Being able to choose the right wine can be the difference between a good dinner and a great one – and you can make yourself look incredibly cultured in the process. With a blossoming wine industry in the UK, there some enjoyable ways to learn the basics or boost your knowledge with wine tastings at various venues around the country, as well as vineyard tours and behind-the-scenes experiences.
Being able to choose the right bottle of plonk can solve plenty of problems when looking for gift ideas for two, with a meaningful and well chosen bottle of wine making for a meaningful gift. Or for something a little different, tasting sessions are a great experience for couples to enjoy together. But if you just want a few basic tips to help you pick the right bottle to match your meal, here’s some to get you started:
Match The Weight
It’s an easy rule to remember and a good basic starting point for any meal – light goes with light, heavy goes with heavy. If you’re eating a light food, such as prawns or a simple salad, then choose a light wine to go with it, a Sauvignon Blanc for example. Heavier food, such as salmon, steaks or other dark meats will need something heavier and full-flavoured such as a Burgundy, Chardonnay or a tangy Zinfandel.
Think About Flavours
It’s not just about whether you’re eating red or white meat, pasta or salad that should dictate which bottle you choose, think about the individual flavours that will be in your meal as well. A fruity sauce will be perfectly complemented by a fruity wine such as Beaujolais. If you’re having something spicy or strong-flavoured, then you’ll need a full-bodied wine to be able to cut through the spices, such as a Rioja.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
A good restaurant should always have knowledgable staff who will be all too happy to recommend something to match your particular meal. It’s likely that they would have had specialist training so even if you know a bit about vino, you shouldn’t be ashamed to bow to their greater expertise, it is their job after all. Don’t be afraid about looking ignorant in front of your date if you ask for suggestions either, you’ll more likely look thoughtful and cultured as it suggests you recognise the importance of choosing a good wine.
Choose Something You Like
It may sound obvious, but if you find a brand or a type of wine that you’re particularly fond of then you can’t go wrong with that. It doesn’t always have to match your food exactly, it’s more important that it matches your own tastes and preferences, at least you know you will enjoy it and it will make you look decisive in the process.
Quick Tip Crib Sheet
Try these five classic food and wine combinations as a good starting point (Food and Drink make great gift ideas for men):
1. Roast duck – Burgundy Pinot Noir
2. Spaghetti bolognese – Merlot
3. Rib eye steak – Cabernet Sauvignon
4. Chicken or turkey – Chardonnay
5. Sole or snapper – Pinot Grigio
This article was produced by GiftIdeasForTwo.com. Great gift ideas for women and men in the UK.