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Thursday, 06 March 2008

As a wine lover, you know that there is a wine for every occasion and you enjoy discovering new and fresh ideas about which wines are fun and exciting for every occasion. Food is the high calling for enjoyment of wine yet wine drinking for the enjoyment of a wine is also highly appreciated by most wine connoisseurs.

A dessert wine is a prime example of a wine that can often best be enjoyed without the benefit of food. Indeed, many connoisseurs believe that the best attitude about dessert wine is that the dessert wine is the dessert, not an accompaniment to the dessert. A fortified Port or Sauternes make fine dessert wines that need no sweet dessert dish to detract from their own sweetness.

Full bodied, yet smooth red wines such as a Shiraz or a Merlot can also stand on their own merits without the accompaniment of food. You can sip a smooth full-bodied glass of red wine such as this because it does not need any enhancements to make it as enjoyable as it can get. More often, though, people wish to pair their wines with foods because their meals are not as good without wine. A simple spaghetti dish is a dish that you can enjoy without the benefits of wine, but once you pair a great Sangiovese with an ordinary spaghetti dish, you will never want to go back to spaghetti without it.

Likewise, appetizers are great on their own, but add Champagne, as an aperitif and you will probably never be satisfied with the tiny snacks again without it. Whether your aperitif is a pre-lunch or pre-supper drink, you can find a wine or Champagne that will serve as a tantalizing accompaniment to your appetizer.

On the same note, you can find a wine to accompany any meal as well. Are you planning a light, sophisticated luncheon for your book club members? Perhaps such an occasion calls for a cool, light sophisticated un-oaked Chardonnay. Are you planning neighborhood association Sunday afternoon meeting? After the business of the meeting is over, perhaps you should serve a hearty lunch of burgers and grilled foods. A Southern Australia Cabernet Sauvignon would accompany such a meal perfectly.

If you want to plan an elegant dinner party with five courses, you will want different wines for different courses. If you do this, you will want to begin with lighter bodied wines to match the lighter style of the first two courses. Usually, the appetizer courses of such meals include selections of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

The third and fourth courses of a five-course meal usually call for red wines. For the third course, a lighter bodied Pinot Noir is usually good and for the fourth course, usually the main course, you will often want to select a heavy-bodied, full and well rounded Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

The fifth course, the dessert, as discussed above can be all about the wine if you so choose. On the other hand, if you prefer to have food with your last course, you could serve cheese or nuts with your dessert wine.

Ian Love is the managing director of Australian wine retailer - Liquor Merchants and contributes to a blog on the wine industry in Australia. Ian owns runs a great Australian wine club in Perth

Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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