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Red Wine And White Wine


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My rule of thumb is to order something that isn't the cheapest, but maybe a notch or two above (wait staff have told me that most people, after deciding on red or white, then order strictly by price). After the first glass, your taste buds can't differentiate between an "excellent" wine and a merely "good" wine.

IMO, deciding between red and white, which depends on what you are eating, is more important than the actual winery the vino comes from.

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If you're going to a mid-range casual place, the waiter probably won't be of any help, and possibly will steer you wrong. They can tell you what's most popular, though. There are just too many variables to make a blanket suggestion without knowing the wine list. Try online first like musicman said, then maybe try calling ahead and asking to speak to the manager about wines they serve.

Perhaps your date knows wine? If so, it's perfectly acceptable to let her choose. She won't think any less of you, I promise.

aside from the fact that I'll drink cab with fritos.......an easy rule of thumb is too stick with the basics. A lighter bodied red is good with grilled meats and meaty gilled fish (tuna, salmon) (merlot, blends, pinot noir) . Cabernet is good with grilled beef and lamb, also roasted beef and lamb. Fruitier whites (chard) are good for delicate meats like veal, fish (I prefer with milder fish) veggie, salads, shellfish. Crisper whites (pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc) are good with pork and I like them with BBQ or cured meats.

Edited by crunchtastic
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Perhaps your date knows wine? If so, it's perfectly acceptable to let her choose. She won't think any less of you, I promise.

Very true

aside from the fact that I'll drink cab with fritos.......

This is my issue, therefore I am not of much help in this department :D

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I've been very happy with Shiraz from Rosemount Estates in Australia. But I second the motion to ask her advice, and if she has none, order something that you have enjoyed before. If she really thinks ill of you for ordering the wrong wine, then she's not for you anyway. Be confident in what you know but don't try to fake knowledge you don't have.

[/soapbox]

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So what are some good guidelines for red vs. white and what you are eating?

I've never been very picky about what I'm eating with my vino.

Typically, whites go with fish and chicken. Reds with red meats and also game birds (including duck). I guess that means being vegetarian makes choosing a wine easy. You can break beyond this, though. It's not like you'll die if you have a white with your steak, it's just that a red can be a slightly better partner. Ask your special lady what she prefers.

As for the white varietals, I prefer Pinot Grigio (of which you should find plenty at an Italian restaurant) or Savignon Blanc, because their crisp. If they have it, a Tebbianno is a nice white table wine.

As far as the red varietals, my Favorites are Zinfandels (Red zin, not the crappy pink stuff!), which are typically bolder and Pinot Noirs, which are deep and fruity. At an a good Italian joint they should a good Sangiovese - a nice, not too heavy wine, ususally well priced. Chianti (sort of related) is a nice, basic table wine.

Remember, reds, particularly, need to breathe. Let it open up before drinking it much. Swirling it in the glass can help.

As far as vintage: 2005-2006 on the whites. 2003-2005 on the reds (newer is okay with Chianti).

Have fun!

Edited by Porchman
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Ask the waiter for a recommendation based on what you're going to eat and you won't go wrong. If you try and act like you know something you don't, it might backfire.

That's very true, I've asked and have rarely been disappointed. Plus it helps educate you on what wines go with what and allow you to stock some for home.

Most women (label me "Oink.") seem to prefer German white wines because they have a tendency to be fruity.

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aside from the fact that I'll drink cab with fritos.......an easy rule of thumb is too stick with the basics.

Really? That's what I drink (2005 Becker Iconoclast) with Wolf brand canned chili. I'm not typically a frito pie kind of person, but it sure as hell makes me wonder whether that might be a good combo.

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Really? That's what I drink (2005 Becker Iconoclast) with Wolf brand canned chili. I'm not typically a frito pie kind of person, but it sure as hell makes me wonder whether that might be a good combo.

I find chips, cheese, onions and a good red do wonders. Oh, and a spork.

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Ask the waiter for a recommendation based on what you're going to eat and you won't go wrong.

Is depends on the restaurant whether the wait staff will be knowledgeable. The best thing I can recommend it to never order by the glass. You run the risk of getting 2 day old wine (or worse) that will be bitter. Also, give your red wines plenty of chance to breath by not overfilling your glass and swirling it around.

Also, go by a Kroger and just browse the wines. Look at the prices and make a mental note. You'll notice at any restaurant that there is a 100% mark-up on every wine. Just FYI.

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Also, go by a Kroger and just browse the wines. Look at the prices and make a mental note. You'll notice at any restaurant that there is a 100% mark-up on every wine. Just FYI.

100% minimum. Some restaurants mark it up as much as 500%.

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Typically, whites go with fish and chicken. Reds with red meats and also game birds (including duck). I guess that means being vegetarian makes choosing a wine easy. You can break beyond this, though. It's not like you'll die if you have a white with your steak, it's just that a red can be a slightly better partner. Ask your special lady what she prefers.

As for the white varietals, I prefer Pinot Grigio (of which you should find plenty at an Italian restaurant) or Savignon Blanc, because their crisp. If they have it, a Tebbianno is a nice white table wine.

As far as the red varietals, my Favorites are Zinfandels (Red zin, not the crappy pink stuff!), which are typically bolder and Pinot Noirs, which are deep and fruity. At an a good Italian joint they should a good Sangiovese - a nice, not too heavy wine, ususally well priced. Chianti (sort of related) is a nice, basic table wine.

Remember, reds, particularly, need to breathe. Let it open up before drinking it much. Swirling it in the glass can help.

As far as vintage: 2005-2006 on the whites. 2003-2005 on the reds (newer is okay with Chianti).

Have fun!

Re-read the above post very carefully, Porchman has hit it directly on the head with this info. I was gonna tell you something similar. I worked for Mezzaluna in Austin for awhile, very extensive and PRICEY winelist there, and they would have us come for classes in the restaurant, taught by the wine sellers themselves to instruct us HOW to tell the different flavors and smells. I would not fancy myself a sa wine expert by any means, but I do know the rules of thumb, and Porchman has it right.

Edited by TJones
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Re-read the above post very carefully, Porchman has hit it directly on the head with this info. I was gonna tell you something similar. I worked for Mezzaluna in Austin for awhile, very extensive and PRICEY winelist there, and they would have us come for classes in the restaurant, taught by the wine sellers themselves to instruct us HOW to tell the different flavors and smells. I would not fancy myself a sa wine expert by any means, but I do know the rules of thumb, and Porchman has it right.

T, I'm blushing!

The pricing posts are also good rules of thumb.

Emerite, please report back on what transpires. Have fun and enjoy the date.

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Or you can always try the ole TJ standby, Mogan David two zero two zero.

But then you'll fully understand the front yard underwear deal

Mad Dog 20/20 is for peasents !!! Please show the respect I deserve and remember that the "ole standby" is a bottle of Grey Goose in one fist and a roofie in the other !

Edited by TJones
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Most women (label me "Oink.") seem to prefer German white wines because they have a tendency to be fruity.

not this woman...with seafood, I prefer a nice moderately priced (10-15$) Pinot Grigio (Italian). It's lighter,drier than the typical chardonnay. But I like a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, little heavy. A good everyday wine is California - "Barefoot" Chardonnay. Very light.

Not a huge fan of reds, but with a nice steak, I serve "Pinot Nior", good, not too heavy.

I do not like German wines, you are right, too fruity.

Edited by NenaE
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