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Home > City Resources > Food & Dining > Choosing the Right Wine
Choosing the Right Wine

The successful combination between food and wine requires thoughtful judgement and finesse, but it is really not as difficult as one would suppose.

  • A strongly flavoured food should be matched with an intensely flavoured wine, often red wine with a higher alcoholic content.

  • The dominant flavour in the food, such as tangy, rich or lean, can be matched with wines with corresponding flavours (like fruity) and weight (for example, light or full-bodied).

  • Fatty food goes well with a lean, acidic wine. Avoid serving full wine with sharp tasting food.

  • If a wine is too intense, too sweet, or too acidic for the dish, it will completely suppress the flavour of the food.
    If the food overpowers the wine, it tastes flat and metallic. The right wine enhances the flavour of the food and refreshes the palate for the next bite.

CHILLING WINE

Wine served in the correct way will allow for maximum enjoyment. Temperature is the most important factor in serving a wine.

  • Serve white wines at a cooler temperature.

  • Serve red wines from cool to room temperature.

  • Sparkling wines should be served the coolest of all wines

  • Wine that is served too cold will have a decreased bouquet (the delicate smell of wine)

  • Wine that is too warm will taste dull and harsh.

  • Hint: To chill a bottle of wine quickly, immerse it in a bucket filled with equal amounts of ice and water.

OPENING THE BOTTLE

  • Wine bottles are sealed with a natural or artificial cork which should be unscrewed with care.

  • Use a corkscrew, cork puller or air injection device to remove the cork.
    Be careful not to damage the cork or push it into the bottle during the insertion stage.

  • Hold the neck of the bottle at a 45 degree angle with one hand (with the thumb over the top of the cork) and gently rotate the bottle with the other hand.

  • Before rotating the bottle, hold your hand around the neck of the bottle for about ten seconds. This will warm the seal between the bottle and the cork making it easier to remove the cork.

  • When the cork loosens, slowly guide the cork out of the bottle.
    Wipe the rim of the bottle after pulling out the cork to remove any residue or cork pieces.

POURING AND SERVING

  • Clear wine glasses will bring out the color and clarity of the wine.

  • The wine glass should be filled no more than half-way to allow for swirling.

  • White wine is usually served in tall and oval shaped glasses.

  • Red wines are usually served in rounder glasses.

  • Sparkling wines, called flutes, are usually served in slender and narrow glasses so that the area for bubbles to escape decreases.

  • Hold the flute at an angle and slowly pour the wine to decrease the amount of "foam" that appears in the glass.

STORING OPEN WINES

  • A wine's flavour deteriorates rapidly if it comes into prolonged contact with air. Therefore, store the wine carefully limiting air contact.

  • It is best to transfer the wine to a smaller bottle.

  • Use a vacuum wine saver which consists of a vacuum pump and bottle cap with a valve.

  • Place the cap on the bottle and remove the air from the bottle to minimize air contact.

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