Let’s Celebrate National Wine Week! Here is Made My Date’s best wines for picnics, cheese boards, and to order at your next dinner date!
We all know that when it comes to wines choosing which one can be a bit of a mind field, especially when you’re not quite sure what to order during a dinner date and don’t want to look clueless.
Our guide is designed to make things simpler for you. We will tell you all there is to know about wine to impress your date and then some!
The Basics – Types of Wine:
- Red – a type of wine made from dark coloured grape varieties
- White – a type of wine made from light coloured grape varieties
- Rose – a type of wine that gets its colour from dark coloured grape skins but not enough to be classified as a red wine. The skins are removed early on in the fermenting process.
- Sparkling Wine – Wine that has a high carbon dioxide level that causes the wine to fizz up during the fermentation stage of producing wine.
- Dessert Wines – A Sweet Wine that has been designed to accompany your dessert with a pronounced flavour and tends to be a higher alcohol content.
Different Flavours/Aromas of Wine explained:
- Fruity – describes flavours and aromas that are reminiscent of various fruits. The most common are: citrus fruits in white wine and berries in red wine. A great example of a fruity flavoured wine is Olaria red 2019 with black and red fruits or As Pias red 2019 with plenty of berries.
- Earthy – describes flavours and aromas that are reminiscent of earthy tones such as mushrooms, truffles, soil, slate, flint or wet stone. We recommend ‘Igreja Velha DOC reserva 2014’ with soft but persistent tannins as a great Earthy toned bottle of wine.
- Sweet Red – Port
- Floral – notes can be found in both red & white wine. Typical examples are: Rose, Lily, Lavender, Citrus Blossom, and Honeysuckle.
- Woody – tones are where the wine is reminiscent of spice, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, cedar, or toast. These tones are developed through aged wine that is stored in wooden barrels, often oak. A great example of a woody tones wine is Encostas do Enxoé 2016 with a beautiful oaky flavour.
- Dry – When you think of Dry Wine we all think of the saying ‘a dry white wine please’. Most Dry Wines come as White Wines.
- Dry Red Wine – Higher levels of acidity and lower levels of tannin. Examples: Pinot Grigio, Gamay and St. Lauren
- Dry White Wine – Chablis and Olaria white 2019.
- Medium Red Wine – A medium level of acidity and tannin. Examples: Zinfandel & Merlot.
- Medium White Wine – Sancerre and Burgundy and Vinha D’Ervideira selected harvest 2018.
- Full Bodied – tends to be Red Wine: Has high levels of tannin and low levels of acidity. Examples: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
Tips for choosing wine during a date:
Certain wines go well with certain foods:
- If you are Vegetarian or Vegan but still drink wine, go for: a Dry White Wine such as ‘Pias White 2019’ by Vinify.co.uk
- If you order seafood or fish, go for: a Sparkling Wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc from Weingut Bründlmayer and Weingut Hirsch
- If you order chicken or poultry, you should pair this with: a Rose or Light Red Wine. We recommend Rosé ‘Vinha D’Ervideira Selected Harvest 2019’ or ‘Olaria Red 2019’ by Vinify.co.uk
- If you order red meat, go for: a Bold Red Wine such as ‘Pias red 2019 and Igreja Velha DOC reserva 2014’ by Vinify.co.uk
- If you are watching your calories a great tip to remember is the lighter the wine, the less calories it contains.
Wines and Cheese – a match made in heaven:
- White Wine goes well with: gruyere, brie, goat cheese, mozzarella and ricotta
- Sparkling Rosé goes well with: fresh cheese such as goat cheese
- Red Wine goes well with: cheddar, parmesan and gouda
- Sparkling Wine goes well with: brie and camembert
- Dessert Wine goes well with: Cheese Cake of course! Dessert wine is very sweet and therefore we do not recommend pairing it with cheese (unless is port) itself as the wine will overpower the taste of the cheese. Instead keep the pallet sweet by sticking to a cheese cake.
If you go on a wine tasting date be sure to follow the 5 S’s of wine tasting:
- See: Check the colour of your wine first by holding your glass against a white background in a well lit room. White wines gain colour in age whilst red wines loose their colour.
- Swirl: Hold the wine in front of you and gently rotate it so that the wine swirls in the glass. Swirling helps to aerate and ‘open up’ the wine, releasing it’s natural aromas so you can recognise what aroma the wine is.
- Smell: Stick your nose down inside your glass and take a quick, deep inhalation. This is the best way to take in the wine’s aromas.
- Sip: Take a small sip, roll it around in your mouth (in a similar way that you would swish mouthwash in your mouth) and breathe in as you swallow the sip. This will allow you to take in the maximum flavour of the wine.
- Swallow or Spit: Spitting might sound so inappropriate during a date however it is a very good way to taste the wine if you are sampling a variety of wines and can be done discreetly to maintain compose during a date.