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Choosing The Right Wine - How A Sommelier Can Enhance Your Meal

By: Marco Keurentjes

Many people around the world love a glass of wine with dinner. People who don't enjoy wine are simply not aware of the difference the right variety can make in a meal. Wine and food pairing is something that many diners are not given much thought.

Experience teaches us the proper way to do many things in life. Choosing the right wine before heading to the wine cellar or ordering something random with dinner is one of those things. The right choice will likely be different with each meal. The Process of Pairing

"Pairing" refers to the method of choosing the perfect blend of flavors that will truly enhance the flavor of your meal. Most consider pairing the exclusive forte of a sommelier; hands-down the pairing expert. No great restaurant can exist without an experienced sommelier.

The process of pairing is often fraught with mistakes made from inexperience. Even more daunting is the fact that meals often have more than one course. What goes well with appetizers may not be suitable for the main course, and vice versa.

A Few Basic Pairing Tips Everyone Should Know

Most types of fish go best with a white. Varieties of whites contain less tannin; therefore the taste doesn't clash with fish to produce a metallic taste. The same is true with most types of chicken and other white meats.

Varieties of reds on the other hand go best with red meats or heavier meals. Sparkling wines tend to go well with appetizers. Salads may be more easily enjoyed with a very light white or sparkling variety.

Understanding More than the Label

A vast number of grape varieties are used in vinification. Many people mistakenly believe that the label on the bottle will provide enough information for successful wine and food pairing. A sommelier, however, knows that it takes much more than labeling when deciding on which type to serve.

Few would deny that wine selection is something that is not easily mastered. Thankfully, there are a few websites that make pairing easier for those who wish to learn the art. Aside from an impressive listing of many varieties, most websites offer helpful critiques on each.

You will also find important information on specific varieties such as the type, producer and country of origin on any website that is truly dedicated to the enjoyment of pairing. Some websites offer an easy to use pairing list so that the appropriate variety may be more easily chosen for any occasion.

Wine and food pairing should never be dismissed as an overly technical matter. It is an artistic task that provides a feast to the senses when properly performed. Any good host wants to create an unforgettable experience for their guests by choosing the right wine for the meal.

Hope is not lost if you do not have the luxury of a well stocked wine cellar. Simply visit a reputable website that outlines a variety of options to help you choose the right variety for any occasion or meal.

Pairing isn't quite rocket science but it does require a bit of time and understanding. Choosing the right wine is extremely important whether you're planning a small intimate gathering or a large dinner party. Making the right decision the first time ensures the success of any party.

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