Don’t save a great bottle for anything more than a rainy day. One of the great fallacies of wine is that waiting makes it better. No doubt, there are many wines that get drunk too young, and patience can be a virtue when it comes to the most important wines. But even most top wines today can be enjoyed relatively young.
3 Types of Sparkling Wines
Different sparkling winemaking techniques emerged thanks to technology and popularity at their respective times in history. Each offers up a unique style of tasting adventure. Traditional Method, so named because it became the norm; Pétillant Naturel, often shortened to “Pét-Nat”; And Tank Method, sometimes called “Charmat Method” which originated in France and Italy.
The Traditional Method – the Rise of Champagne
As we approach turkey day a week from today, I am sharing my thoughts about wine and food for arguably the biggest feast of the year. Hopefully at this point you have a plan of what you’re doing and preparing, but have you thought about what wine you will be serving and with what foods. Most of us are headed to our family’s house with instructions on what to bring (or not) or hosting the festivities. Maybe you’re in charge of the wine allotment. I’m sure there are mixed emotions of excitement to gather, but also a sense of feeling overwhelmed.
I introduce or re-introduce to you two distinct wine styles that are not well known or understood: Pétillant naturel, or Pét-nat, and Piquette. Pétillant naturel, or pét-nat, is becoming a popular new style for domestic wine production. Pét-nat, or Méthode Ancestrale, is a method of sparkling wine production used all over the world.
Don’t try to pair just flavors of food with wine all the time. Nice rhyme there. The best pairings can come from many other factors. Think about the acidity, spice, texture, weight, and dryness/sweetness (sugar)/fruitiness. Remember sugar in wine can help cut through and balance spice and acidity in food. Try a semi-dry/off-dry Rieslings, semi-dry Gewurztraminers, and Moscato with Thai food or other spicy Asian cuisine or high acid bubbly with, believe it or not, pizza. And traditional Champers and rose bubbly has enough structure and tannin (from grape skins) to stand up to fatty steak.
How do you buy wine when you don’t know what it tastes like? A lot of folks rely on reading wine descriptions to get an idea of what a wine will taste like. What do they actually mean? If you are relatively new to wine, it is quite helpful to know what to expect from a bottle, which is why some retailers highlight this in the name, although mainly at the cheaper end of the price spectrum.