Cheers to the holidays

If you're a wine lover, then you know how hard it can be sometimes to pick just the right wine for that special occasion.  With the holiday upon us there are so many choices of wine that one that doesn't know what they are looking for might feel over-whelmed in the wine store or local vineyard retailer.  It's really easier than you might think and with the 5 rules of thumb:  "Why, what, where, who and when" you can't go wrong.

1.  Why are you looking for a wine?:  Seems easy enough right?  Well it is.  Why are you getting the wine, is it for a romantic night in with your other, a party, a dinner, a business meeting to impress the boss?  This one question can narrow down a lot of the wines already.  White wines are good for before a meal or with fishes or chicken dinners.  Choosing one like a simple Chardonnay is a great choice or going with a sweet, fruity wine for a dessert is a great option as well.  You want to always pair red wines with meals that call for beef or even lamb dishes unless you taste is a bit different than most.

2.  What does it taste like?:  That may seem like a simple enough question, but if you don't know what the wine tastes like how can you know that it will suit what you are needing.  Do your homework a few weeks ahead and taste your favorites to make sure it will go well with what you're planning.  There are about 5,000 different grapes that can make up a wine or champagne, but with only 9 noble grapes considered classic that make up the simple wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and even Rieslings and many others.  It all comes down to what you are in the mood for overall.

3.  Where was the wine made?:  Wine is made in all parts of the world, in Europe, Italy, France, the United States, etc.  Most countries are controlled strictly by the government of that country.  Look for the names on the label such as AOC-Appellation d'Origine Controllee for French wines and DOC-Denominazione d'Origine Controllata.  So for a quality wine, look for quality made wines in the first place.  If it's made in a place that doesn't have control standards or you have never heard of the place or the wine, you might want to steer clear of it, especially if it doesn't have a quality control standard that has been regulated properly.

4.  Who is the wine for?:  The most important aspect of picking wine is, who is it for in the first place?  A co-worker's retirement party wouldn't have the same wine choice as a business dinner to discuss plans for a new building.  One occasion is more relaxed and might call for a fruity, sweet wine while the other is a more professional dinner that might have lamb as a main dish and would call for a more bold red wine.  Thinking about the occasion is one of the most important steps in picking the right wine.  Also consider who made the wine, if it's made somewhere that is known for great wine, this might be a great way to show off your wine-hunting talent to your dinner business clients, as well.

5.  Lastly, When?:  When is your event and when was the wine made?  These two "whens" are more important than you might think.  The when of your wine is an important aspect.  When the wine was made can have a big impact on it's taste as well.  Vintage wines aren't thought of as much no as they were years ago because wine can be made even in the worst of weather nowadays.  The year and season of your wine compared to the when of your event need to be thought of and considered together.


Eco-Tip:  Instead of a sugary treat for yourself or your kids, reach for something a bit more healthy, and fun to eat like a Kiwi Fruit.  Kiwis are a good source of Vitamin C, Fiber, and Potassium.  Kiwis also are full of antioxidants and vitamin E as well.  For this and other tips on going green visit, The Earth and Me Go Green


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