When you are out on a date with a very special lady, it is only natural to want to exude the best possible aura – man of the world, debonair sophisticate, and all that. Well, such a man is likely to know all about wines. And lucky for you, wine is not exactly rocket science, so you can learn all about it without having to become a hoity-toity connoisseur. So without much further ado, let us run through the basics:

Cabernet Sauvignon

As far as reds go, this is the Holy Grail. This is the most renowned and most sought-after grape variety, which makes the full-bodied red wine that it yields the safest choice for most meals that are centered on red meats, like steaks and chops.

We like: Chateau Potelle 2007, Inama Bradisimo 2008, and Liberty School 2009.

Merlot

This is another full-bodied red that is almost as popular the former. It is a lot fruitier than Cabernet Sauvignon, and features a very nice, black currant flavor. It is also quite high in alcohol content, but has a substantially smoother finish. Merlot goes very well with chicken and other lightly spiced meats.

We like: Tenuta dell’Ornellaia 2004 and 2007, Black Box 2009, and Clos du Bois 2008.

Pinot Noir

This grape is notoriously very difficult to grow, but when grown well, it can yield one of the richest and most complex reds.  The Pinot Noir features a noticeably lighter color compared to other red wines, and has been known to taste like summer fruit. It is also well known for its very nice aroma. As far as food pairing goes, Pinot Noir is very versatile, as it is light enough for most fishes like salmon, but also complex enough for richer meat.

We like: Casa Marín 2004, Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-Chambertin 2005, and Scott Paul Audrey 2006.

Chardonnay

Chances are you have probably already heard of this as it has the reputation of being the world’s most purchased wine. Compared to other whites, Chardonnay is often more velvety with a somewhat buttery tone. This is due to the fact that it is aged in oak barrels. It is a great choice for chicken and fish dishes, as well as most soft cheeses.

We like: Christian Moreau Père et Fils Chablis 2009, Krug Clos du Mesnil 1990, and Domaine Tollot Beaut Corton-Charlemagne 2009.

Riesling

This is one of the most collectible wines among serious wine connoisseurs. It is produced from the most aromatic grape varieties in the world, featuring fruity aromas mixed with a slight chemical undertone. It is also very tart and acidic, which makes it the wine of choice when it comes to spicy food, particularly Asian and Indian cuisine.

We like: Cono Sur 2011, Domaine Weinbach 2008 Cuvée Ste. Catherine Scholssberg, and Trimbach 2012.

Pinot Gris

Also known as Pinot Grigio, this is a zesty wine well known for its acidity and refreshing citrus flavors. Because of its high acidity, it is not as sweet as most other whites, but it does leave a strong and rather pleasant aftertaste on the tongue. This goes particularly well with fish, shellfish, and fresh vegetables.

We like: Borgo Maddalena Delle Venezie 2005, Wairau River 2013, and Altanuta 2012.

 

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