Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of Monday Meet the Experts! As promised, for the next two Mondays I'm going to be filling in as expert - or in this case, sommelier, as I share some of my knowledge about wine and how to pair it with food.
Bur before we get into pairing, which I will cover on next Monday's blog, I thought it might be helpful to debunk a few popular myths that might be holding you back from getting a true experience with the wonders of the grape.
MYTH 1: WHITE WINE IS FOR FISH, RED WINE FOR BEEF
Although some reds that are heavy in tannins like a Cabernet Sauvingnon might overpower a delicate white fish, hearty west coast favourites like grilled salmon or halibut are wonderful with a robust Pinot Noir. Once you've enjoyed red wine with fish, experiment with a nice oaky Chardonnay with roast prime rib and this unctuous recipe for for buttery Gruyere Mashed Potatoes to completely debunk our first myth.
The truth is out there.
I'm a nerd.
MYTH 2: WINE GETS BETTER WITH AGE
Although we all dream of our own wine cellars filled from floor to ceiling with varietals, the truth is that 90 % of wine is opened and enjoyed within 48 hours of purchase. Wineries know this and are producing wines designed to be consumed shortly after the bottles hit liquor store shelves. With this in mind, there's no point in hiding your wines away like a bad conspiracy. There are wines that will benefit from this kind of careful aging but it pays to do some research to ascertain the wines that will most benefit from cellaring.
MYTH 3: 90 POINT WINE IS BETTER THAN 89 POINT WINE
Use a wine's score as a starting off point when trying something new, but truly, a good wine is the wine you enjoy and as you become more and more familiar and interested in the subject, your palette will change and adapt to tell you what you like best.
MYTH 4: DRINK RED WINE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
The old adage about serving red wine at room temperature came about when homes were heated by wood stove as opposed to furnace or natural gas or whatnot; so it made sense to remove a bottle of claret from the cool cellar before serving. But in these days of central heating, room temperature can sometimes be too warm for optimum taste. It is suggested to serve reds between 16-18 degrees. Adjust your thermometer or toss your wine into the fridge if it is too warm before serving.
MYTH 5: SCREW CAPS AND BOXES MEAN MEDIOCRE WINE
Although I am certain there is still stigma attached to heading to the liquor store to buy your weekend box, in truth, buying wine this way - especially when entertaining - is an economical option. While there are certainly sub par wines to be purchased by box (or gala keg) I have had much success when throwing a party with some of the boxed Australian varietals.
As for the screw top myth, well, that's just silly!
I hope you enjoyed today's installment of Monday Meet the Experts.
For a recipe that pairs amazingly with a cool crisp chardonnay, check out today's Kitchen Witch video for Chimichurri Fish Tacos.
You can visit the printable recipe HERE
Until next time everyone, here's wishing you a CHARMED life!