Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to Choose Wine on a Date

5 Wines to Stock Up on For a Big Date

This posting of wine reviews is mainly for the guys - the guys who, thankfully, want to know what wine to order on a big date, what wine to stock up at home when cooking up that one tried and true recipe, and how to appear sensitive and sophisticated, all with their thoughtful wine choices. Ladies - take note!

Wine #1: Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon, 2008, Margaret River, Australia $20

Why you want to order this: This is the perfect wine to order when you’re at a great seafood restaurant. More complex than a lot of the usual seafood picks and uber food (and female) friendly.

Wine #2: Newton Red Label Chardonnay, 2005, Napa and Sonoma Counties, CA $17

Why you want to stock this: This is a great weekday dinner wine. Nothing too fancy and easy drinking. Chardonnay tends to be a female go-to wine (sorry for the generalities here) but this one isn't the overly buttery, super oaky styles that men tend to not like. This will elevate your weekday take-out dinner.

Wine #3: Esporao Defesa Rose, 2007, Alentejano, Portugal

Why you want to order this: If you’re stuck deciding what to order with your two very different meals, try a dry rose. It works with so many different kinds of food and it looks gorgeous in a glass. Plus, ordering a rose shows your sensitive and sophisticated side. Rose is all the rage these days and ordering one shows your date you’re beyond the usual stereotypes and secure with yourself. Plus, you can talk about how universally food friendly it is. And it will make her think you were thinking just of her when ordering it.

Wine #4: Abeja Syrah, 2007, Walla Walla, Washington

Why you want to stock this: It's the ultimate big date night wine - a show stopper that she'll be easily tempted to have more than one glass of. Slightly smokey, very seductive. Syrahs from Washington tend to be sexy, peppery and elegant. Not too big and bold so it won't overwhelm your date. And not too tannic and mouth-drying - leaving you in perfect shape for post-dinner snogging.

Wine #5: Green Point, Cabernet / Shiraz, 2005, Victoria, Australia

Why you want to order this: Been to Australia? Or any other wine destination for that matter? Pick a wine from that area so you can tell adventurous stories to your date and let her know another side of you that she may not see during the usual hum-drum work week.

You can thank me later...


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car servicing said...

"you're on a great date with a bangin' hottie." "but you just want to choose some wine for your date so you can get them ...

How to Pick a Summer Wine: The Gentler, Lighter Side of Wine

Summer’s soaring temps beg you to step away from heavy Cabernets and check out the gentler, lighter side of wine. When choosing the perfect summer wine for your outdoor engagement party or wedding, think light, crisp, refreshing--and because people tend to drink more in the heat--lower in alcohol. Nothing more prettily suggests summer than a dry (i.e. not sweet) rose. Avoid the simple, syrupy versions and try French roses from the Mourvèdre grape or roses made using the Saignee method for more complexity. Pick wines from countries where you imagine the locals sipping leisurely at sidewalk cafés while basking in the sun, like Spain. A Spanish fave is Albarino from the Rias Baixas region. Made to drink young, Albarino is a crisp, white wine with intense fruit, lively acidity and generally a lower level of alcohol. It pairs perfectly with summer foods from seafood to grilled vegetables. But you don’t need to swear off red wine for summer. Look for light bodied wines like Pinot Noir from Oregon or a Valpolicella from Italy, both capable of standing up to barbequed foods. And don’t be afraid to put a slight chill on your red wine. It is summer after all!

Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain, “Exceptional with Everything” Oh Really?

There's nothing we love more than a challenge. It's in our makeup. We're two women, thirties. One Indian. One Filipina. The first, founder and CEO of a business in the arguably male-dominated wine world. The second, building experience to be a future proprietess of a wine store. Add to this: In New York City. So when presented with the opportunity to play wine and food critic for a night—to pair Rías Baixas Albariño wines, proclaimed to be "exceptional with everything" with Mercat’s offerings —it is impossible and simply against every ounce of who we are, to refuse.

Mercat means “market” in Catalan, the language of the northern Spanish region where owner, Jaime Reixach, is from and where the restaurant’s menu draws its inspiration. The albariños we’ll be drinking also originate from the northern region, and so we’re already anticipating more perfect wine pairings than tragic mismatches.

It’s a beautiful warm Thursday night—and we are tasting two Albariño wines: Alba Rosa from Martinez Serrantes and Pazo San Mauro, both 2006 vintages. We take our time with each wine—assessing them alone and then side by side. At the end, we agree that both are delightful: the Alba Rosa is sparkling with surprising depth while the Pazo San Mauro would bring life to our springtime picnic. Further, we imagine that if each wine were to be personified, they might just be these two ladies, described as such:

Alba Rosa Martinez Serantes Albariño | Scarlett Johansson: "Sparkling with surprising depth"

Alba Rosa Martinez Serantes Albariño | Scarlett Johansson: "Sparkling with surprising depth"
This golden blonde hued wine gives an almost effervescent quality that shoots racy brightness into your mouth. It has the usual grassiness and citrus qualities one expects from this wine. The reason why this wine fits Scarlett most is because it has the quality of lightness but comes with surprising depth of character and fullness in body. The comparison would be perfect were the wine to show great legs, but its light-bodied, lower alcohol nature doesn’t allow it.

Pazo San Mauro Albariño | Cameron Diaz: “Livens up your springtime picnic”

Pazo San Mauro Albariño | Cameron Diaz: “Livens up your springtime picnic”
Cameron would be a fun addition to any springtime outing. Her lightheartedness would make everyone smile and this wine does the same. The light yellow straw color gives way to granny smith apples, peaches, melon, and citrus scents that jump at your nose, smelling like springtime in a glass. This wine begs to be explored further. The crisp and pleasantly tart apple is balanced with pear and makes it the perfect brunch wine.
Now, we move on to the heart of our challenge: Exceptional with everything? Oh really? How do these two beauties handle themselves in company? After the three and a half hours of glorious sipping, chewing, and chatting, among ourselves and the restaurant staff, here are our findings:

No surprise, our lovely wines get along splendidly with their classic and traditional partners: we have raves for the nicely seasoned patatas bravas—not too spicy, not too garlicky—and the padrones/blistered shishito peppers, the char and oil offset by the tartness of the wines. One of us goes wild for the Canelons de Verdura/eggplant wrapped spring vegetables, manchego, and cranberry reduction. And then Chef Lowder sends over Trencat d’Ous/mushroom with salsa verde topped with a fried egg, which again, goes splendidly with our wines. Even the suckling pig/Cochinillo, which we think will surely clash, in fact becomes the surprise of the evening. Like the beauty and the beast, our wines and the pig make an unlikely but harmonious pair.

We ask ourselves for the last time: Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain: Exceptional with Everything?

If not for being the gluttonous bottomless pits that we are, we would certainly have answered YES with an exclamation point. But since we order those two desserts—Torrades Sta. Teresa/fried bread with lemon yogurt and Pa Amb Oli Xocolata/bread, olive oil, and chocolate, our answer must be: Almost. These two desserts with our two Albariños — are disastrous.

Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain: Exceptional with almost Everything.

--Anu Karwa and Marie Estrada

Visit http://www.riasbaixaswines.com for more info on Rías Baixas Albariños from Spain

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