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WINE

WINE TYPES

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines in California. It is now the most popular white wine available. Wine drinkers love Chardonnay because of the wide variety of flavors it can take on. Depending on where it's grown and how it's fermented, Chardonnay's typical flavors are apple, tangerine, lemon lime, melon and oak. Surprisingly good Chardonnays can cost fewer than 15 dollars. It goes best with poultry and all seafood, including lobster and scallops. Good cheeses for Chardonnay include Gruyere, Provolone, Gouda and Brie.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular red wines around the world. It is grown in many different regions. Cabernet can be mellow and mild, to hearty and rich. Flavor characteristics can be described as toasty, oaky and having flavors of currant, blackberries, cherries, vanilla, leather and dry to somewhat fruity! Cabernet is best paired with beef, lamb, roasts, wild game, hearty stews and pastas. Cheeses that go well are Blue Stilton, aged Cheddars and even Chocolate!

Riesling

Riesling is a fruity white grape varietal that is grown in many different versions. It is a late ripening grape that develops its fruity or sweet character. It goes great with oriental foods, fruit and also chocolate. Its taste can be best described as melony, grapefruity, and floral. It should be served cool, but not cold.

Merlot

Merlot is the second most popular red grape varietal next to Cabernet. It can be described as mellow and smooth, not quite as harsh as other reds. It is also much more approachable than other reds because it does not need to go through extended aging to mellow as other red wines. Its flavor characteristics consist of black cherries, plums, berries and orange. It's a perfect match for beef, pork, and other medium heavy dishes. Merlot is also a fine accompaniment with chocolate and soft ripened cheeses. Merlot should be served room temperature between 62 to 67 degrees.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc has pronounced flavors of a herbal variety, with grassy apple and smoky citrus flavors, usually dry and light bodied with a crisp finish. Sauvignon Blanc goes well with all shellfish including oysters, crabs and clams, as well with light pasta sauces. It should be served cool and drank within a few years.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a light bodies red wine with colors of ruby, cherry to purple red. Typical flavors include earth leather, vanilla and jam. The fruity flavors often taste like raspberry, strawberry and plum. Pinot Noir go well with lighter beef dishes and pastas with red sauces. Also they go great with hard cheeses and fruit. It should be drunk at room temperature. Fine Pinot Noirs can be aged for up to ten years.

Champagne

Champagne is usually dry and bubbly. It is the celebration wine of choice and it can be enjoyed on its own or it can be served with fruit and cheeses and a wide variety of caviars.

White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is an incredibly popular wine since its creation in the 1980's. It is made from red zinfandel grapes in which the winemaker peels off the red skins, without those skins the resulting wine is light in color, sweet in flavor, without the harshness of other red wines. This is how "blush" wines are made. White Zinfandels flavor characteristics are light, fruity and floral with citrus overtones. It is best paired with cream-based pastas, pork and fish especially salmon. White Zinfandel should be drank around 54 degrees and within 2 years.

Pinot Grigio

Most Pinot Grigio wines are made in Italy with more and more coming from California. They are typically dry and light with a mineral taste. Often they have lemony or citrus flavors. California Pinot Grigio's tend to be a little fruitier. Pinot Grigio goes great with a wide variety of shellfish, chicken dishes and light pastas. It should be served at 48 degrees and drank while still young.

Red Zinfandel

Red Zinfandel is primarily grown in California. The color is deep red and purple, bordering on black. Zinfandel can best be described as spicy, peppery with hints of fruitiness with the likes of blackberries, cherries and grapes. This wine goes great with all meats and heavy sauces including burgers and pizza. Its best served at 65 degrees which is neither room temperature nor fridge temperature, its somewhere in the middle. Some people drink Zinfandel within 2-4 years, but many will age with time quite well.