It’s my FAVORITE day of the year! Okay, so it’s not my birthday and it’s not Christmas so technically it’s my third favorite day of the year… NATIONAL WINE DAY! In a world where there seems to be a national holiday associated with every day of the year, there’s no better time to celebrate wine!
One of the things I find most intriguing about wine, in general, is that no two are the same. There are so many rules associated with wine, yet so many factors in winemaking that are responsible for determining the outcome. I love exploring how these factors influence the taste on my own palate, which is also a different experience for everyone. Factors like acidity, body, finish and tannins can all be different within the same type of wine because they’re from different producers. This is why it’s so important to shop around and keep trying new wines!
Varietal is the type of grape associated with the wine. Example: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja.. just to name a few. There are hundreds of wines on the market of each varietal, the main factor separating each one apart from the others is its terroir. Terroir is the Region and sub-region where the grape was grown. Example: Malbec is the varietal, Argentina is the region and Mendoza is the sub- region. The terroir describes the grape and the environment it was grown in. For example, cool climates produce more tart and acidic wines where warmer climates tend to produce wines with more sugar and less acidity. Terroir can have more effects on a wine than just sugar and acidity. It can be the difference in fruit forward and velvety, light and refreshing or warm and tannic. Vintage also plays a part in the outcome of a wine. How long has the wine been bottled since harvest? Was the wine aged in cask oak? For how long? All of these elements bottled up and (purposefully meant to be) stored can dramatically change how the wine tastes, especially after decanting to let the wine breathe after being bottled up all of those years!
Wines are made to compliment the cuisine of its region, try pairing an Italian wine with Italian cuisine or a Spanish wine with Spanish cuisine. There truly is a wine out there for everyone to enjoy, and there’s also a perfect wine to go along with every occasion!
Check out my previous post: Wine & Food Pairings
Medium to Full Bodied, Acidity and Tannins: Italian Reds, French Reds like Bordeaux, Spanish Reds like Rioja, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Red Blends, Malbec- These all pair well with evening occasions! Each of these wines pairs with a specific meal to enjoy on a date night or out to dinner with friends. Hey, even a relaxing night in on the couch watching Netflix.
Light Bodied, Medium Acidity, White Wines: Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Vhino Verde- all of these wines, whether you prefer dry or on the sweeter side, all pair well with sunshine. The beach, a picnic, patio weather or lounging by the pool. And yes, these two each have individual food pairings for any occasion!
Last but not least, my favorite category, Sparkling Wines: Brut Nature, Brut, Extra Brut, Extra Sec- I argue wines such as Champagne, Prosecco and Cava are meant for any and every occasion! Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need a reason to celebrate to pop one of these bottles! The same could be said for any wine, don’t let me tell you what and where to drink your favorite wine…!!
How are you celebrating National Wine Day? Happy Hour with your girl gang at your favorite wine bar? Grabbing your favorite bottle from your local wine merchant and staying in to drink it on the couch? Better yet… grab a screw cap and start drinking it now… Let me know how you plan to celebrate this awesome day!