It is a fact of life, if one wishes to dine at an uppity restaurant, wine is on the order; upon arrival, the waiter will hand you the often dreaded wine menu. Everyone knows that white wines go with fish and light foods while reds go with meat and pasta, but any upscale restaurant will have at least ten selections of each, leaving most people guessing. One path of action is to blindly ask the waiter what goes with the meal, but this node isn't about that... so let's get to it:


Varies from region to region, but the following three are key years:
  • 1967 (French Wines)
  • 1995 (for Italian wines)
  • 1997 (Record year everywhere)

Remarkable Vineyards

  • Bouchard Pere & Fils
  • Louis Latour
  • Lolonis
  • Haywood


  • Yalumba

New Zealand

  • Te Mata


  • Sportoletti
  • Arnaldo Caprai


Tastes vary, of course, so you might be better off asking for a recommendation after describing what you want.

  • Dryness denotes the sweetness of the wine, which can be a result of many things. For example, in the minute qualities present in wine, alcohol has a sweet taste; the fruit extract in Australian wines and Chardonnay also has a sweet taste to it. Dryness is directly linked to higher levels of tannin and acidity, which occurs with longer aging times.
  • Intensity Wines, like all other foods and beverages, can range in intensity from terribly boring to overpowering. A wine should complement the food it accompanies, unless it is drunken on its own.
  • The Body of the wine is nothing more than its consistancy. This is credited to alcohol and dissolved grape abstract, older wines have more.
    The legs of the wine indicate the amount of body present. To see this phenomenon, take the glass in your hand and apply a slight wrist turning, which will cause the wine to rise on the sides and turn in a circular manner. Stop twisting it, and watch the wine run down the sides. You should see small lines forming where the wine is running down, the smaller the lines, the better the wine - as a rule of thumb, white wines will form legs more readily than reds. Thickness of the legs indicate the amount of body a wine has. If there are no legs, it is most likely a sibling of Perth Pink.

  • Tartness is a result of Acidity, which originally is determined by the grapes used. Many processes, however, modulate acidity to their preferences.
  • Complexity When I failed to find words to describe this, Peter Granoff said that wines are like music - "some are a one-note melody, some a three-piece jazz combo and some a symphony." The more you can taste the individiual factors in the wine, the more complexity it has. The downside is usually the price.
  • Tannin gives wine its bitter flavor, especially if the wine in question is red. At extremes it can be mouth-drying, to any degree it is a critical component of any red wine. FYI, it originates from the grapes skins and seeds as well as the barrel's wood.
  • Wine derives much of it's character from oak, as in the component of the barrel it is stored in. Hard to describe, the actual flavor (burnt, creamy, cinnamon) originates from the wooden boards. This is neccessary, but should not overpower the rest of the factors.
  • Oh, and guys - Always pour the wine for thelady.

    What I did not know, I shamefully drew from and

    ...will pour a taste of the wine for the person who ordered it
    Not for this thing to go off on such a tangent, but I was basing this on the chauvenist assumption that it was the man who ordered the wine - nothing too far fetched, I believe, if there is only one bottle being shared.

    A note on the tasting of wine
    I don't think I implied that anywhere, seemed too obvious. - thank you for adding it though.