Red or white? Fact, tips and things you never knew about wine
Just because you’re not a wine expert doesn’t mean you’re not a wine lover! When I go out for dinner, or even if I’m just meeting friends at a bar for drinks and appetisers, or no food at all, I truly enjoy a nice, smooth glass of wine.
I enjoy drinking both red and white wine, and I love all kinds of grapes and flavours, and wines from all different parts of the US and around the world. All that said, I never remember wine names, I couldn’t tell you by looking at a name on a bottle if the wine is good, and I have no clue as to what wines go with what food, except that whites go with fish and reds go with meat (I think).
So, Your Coffee Break sat down with wine expert, Sean Munoz, Assistant Manager of Chicago’s Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar, who’s been in the wine business for 8 years. Sean educated us quite a bit on wine and gave us some great information and helpful tips!
What are some good wines to drink when eating:
1. Steak? Heavier bodied reds are good with steak. Stick with a Cabernet, a Syrah or a Shiraz.
2. Chicken or poultry? A heavier white like a chardonnay is nice, or a lighter red, like a Pinot Noir or a Rose go well.
3. Fish? White is always your best option with fish and seafood. As a general rule, the lighter the fish, the lighter the wine should be. If you have a heavier salmon with a heavy sauce, you might want to order a light red, like Pinot Noir or Rose. With a more sugary sauce or a fattier or fried preparation, sparkling wine cuts the fat. Try a drier Prosecco. This wine is great with French fries!
If I open up a bottle of wine at home, how long does it stay good for?
Red stays good for 24 hours, maybe a couple of days. Whites last longer, 3-4 days. A great tip is to pour out what you are going to drink from the bottle into a decanter, and then cork the bottle right away. Don’t let the bottle breathe, let the wine in the decanter breathe.
What’s all this talk about sulfites in wine and how they cause hangovers?
People think cheap red wines give you a hangover, but this is a myth. The cheaper the wine, the less sulfites there are in it. Sulfites are preservatives used in winemaking that contain antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Sulfites maintain a wine’s freshness. There is no medical research that confirms that sulfites cause hangovers.
Is it possible to drink lots of wine and not suffer a hangover the next day?
Yes. The key is to keep drinking water in between glasses of wine. My rule of thumb is, if you drink one glass of water for every glass of wine you drink, you won’t wake up feeling lousy.
Fact from Sean:
When choosing a good wine, the land where it’s grown (the location) makes the biggest difference, even more so than the grape.
People drink what they’re in the mood for. Only a quarter of the tables try to pair their meals with wine.
Opinion from Felicia Acton, Server at Flight:
People get really happy and sing a lot and sometimes they dance.
Recommendation from Sean:
Your first drink should be a cocktail like a mixed drink or a martini, and then once you choose what you are going to eat, pick the wine. Order your wine when you order your meal. If drinking wine by the glass (vs. getting a bottle) you can ix your wines with each course. Order white wine with an ahi tuna appetiser and red wine with steak.
Tip from Sean:
Shop for wine at a local wine shop and ask for recommendations because there’s always going to be hidden gems you can find.