Trying to pick the right wine can be daunting. Besides the variety of wines, there are also brand names and years you are seemingly expected to know as you look through the menu. The combination of unknown words and numbers can lead to a situation that ends with you picking the one that sounds the best on paper only to find that it doesn’t pair well with your food.
There’s no shame in asking the server which wine goes well with the food you’re ordering. People who work in the hospitality industry are trained in this area. In fact, waiters are given special wine training to guide customers about which wine pairs well with some food. It boils down to chemistry, so there’s a reason some wine colours and tastes go perfectly well with meat (red or white), veggies, lamb, etc.
There are a number of considerations when learning about wines. Some of these are
- The colour
- Acidity (Acidity is one of the 4 fundamental traits in wine which includes alcohol, sweetness and tannin). Water typically has a pH of 7. Anything below 7 is acidic. Wines acidity stands between the pH of 3 and 4.
- Structure (which means a combination of the five main components of wine such as fruit, sugar level, alcohol, acidity and tannins)
- Tannin (these are naturally occurring compounds called phenols which are found in the grape’s skin seeds as well as stems), Tannins determines the level of bitterness of the wine.
- Finish (the flavour that lingers in the mouth after the wine is tasted or the persistence of the taste of the wine.)
- Dry or sweet. A wine is dry if one cannot recognise sweetness in the wine. This means that there’s little to no residual sugar left in the wine. You can say that wine is sweet when it retains some of the sugar from the grapes during fermentation.
- Texture (the “mouthfeel” of the wine; how the wine feels when it’s inside your mouth. You can use the words “smooth”, “creamy”, “waxy”, “silky”, “velvety”)
- Alcohol content and tannins
- The smell of the wine (we call it “the nose”)
- Taste of the wine (we often call it “the mouth” or palate)
- Complexity and evolution of taste of the wine after each sip
We’ve chosen 5 of the finest red wines on our “Very Nice Reds” menu that get a thumbs-up from wine connoisseurs. These five very nice red wines will sure to impress your date, no matter what the occasion may be.
Wagner Stempel ‘18
Wagner Stempel’s 2018 red wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. The wine has a deep ruby colour and aromas of blackberry, cassis, and chocolate. The palate is medium-bodied with flavours of dark fruit, spice, and toasted oak. The wine has good acidity and structure, with a long finish.
The wine has notes of minerals, lemon and apple.
Our wine connoisseurs argue that this German Silvaner would be a great match for vegetarian food, poultry, pork, and lean fish. Vegetarians and vegans alike would surely have this on their list.
Des Anges Seraphin ‘16
Des Anges Seraphin is a red wine from the Côteaux du Languedoc region of southern France It is made from a blend of grape varieties such as Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes. Most wines are named after the region where they come from or they are given a made-up name. This is true for countries like Italy, Spain, and France, countries in Europe that are the primary producers of wines in the world.
The wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. In principle, wines taste better with age because of the complex process that happens when the substances such as sugars, acids, and phenolic compounds present in the wine bottle react with one another to create a distinct taste in the mouth.
With an alcohol content level of 15%, you’ll notice that this wine tastes stronger than your average glass of red.
The Des Anges Seraphin has a complex nose of black fruits, spice, and garrigue giving everyone the long-lasting impression that the wine is very aromatic and flavourful. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with some hint of lavender, figs, and dark super ripe cherry, just absolutely packed with flavour. It has soft tannins and a long, satisfying, elegant finish.
Whether you’re looking for a special occasion wine or just something to enjoy on a weeknight, the Des Anges Seraphin is sure to be a great table companion to have.
Aside from plant-based meals, we also love to pair this with lamb and beef.
Dom Charleux, Maranges 1er Cru. ‘16
Dom Charleux, Maranges 1er Cru. ’16 is a very nice red wine that will fascinate every taster. It has a nose of blackberry and spice. The palate is full-bodied and round, with flavours of dark fruits and “cocoa powder”. Others may not taste the same impression yet we can assure you the garrigue characteristic of this wine.
Garrigue refers to the low-growing greenery or vegetation on the hills of the Mediterranean coast. This area is covered with thick forests, woodlands, and a scrub biome which is an ecoregion that is dominated by herbs and grasses. To say that wine gives a “garrigue characteristic” means that it gives a hint of taste and smell to the plants found in that area.
The wine’s finish is long and velvety, with fine tannins. We say “long finish” because the taste lingers for a long time compared to other regular wines. This is a delicious wine to drink and best to take with veal, beef, game (deer venison) and poultry-based meals.
Gavignet-Bellisand, Beaune 1er Cru ‘15
Gavignet-Bellisand is a Beaune 1er Cru from 2015. The nose is very classic red and dark fruits, with earthy notes, and spice. The palate (or mouth) is medium-bodied with good acidity and firm tannins. The red and dark fruits carry through on the palate with additional flavours of earth, cherry, cranberry, coffee, oak, and spice, bramble which makes this super fruity and bold overall.
The finish is long with lingering flavours of red and dark fruits at the nose, earth, coffee, and spice. The mouth has a solid tannin taste and hint of oak. This is a very classic Beaune 1er Cru that will be approachable in its youth but will also age well. Perfect for beef, veal, game, poultry and even vegetarian meals.
Boisset, Gevrey Chamberlain, Les Murots, ‘18
The 2018 Boisset, Gevrey Chamberlain, Les Murots is a very nice red wine with an earthy nose and tongue. It’s more fruity on the nose with an expression of powerful earthy “feel” at the mouth.
This wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that are grown in the Gevrey-Chambertin region of France including Bourgogne (Burgundy), Côte de Nuits, and Gevrey-Chambertin. The grapes for this wine are hand-picked and then fermented in French oak barrels for 12 months.
The wine has a beautiful dark colour and it has aromas of black cherries, strawberries, and spice. The flavour of this wine is very well balanced with nuances of blackberry, cherry, and vanilla. This is a medium-bodied wine with good acidity and firm tannins.
The finish of this wine is long and lingering with flavours of blackberry, spice, and vanilla, oak, and coffee. We love it with plant-based meals, veal, beef, game (deer, venison) and poultry.
If none of these red wines seem like they are right for you, our talented staff at Glas can help you find a red wine that matches your tastes and pairs well with your dish. Our extensive drink menu of very nice reds has something for everybody, no matter how particular their tastes.