If you aren’t a wine connoisseur, picking out a new bottle can be overwhelming. With so many options, how do you know which will taste best? While it eventually comes down to trial and error and understanding your preferences, this guide will help you get started.
How to Select the Right Wine
1. Consider Food Pairings
If you are looking for a wine to drink with a meal, select one that complements your main course. Full-bodied red wines — any with 13.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) — complement red meats and cheeses. Crisp, white wines of 12.5% ABV or less pair well with seafood or chicken. Sparkling wines and rosé are ideal for enjoying with cheese, charcuterie plates, and fruit-based desserts.
2. Pay Attention to Age & Location
A wine’s origin and age significantly impact its flavor profile. Paying attention to these features will help you find varieties that align with your drinking preferences. Grapes grown in Italy will be affected by its mild Mediterranean climate, resulting in a different taste from grapes grown in continental or maritime climates. Over time, wines’ sugars, acids, and phenolic compounds also alter the taste. Usually, if a vintage contains a significant amount of tannins or a low pH level, it is more likely to age well. However, the bottle must be stored carefully in a cool, dark environment, or it oxidizes and eventually become undrinkable.
3. Know the Difference Between Red & White
Most people develop a preference for either red or white wine. This is not a coincidence, as there are fundamental differences between the two, starting with the fact the former is made with black grapes and the latter with white grapes. The different fermenting and oxidation processes also impact the final flavor profiles — soft, rich, and velvety reds opposed to zesty, acidic, and floral whites.
If you’re a beginner in your wine exploration, refine your tastes at Lancaster’s Lounge & Off-Sale in Lincoln, NE. They have over 50 wine options and knowledgeable staff to help you identify the varieties that suit your palate. This friendly neighborhood bar also carries a large selection of beer and spirits. Visit their website or call (402) 421-2474 to learn more about their daily happy hour specials and weekly events.