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Wine 101

When selecting wines for your reception there is a wide variety from around the world. Here is a brief primer on the most well known. Take a little time and try them. Not only will it be educational, it will also be enjoyable.

White Wines

Chardonnay is America's number one selling white wine. Chardonnays are considered a dry wine with little sweetness. They are usually known for their buttery taste and can have a wide range of fruit overtones. This white wine is capable of accommodating most palates and just as many food pairing combinations.

Pinot Gris, also known as pinot grigio in Italy, is usually a medium-full bodied white wine. Not normally as dry as chardonnay, pinot grigio is often a favorite of those who don’t normally drink wine.

Riesling wines come in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet (or off-dry), and light to full-bodied. A sweeter riesling is an excellent choice to pair with a chardonnay to offer guests two different white wines.

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine with a crisp, refreshing taste. It is usually a medium-bodied and pleasing to most palates that enjoy dry wines.

Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular of the red wines and considered a dry wine. Cabernets range from mediumbodied to full-bodied and are characterized by their oakiness.

Merlots are usually a bit drier than cabernets with a medium-body. The oaks flavors are typically lower than a cabernet and the fruit flavors are typically a bit more pronounced. Merlots go well with just about all foods.

Pinot Noir is typically a lighter-bodied, fruitier red wine. The fruitier taste of pinot noir make it another excellent choice to please a wide variety of palates.

SPARKLING WINES

Champagne can only be called that if it is from that region of France. Otherwise it is wine in champagne-method. Usually very dry or “brut.”

Asti Spumante is an Italian sparkling wine that is sweeter than champagne-method wines and also makes an excellent toasting wine.

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