If you are like most people, you tend to run into the LCBO (Liquor Store for all those out of Province readers) and grab your go to bottle of wine. It’s a safe bet, you know you like it, and you know what shelf it will be on. Furthermore, you have probably cast a wide net on a number of grape varieties that you “just don’t like”. Everyone is entitled to his or her preferences, but are you willing to step out of your wine comfort zone and try something new? Here are a few tips to get you started!
Differences in climate affect your preferred style
Have you ever bought a Chardonnay from California and absolutely loved it; it becomes your go to, and then you decide to be adventurous and try a Chardonnay from France (Chablis) and it isn’t at all what you assumed it would be? One of the biggest factors that affect a wine’s style is where it was grown.
Think about warm, sunny California, the weather is moderate to warm, with a long growing season and little rain vs. France, a cooler climate, with much more rainfall. Believe it or not, this has a significant role with what you will find in your glass. If you find yourself preferring warm climate wines, then stick to the same climates and try something new. For example, if you like California wines, try Australian wines- both warm climates with similar grape varieties being grown!
A grape variety can be produced in many different ways
For people who cast all consuming statements about certain grape varieties, I urge you to re-consider. A grape can be transformed in many different styles, for example, maybe you don’t like Sweet Rieslings from Germany, that doesn’t mean all Rieslings are sweet. Many white wines are produced in dry, sparkling and off-dry styles. A good tip to determining how sweet a white wine might be if there isn’t an indication on the bottle is to look at alcohol percentage. The lower the alcohol, the greater chance the wine will have some residual sugar left in the bottle. A white wine with less than 10% alcohol will likely be off dry to sweet. Determine what your preferred sweetness level is, and then try a grape variety in that style.
Food can greatly affect your love of what’s in your glass
Pairing food and wine can greatly enhance or diminish the enjoyment of your wine. A wine you might never consider as your go to, it might be the perfect pairing for your next meal. Having raw oysters? You need a light bodied, refreshing white wine with some minerality to match the flavours of the oysters and not over-power them, try a Muscadet Sevre et Main from France. This wine on its own isn’t overwhelmingly special (sorry to all die-hard Muscadet lovers out there), but the combination is perfect. Appreciate how wine can enhance your meal. Having a dinner party? Keep in mind what you are serving and pick a wine that will go well with your food, even if it isn’t your go to bottle.
Want to learn more about wine? Why not host a wine event with your friends and family? For more information about wine, food and the good life, follow me on Instagram @NewAgeNonna or subscribe to my Blog.