When referring to essential wines for everyday it is like having a ‘Little Black Dress’ for women or a pair of favourite faded jeans for men; wines that you can rely on for any occasion. It is important to always have bottles of your favourite wines to hand so you don’t have to make last minute decisions. In order to choose your selection I suggest you follow these simple steps:
Choose wines that can go with a wide selection of dishes. You will be surprised how versatile many of your favourite wines can be for many situations.
Think of styles of wine that are suitable for different groups of friends.
When preparing a lunch or dinner, think of the wine as one of the essential ingredients, don’t leave it to the last minute.
You probably already have 3 or 4 wines in mind but here are a few more ideas that I hope will broaden your range of essential wines for everyday.
Imagine a fairly typical situation. The fridge is empty a friend drops by. your are feeling peckish so you order in a pizza. The right glass of wine can make a very simple plate a bit more special. Try a Nero d’Avola from the south of Italy, such as Manrarossa from Sicily. This wine is medium bodied with good concentration of ripe fruit to make it an idea wine for many dishes.
If instead you go down to route of making hamburgers, a good choice of wine would be a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, such as Luis Felipe Edwards Cabernet Sauvignon Classic. A succulent hamburger with this very easy to drink red makes a delicious combination.
Another quick, tasty option is a cold platter of meats and cheeses. With different textures, aromas and flavours it can be a little trickier to combine so you will need a wine that has body and natural acidity to combine with the food. Try a Malbec from Argentina, such as from Bodega Humberto Canales in Patagonia, a superb wine with the depth, ripeness of fruit, fresh acidity and character to enhance the flavours of the cold platter.
Do you like spicy food? Dishes of this nature require wines that will not be overwhelmed by the dish and that will enrich the spicy flavours. Personally, I love Indian food and if I make a chicken curry I tend to have a bottle of Riesling to hand, such as a Mad Fish from western Australia or a Gewürztraminer from Alsace. The natural touch of sweet fruit, crisp acidity and slight oiliness of the wine combines perfectly with the spices. Try it and let me know what you think.
A classic Spanish dish is lamb chops, grilled until crisp at the edge but tender and juicy inside. A wonderful wine to combine this dish is Pinot Noir, particularly from New Zealand, for example Yealand’s Estate, or a good Rioja, one of my favourites being Artadi. These wines are very different in style but both make the perfect marriage with lamb.
So there you have it, a few ideas to help you choose your essential wines for everyday.