Wine is a study unto itself. From the sublime in price to the astronomically expensive varieties that few of us will ever be able to afford, it is universally accepted as the proper host/hostess gift to bring to a gathering. Beer is beer, but wine is classy. Don’t know what it is about wine that makes someone look sophisticated sipping it, swirling it, then checking its “nose.” We toast with champagne at weddings, ladies lunch with it, men and women enjoy romantic moments over it. It’s part of our celebrations as humans. And it’s been around for a long time, with some varieties going back to the beginning of times as we know it – to the realization that when you squeeze a grape liquid comes out of it.
The varieties are the classic red wine, produced obviously from red grapes; the white varieties, rose, sparkling wine, fortified wine and dessert wines. Aged in casks of oak, eucalyptus and other woods, in these varieties there’s one for each of us to enjoy. No longer do the French have the market locked up. Favorite and award-winning wines are produced in California, Australia and Chile. The following is a list of each type for your information and stocking in your home bar.
- Merlot, a soft wine with a hint of plum and blackberry flavors. A favorite dessert wine
- Shiraz, also known as Syrah presents spicy flavors of blackcurrent and black pepper. Excellent with meat entrees
- Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with full-bodied tastes of currant and bell pepper.
- Sauvignon Blanc, light, acidic, hints of grapefruit, bell pepper, and grass. Serve with salads, chicken and fish.
- Chardonnay, produced predominantly in the Burgundy region of France, but also the California coastal region. Tastes of oak, citrus fruit, apple, pear and melon emerge. Seafood, pork and poultry
- Pinot Gris, (Pinot Grigio – the Italian version), produced in France and New Zealand, slightly spicy
- Riesling, German in origin with French and American (New York) growers notably, flavors emerging are lime, apple and pear. Serve with poultry and pork.
- Zinfandel Blush
- Pinot Noir
- Champagne, product of France – of the Champagne region
- Cava, Spanish, in white and rose varieties