot Noir and Merlot (which is full-bodied wine perfect for any pasta dish as well).

Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune on wine. A simple Pinot or Merlot will suffice, and both are affordable.

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