When you are planning to go on the dinner of your dreams, you are going to appear a lot more suave and sophisticated if you understand a bit about which wines you should be ordering. Should you rely on reading the descriptions at a wine list, remember the basic rule that the tastes of this wine should intensify with every program.
The perfect wine to accompany the first course should be a light, sparkling white which is on the soft or sweet side with a high acidity that’s supposed to awaken your taste buds. However, in case you truly want to impress your date, there is nothing better than calling for a flexible champagne brut. Manufactured by traditional methods near Reims in north eastern France, this hot bubbly treat includes a sweet cheese rind or buttery flavour combined with infused tones of toasted biscuit which will complement any smoked salmon, mackerel or vegetable dish to perfection. A classic variety has an even greater acidity level and underlying hints of orange zest. A more affordable alternative is a deliciously fruity, sparkling prosecco in the Veneto region of Italy.
For the main course, a secure solution is to select a red wine that is medium to full bodied in strength. You could decide on a reddish cotes du rhone or a traditional burgundy produced from the pinot noir grape that’s been cultivated for centuries. But to bring a little creativity to your choice attempt a reddish barolo, one of Italy’s most treasured wines. Traditionally cultivated on the cool hillsides of Piedmont in northern Italy, the nebbiolo grape creates a distinctively flavoured wine which has traces of blossom mingled with the romantic scent of roses. It’s a perfect, versatile accompaniment to all types of dishes such as beef, chicken, turkey, pork or a vegetarian mushroom risotto and is aged in wood casks for about three decades. For a much more striking full bodied taste that you will remember long after the dinner’s over, is your classic reserva barolo wine that’s especially matured in wood for a minimum of five years to intensify the rounded, mellow tones.
The dessert course is often a rich, sweet chocolate or creamy creation that requires a fortified wine to match. An Italian vin santo or madeira are equally perfect options but to get an intense flavour, a conventional port is difficult to beat. Born in the Duoro Valley in Portugal for over a million years, port was a mainstay of English civilization as the Fourteenth Century. Port has a profound richness with flavours of raspberry, blackberry and a hint of caramel and cinnamon. Traditionally served in little three oz measures with a choice of cheeses, it’s the best way to complete a memorable dinner date.