We all know that pairing wine with food can yield delectable results and can often enhance the wine or the culinary experience. Wine with food is a completely organic duo but it is not the only way you can intensify a wine experience. As a Sommelier, it is also important to know something about the occasion a couple or group is celebrating, the type of interests they have and even their mood when recommending a wine. Pairing wine with a mood, feeling or emotion can be just as satisfying as pairing it with a great dish. In fact, when traveling, tasters often come back with glowing reviews about a particular wine they enjoyed while relaxing on vacation and are subsequently disappointed in the wine when they return as their memories are saturated with a glorious experience or feeling associated with the time and place the wine was tasted. Here are several emotional states which we find ourselves in (sometimes all on a daily basis) that can be quelled or fueled by just the right vino.
Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz, Padthaway, South Australia, 2008, $19.95, #90324
This completely seductive and enveloping Shiraz is ideal for that bath-time romance novel or a sexy surprise dinner for the spouse as it is sure to get you in the mood with its mouth-filling texture and voluptuous body.
The Sopranos Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, 2007, $14.95 #207183
No one savous revenge like mobsters and this Tuscan red with the Sopranos namesake is infused with fervor and edgy flavours – perfect for plotting revenge.
Cave Spring Estate Bottled Gewurztraminer, Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Canada, 2009, $16.95, #302059
Perfect for those tear-jerker movies or unexplained emotional bouts. This wine is far from sappy but it is sweet, supple and hits the spot.
Mas Des Bressades Cuvee Tradition, Costieres de Nimes, Rhone, France, 2009, $14.95, #143099
Think sunshine, fresh air, the smell of lavender and beautiful fields of sunflower. This wine comes from the land of all these blissful colours and makes a perfect accompaniment to a relaxing afternoon.
Pinot Noir is chalk full of complexity, contrast and layering of flavours making it perfect for those times of heady introspection. Think of it as the Mozart of wine – it might not make you smarter but you will likely learn something from the experience.
Night in with the girlfriends, celebrating a promotion, birthday or just simply in the mood to revel in your wonderful life with your man about town – a sparkling wine is sure to add magic to your evening. These bubbles come from the southern Island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia, perfectly cool enough to suit varietals that make up this bright and lively wine.
Vaeni Naoussa Xinomavro Damaskinos 2004, Greece, $13.95, #60731
For those of you who marvel at the far-off Grecian lands or those who are the jet setting type and are experienced Mediterranean travelers, this wine is chock-full of intrigue and old-world mystique. Xinomavro is an indigenous varietal that delivers a good dose of intensity as well as bright acids and exotic fragrances.