A Gentleman’s Guide to Wines

Sure, you love a good pint of beer with your mates after work, but as a true gentleman, you need to be acquainted with the artistry of winemaking? Do you shiver at the very sight of a waiter opening a bottle and presenting you with a tasting glass, waiting for your rigorous scrutiny, while you are trying to act knowledgeable as you are stirring (why do they do that), smelling and finally, taking a sip, having no idea what you’re doing?

Well, the nightmare you’ve been living in is over, as you’re about to learn the essentials of wine tasting and pairing, arming yourself with the know-how to dazzle any woman, and perhaps even develop a loving relationship with the world of winemaking yourself. Here is your gentleman’s guide to wine.

The different wine types that you need to know about.

Unfortunately for you, there are numerous wine types. But fortunately, you don’t have to be acquainted with the best years, you can check for the best vintages online. It is even more important to learn the different types of wines, ranging from sparkling and three types of white to dessert and three types of red wine.

This can take some time to memorise, or if you’re feeling especially impish, you can learn one of each and stick to those until you grow bored of similar tastes. However, every wine is special in its own way, and by experimenting from time to time, you can easily become a wine connoisseur.

We will go into the pairing details later on, for now, let us summarise wine types. In the sparkling wine category, you have Champagne, Prosecco, Franciacorta, and Cava. Then, there are white-sweet wines, such as Riesling, Moscato, and Chenin Blanc. White-dry wines are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Albarino, while white-rich wines are Chardonnay, Viognier and other “oaked” whites.

Red wines come in light, medium and full categories. Red-light ones are Pinot Noir, Gamay, Grenache, and Pinotage. Red-medium wines are Sangiovese, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet Franc, while red-full wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Aglianico, and Sirah. Finally, you have dessert wines such as Port, Sherry, and Tokaji.

If you are wondering whether you should memorise these, the answer is yes. A comprehensive list like this one will give you plenty of options to choose from, especially when you learn the proper combinations.

How to taste wine - guide.

When choosing and tasting the wine, there is a lot to be learned from Australians. The Land Down Under is home to hundreds of world-renowned wineries, and the common Aussie is more than skilled in wine tasting and selection. The wines at Veno Liquor can serve as a great start to explore different tastes from around the world and expand your palate through their massive assortment of fine vintages.

When you do open your first bottle, there are several key features you should examine. First, be a man and read the label or ask the waiter. Don’t pretend like you know it’s a Pinotage or a Shiraz, you need to develop your sensory associations first.

Once you have established the type you need to tilt and swirl and give the colour a thorough examination – notice the slight changes in hues. Finally, you want to take a deep sniff and a sip. Sniffing the wine will allow you to describe its taste later on and determine whether it is the pick of the evening.

How to pair wine with food.

Pairing food and wine takes some practice, but once you learn these essentials, you will easily make a selection. Light cheese goes with sparkling, white-sweet and dessert wines. Hard cheese goes with sparkling, red-medium or red-full wine. Bread can be paired with sparkling, white-sweet, white-rich, red-light, and red-medium.

Contrary to popular belief, fish only goes with sparkling or white-dry wine, while other seafood goes with white-rich or red-light wine. You can combine poultry with white-rich, red-light or red-medium, while red meat goes only with red-medium or red-full wine.

Cured meats can be paired with white-sweet wines, red-medium, red-full or even dessert vintages. Finally, you can pair vegetables with sparkling, white-dry, white-rich and red-light wines while sweets go wonderfully with white-sweet and of course, dessert wines.

All of this information might seem like a lot to take in at first glance. However, it will become infinitely easier once you start practising your wine skills at home by smelling, swirling, tasting and pairing various vintages until you have developed your base pаlate. Be sure to keep this essential guide at hand and you will have no problems becoming a wine connoisseur in no time.

Peter Minkoff

Peter is a men's lifestyle writer at HighStyleLife magazine and a freelance menswear fashion stylist from Brisbane, Australia.

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