With business dinners, dates, going out with friends, and Houston Restaurant Week (month) in full swing, the subject of wine is going to come up a time or two.
How do you order wine that you know you’ll enjoy? What goes best with your meal?
I’m not a big wine drinker and usually default to others to make the selection decision so when we went to Napa for the first time I thought I would ask the experts on how to order wine and navigate the wine list in style.
Click through to see what the experts say!
Learn Your Tastes
What flavors do you like? What wines have you enjoyed in the past? Julia at Frog’s Leap Winery suggests noting what flavors you like to build your personal flavor profile. Dry, acidic, oaky, fruity… whatever you notice about wines you enjoy, take note! Check out the wine wheel for the flavors you couldn’t quite put your finger on. Tastings and flights are good ways to try several options in small doses if you aren’t sure what you like.
Ask the Sommelier
What do you do with that great flavor profile information? Pass it on to the sommelier! Ana Maria at Merryvale Vineyards says to take advantage of this great resource! They are extremely knowledgeable of wine in general but specifically the wines currently available and can help you find exactly what you want. If a stiff, unsmiling person comes to mind, banish the thought. The sommelier is not there to make you feel cheap for buying a less than $50 bottle of wine and most of the new wave falls into the hip rather than haughty category.
Use a Cheat Sheet
Doug at nearly-local Messina Hof says as a basic first step to narrow down if you like dry white, sweet white, dry red, or sweet red. He also endorsed what you may have heard before, light wines with fish and poultry, heavier reds with steak and full-body dishes.
He gave me a great pairing rundown too. I’ve consolidated it into a mini cheat sheet for you.