Wine Expert Tip Corner…

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How to choose the perfect wine for your next restaurant meal.

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by the extensive wine list at your favourite restaurant? Don’t let the complexity of wine intimidate you. With a few expert tips, you can navigate the world of wine like a pro and find the perfect pairing for your meal.

So, whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or a curious beginner, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 essential tips to help you choose the perfect wine at a restaurant and elevate your dining experience.

 

Don’t be intimidated by the wine menu

When it comes to choosing the perfect wine for your meal, it’s important to take your time and familiarise yourself with all the options available. Don’t feel pressured to rush your decision or choose the most expensive option on the menu. Instead, read through the wine list carefully and take note of the varieties and regions that interest you. It’s also worth remembering that the perfect wine for your meal might not be the most expensive option on the list. Many restaurants offer a range of wines at different price points, and you can often find a great wine that pairs well with your food without breaking the bank.

 

Consider the food you’re ordering

When selecting a wine, think about the flavours and ingredients in your meal. For instance, if you’re ordering a juicy steak, a bold and full-bodied red wine will complement the rich flavours. On the other hand, if you’re indulging in fresh seafood, a crisp and refreshing white wine is a great match. It’s also essential to consider the intensity of the dish’s flavours, as well as its sweetness. If the dish is sweet, pairing it with an acidic wine can create a delightful balance. Conversely, a sweet wine will enhance the flavours of a dish with a salty or spicy profile.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different wine pairings and try something new. For example, a sparkling wine can be a surprising but delicious complement to a savoury dish, and a full-bodied red wine can be an excellent pairing for a rich chocolate dessert.

 

Look for the restaurant’s house wine

Many restaurants offer a house wine option, which is typically a more affordable option that the restaurant serves regularly. House wines are typically handpicked by the head chef and sommelier and are specifically chosen to complement their menu items. As a result, these wines are often a great value for their quality and can be an excellent way to explore new flavours without breaking the bank. Furthermore, because the restaurant regularly serves the house wine, you can be sure that it’s a dependable and well-liked option.

 

Order by the glass

Ordering wine by the glass is an excellent way to explore a variety of wines without committing to a full bottle. If you’re dining alone or with someone who has different wine preferences, ordering by the glass is a smart choice. It allows you to experiment with different wines and pairings, providing a fun and exciting way to try new things.

Another benefit of ordering wine by the glass is that it provides you with the flexibility to change your wine choice throughout your meal, like trying a different wine for your dessert. For example, if you start with a white wine and switch to a red halfway through your meal, you won’t be stuck with an entire bottle of wine you no longer want.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

If you’re still unsure about what wine to order, remember that your server or sommelier is there to help guide you through the selection process. Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations or advice on the wine list. After all, it’s their job to ensure that you have a great dining experience. Whether you’re looking for a wine that pairs well with your food or need help finding something within your budget, your server can offer valuable insights and suggestions. They have an expert knowledge of the wine list and can help you choose a wine that will enhance the flavours of your meal.

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