Wine 101.

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Wine 101.

“National Wine Day” (May 25th) is coming! Let’s get prepared by knowing what the common types of wine are so that we can celebrate with a good taste in our mouth. With a little help from winefolly.com we have the eight common types of wine broken down by taste, style, description, food pairings and the best alternates. Trust me, when you are done with this blog post you will know what wine you want every day for every meal and be able to pass a wine test given by Boca Grove’s Food and Beverage Director Pierre Leon. We will start with full-bodied and savory and finish with light and sweet.
 
Cabernet Sauvignon:
                Taste:  Black Cherry, Black Currant, Baking Spices and Cedar.
                Style: Full-bodied Red Wine.
                Description: A full-bodied red grape originally planted in the Bordeaux region. It is currently the most popular wine variety in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon has a long persistent finish mostly driven by the higher levels of alcohol and tannin that often accompany this wine.
                Food Pairings: Lamb, beef, smoked meats, French, American, firm cheese like aged cheddar and hard cheeses like Pecorino.
                Alternatives: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Bordeaux Blend, and Sangiovese.
 
Syrah:
                Taste:  Blueberry, Plum, Tobacco, Meat, Black Pepper and Violet.
                Style: Full-bodied Red Wine.
                Description: A full-bodied red wine that is heavily planted in the Rhone Valley in France and Australia.  Syrah is intense in fruit flavors and middleweight tannins. The wine often has an aggressive meaty (beef broth, jerky) quality.
                Food Pairings: Lamb, beef, smoked meats, Mediterranean, French, and American firm cheese like white cheddar, and hard cheeses like Manchego.
                Alternatives: Malbec, Petit Sirah, Monastrell, Pinotage.
 
Zinfandel:
                Taste:  Broad, exotic array of fruits – Overripe Nectarine, Raspberries or Sour Cherries, Plums or Blueberries, Blackberries or Boysenberries, Asian 5 Spice Powder, and Sweet Tobacco.
                Style: Medium-bodied to Full-bodied Red Wine.
                Description: A medium-bodied red wine originally from Croatia. Zinfandels are fruit-forward and spicy with medium length finish.
                Food Pairings: Chicken, pork, cured meat, lamb, beef, barbecue, Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, Indian, and cheeses like full-flavored cheddar and firm like Manchego.
                Alternatives: Grenache, Tempranillo, Rhône Blend, Carignan.
 
Pinot Noir:
               Taste:  Red Fruits like Cherry and Cranberry, Red Florals like Rose, and often have appealing vegetal notes of Beet, Rhubarb or Mushroom.
                Style: Lighter-bodied Red Wine.
                Description: A dry light-bodied wine first planted in France. Pinot Noir has high acid and soft tannins.
                Food Pairings: Chicken, pork, veal, duck, cured meat, French, German, cream sauces, soft cheeses, and nutty medium-firm cheeses like Gruyere.
                Alternatives: Gamay.
 
Chardonnay:
               Taste:  Yellow Citrus like Meyer Lemons, Yellow Pomaceous Fruits such as Yellow Pears and Apples, Tropical Fruits like Banana and Pineapple, often Cinnamon, Butterscotch, and Toasted Caramel Notes (from oak).
                Style: Medium to Full-bodied White Wine.
                Description: A dry full-bodied white wine that was originally from France. Chardonnay, when oak-aged, will have spicy, bourbon-y notes. Unoaked wines are lighter and are zesty with apple and citrus flavors.
                Food Pairings: Lobster, crab, shrimp, chicken, pork, mushroom, French, cream sauces, soft cheeses like brie, and medium-firm cheeses like Gruyere.
                Alternatives: Sémillon, Viognier.
 
Sauvignon Blanc: 
                Taste:  Aggressively-citrus-driven with Grapefruit Pith, with some exotic fruits like Honeydew Melon, Passion Fruit and/or Kiwi, and always has an herbaceous quality with Grass, Mint, and/or Green Pepper.
                Style: Light-bodied to Medium-bodied White Wine.
                Description: A dry white grape originally planted in France. Sauvignon Blanc is tart with herbal green fruit flavors.
                Food Pairings: Fish, chicken, pork, veal, Mexican, Vietnamese, French, herb-crusted goat cheese, and nutty cheeses like Gruyere.
                Alternatives: Vermentino, Verdejo, Grüner Veltliner.
 
Pinot Gris:
                Taste:  Delicate Citrus such as Lime Water and Orange Zest, Pomaceous Fruits like Apple Skin and Pear Sauce, White Floral Notes, and Cheese Rind.
                Style: Lighter-bodied Red Wine.
                Description: A light-bodied white grape heavily planted in Italy, and also found in France and Germany. Pinot Gris is light to middle-weight and easy to drink that often finishes with a bitter flavor on the palate.
                Food Pairings: Salad, delicate poached fish, and light and mild cheeses.
                Alternatives: Albariño, Soave, Muscadet.
 
Riesling:
                Taste:  Citrus like Kefir Lime and Lemon Juice and Stone-Fruits like White Peach and Nectarine that are always featured prominently, although there are also usually floral and sweet herbal elements included as well.
                Style: Floral and Fruit-driven aromatic White Wine that comes in a variety of sweetness.
                Description: Riesling is always very high in acid, and when made as a table wine it can be harmoniously sweet (sweet and sour) or dry (very acidic).
                Food Pairings: Chicken, pork, duck, turkey, cured meat, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Moroccan, German, washed-rind cheeses and fondue.
                Alternatives: Muscat Blanc (aka Moscato), Gewürztraminer, Torrontés, Chenin Blanc.
 
Have you found a new wine you would like to try? Are you going to serve different wines with dinner because of the pairing options? Here is to your next glass of red or white. Cheers! 
Posted: 5/24/2017 8:00:30 AM by Heather Dupree | with 0 comments


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