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Gourmet Foods 101
Did you know?
"A glass of wine a day is proven to decrease the risk of coronary disease and mortality rates in individuals over 40"

Fine Wines

Decanted from the Equator

What actually constitutes a fine wine? Is it the taste of the wine, the grapes used, the color of the wine, the age of the wine, the cost of the wine, the region the wine was produced in or the rarity of the wine? Perhaps it's a combination of all of these factors.

Years ago, you might have considered fine wine to come from countries such as Italy, France, Portugal and Spain, but these days there are some excellent wines being produced around the world. You can find countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Algeria, the U.S. and Chile exporting some very fine light and full-bodied red and white wines. Some of the most popular fine wines include Bordeaux chateaus, famous Burgundies, Rhone Valley wines, Barolos, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Napa Valley wines.

Like everything else to do with taste, a fine wine will be a personal decision as everybody has different taste buds. While many people say that white wines go the best with white meats and fish and red wines taste better with red meats, the choice is definitely up to you. Don't let anybody sway your decision. A fine wine to one person may taste awful to another person, so don't let the name on the label decide what is a fine wine, let your taste buds decide.

After just saying that, I realize that many people may be quite new to trying fine wines with their gourmet meals, so I will offer a few suggestions as to what types of wine you may want to try with certain foods. Remember, this is just a loose guideline and nothing is written in stone. Go with your heart and your stomach when making your decision.

Types of food
Clams or oysters, delicate fish, cold cuts, pates, grilled vegetables, pasta with oil-based vegetable sauces.

Types of wine
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Save Classico, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Un-oaked Chardonnays or Chablis.

Types of food
Crab and lobster, baked salmon and mackerel, roast chicken and turkey, baked ham and roast, pasta with cream sauces and seafood, Brie and soft cheeses.

Types of wine
Albarino, Pouilly Fume, Rich Sauvignon Blancs, dry White Rhone valley wines, most Australian and Californian Chardonnays that are un-oaked.

Types of food
Game birds, veal scaloppini, pasta and risotto with meat sauces, pizza, Emmenthal and Gruyere cheese.

Types of wine
Cru Baujolais, Dolcetto d'Alba, Rioja, Crianza Chianti, Cotes du Rhone red, Pinto Noir California or Oregon, Merlot from Italy and Chile.

Types of food
Beef stews, roast veal and pork, bean based casseroles, roasted vegetables, Parmigiono Reggiano and hard cheeses.

Types of wine
Barbera d'Alba, Merlot from California, Washington State, Ontario and British Columbia, Red Bordeaux, Zinfandel, New World Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa, Australia, Chile, and Argentina, Northern Rhone Valley red wines, most Syrah based wines.