Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wine Research

This article would probably be more likely to appear on my other blog, Carol's Food Bites, but since it's writing related, this the perfect place for it. One of the manuscripts I am writing is about a culinary arts student who has a chance meeting with a millionaire who is in need of a cook for a party. Since this is a romance story, of course there is chemistry between them and they start seeing each other. I don't want to give away the ending, but we all know that romance novels end happily ever after.

I'm not a wine connoisseur so I had to do a lot of research to write the scene where they go to an expensive restaurant and order wine. I had to figure out what wine would go with the type of food they ordered for their meal. I have to admit, it was so much fun reading and learning about the different types of wines. Not letting that research go to waste with just one story, in the mystery novel I am writing, I have the main male character going to dinner with a woman who is a connoisseur.

The best place I found for that research wasn't on the Internet. It was in my new Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, which had a chart in it defining the different types of wines.

One of the more interesting things I also learned about wine is that different wines should be served in different style glasses. For instance, the glass in the picture above is not the correct glass for the white wine. It is the perfect glass for the red wine and burgundy wines. White wines are served in a similar style glass, but a bit smaller. Who knew?

Sparkling wines and champagne should be served in a long stem flute glass, like the champagne cocktail shown on the left. The first wine I started drinking was a sparkling wine, Spumante. This can be very dry to sweet and fruity. The one I liked had a fruity taste. I've never like champagne, which I find too tart.

One thing that I was amazed to find out is that sherry is a type of wine. Remember watching the television show, Frazier? He was always drinking sherry with his brother. Dry sherry is considered an appetizer wine and served cold, or it can be sweet and served at room temperature after a meal, like on Frazier. On that show, they usually drank it from a very small sized glass, but according to my research from the Wine Glass Guide web page, it should be served in a glass similar to the red wine glass, but shorter. I'm anxious to try sweet sherry, but haven't been to a store where they have any yet.

So, there is my short lesson on wines. Oh, my favorite wine? My favorite is French Lick Red from the French Lick Winery near me in Indiana. I think I'll go have a glass right now.



  1. Something to be aware of - wine information changes every now and again. I heard somewhere that wine pairing information is changing but I can't remember where I heard that. Champagne glasses have changed over the years - there was a time when they were flat and open (like saucers) because it was believed that champagne should breath but now it's believed that you should preserve the bubbles which is why the glasses are now thin and deep.

  2. My mom still has some of those flat and open champagne glasses. Now I know why they aren't like that anymore. Thanks, Sara.