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See also Glasses
Types | Temperature | Food And Wine Affinity

Types:
Red: USA | France | Italy | Australia | S. America | S. Africa | Spain
White: USA | France | Germany | Italy | New Zealand

Common Wines at PLCB Wine and Spirits Stores
USA RED DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Cabernet Sauvignon Medium to full-bodied. Can have great concentration and depth. Tend to be tannic in their youth. Dry Room
(59-64 Degrees)
Merlot Medium to fairly full-bodied. Lighter, softer tannins than cabernets, more accessible when young. Similar aromas and flavors, can be herbaceous. Dry Room
Pinot Noir Generally light to medium-bodied. Known for their elegance rather than power. At their best, aromatic with a touch of spice. Dry Room
Syrah/Shiraz Medium to full-bodied. Can be tannic with earthy, spicy and dark fruit flavors and aromas. Dry Room
Zinfandel A grape almost unique to California. Varies greatly according to winemaker's style...from light to heavy-bodied, from tannic and concentrated to easy drinking and fruity, and from table wines to dessert wines. Dry Room

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FRANCE RED DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Beaujolais Light-bodied. Made from Gamay grapes. Preferred for its fruity aroma and taste. Should be drunk young. Dry Slightly Chilled
(50-55 Degrees)
Bordeaux Medium to full-bodied. Made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. Astringent in youth, can have great complexity and life. Ages well.  Dry Room
Burgundy Made from the Pinot Noir grape. Medium to full-bodied with an aromatic bouquet and earthy flavors. Dry Room
Rhone Some of the most robust of the French wines. Very full-bodied, tannic, intense and fruity. Tend to have a purplish cast when young. Made primarily from Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah blends. Dry Room

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ITALY RED DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Bardolino Dry, pale, light-bodied Veronese reds. A blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Fruity and fresh. Should be drunk young. Dry Room
Barolo Dry, very robust, heavy-bodied and tannic wines that need to be aged in order to soften out. Made from the Nebbiolo grape. One of the greatest of the Italian reds. Dry Room
Chianti Dry medium to full-bodied. Fruity and slightly acidic. Made primarily from the Sangiovese grape. Riserva level receives three years of aging. Dry Room
Lambrusco Dry, light, slightly effervescent, soft and fruity. Semi-dry Room to slightly chilled
Primitivo Italian grape related to American Zinfandel. Medium-bodied with plum flavors. Dry Room
Valpolicella Veronese red. Modern blends employ mostly Corvina and Rondinella. Light and fruity with a slight bitterness. A touch heavier-bodied than Bardolino. Should be consumed young. Dry Room

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AUSTRALIA RED DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Shiraz Light to full-bodied. Often blended with Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Those from Barossa can be very robust and tannic. Dry
Room
S. AMERICA RED
DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Carménère Single varietal wine from Chile. Medium-bodied with pretty red fruit and a sweet spiciness. Dry Room
Malbec Argentina's signature grape. Medium to full-bodied with dark fruit, tobacco and earthy notes. Dry
Room
S. AFRICA RED
DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Pinotage South Africa's signature variety. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Can be light to medium-bodied, and is generally fruity and acidic. Dry
Room to slightly chilled
SPAIN RED
DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Garnacha Medium to full-bodied with wild berry, leather and earth flavors. Dry Room
Tempranillo Medium to full-bodied, these wines can also have a pronounced acidity.  Flavors of black cherries, black berries and tobacco. Dry
Room
USA WHITE
DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Chardonnay This grape produces wine with an apple aroma. Light to medium in body. Often a wine of depth and character. Dry Chilled
(43-50 degrees, slightly warmer for more complex wines.)
Chenin Blanc Light, fruity. Produced in both a dry and semi-dry style. Crisp, clean, and simple. Semi-dry Chilled
Sauvignon Blanc  Slightly grassy aroma. Light to medium body. Usually some degree of complexity. Dry Chilled
Riesling This grape produces distinctive fruity, delicate wines. Peachy or apricot aroma. Late harvest styles tend to have honey-like character. Semi-dry to sweet Chilled
Gewurztraminer Light to medium-bodied with spicy notes and delicate fruit flavors. "Gewrz" means spice in German. Semi-dry to sweet
Chilled
FRANCE WHITE DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Alsace Light to medium-bodied fruit filled whites made from Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Semi-dry to dry Chilled
Bordeaux Light-bodied pleasant and soft. Tend to have a slightly herbal aroma and light flavors. Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle are the allowed grapes. Dry Chilled
Burgundy Chardonnay-based, medium-bodied, complex and longer lived than most whites. Considered by many to be the world's finest whites. Dry Chilled
Champagne Light to medium-bodied sparkling wines made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Dry Chilled
Loire This region covers a variety of light to medium-bodied wines. From very dry Melon and Sauvignon Blanc-based wines to off-dry Chenin Blanc-based wines. Dry to semi-dry Chilled

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GERMANY WHITE DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Mosel Light, flowery, delicate. Among the world's finest when made from the Riesling grape. May have a slight spritz when young. Semi-dry to sweet Chilled
Rhine A touch fuller-bodied, broader and softer than Mosels. Those made from Riesling can have great character and complexity, especially in the late-harvest levels. Semi-dry to sweet Chilled

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ITALY WHITE
DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Frascati Lightest in color and body of all Italian wines. Very delicate, soft and smooth. Produced from Malvasia, Trebbiano and other light grapes. Dry Chilled
Orvieto Produced from Trebbiano, Verdello, Grechetto and Malvasia grapes. Made in two styles: Abboccato(semi-sweet) and Secco(dry). Fruity, light and neutral in aroma. Dry to semi-dry Chilled
Moscato d'Asti Slightly sparkling light-bodied wines featuring soft fruit flavors and aromas. Aperitif or dessert wine.  Semi-dry Chilled
Pinot Grigio Light-bodied with floral aromas. Fruity, yet dry with a crisp finish. Produced in many regions. Dry Chilled
Soave Produced from Garganega and Trebbiano grapes. Light fragrance and light in body. Best are labeled "Classico." Semi-dry Chilled
Trebbiano Straw yellow, light-bodied with a faint aroma. Rather neutral taste with a hint of bitter almond. Produced in many regions. Dry
Chilled
NEW ZEALAND WHITE DESCRIPTION TASTE SERVING TEMPERATURE
Sauvignon Blanc Light to medium-bodied, epitomized by tropical fruit flavors and bold, grassy notes. Dry   Chilled

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Ideal Wine Temperatures
Refrigerator Temperature 35°F
Ice Wines, Tokay, Berenauslese, and other dessert wines 43°F
Rose 46°F
Chardonnay, Viognier 50°F
Madeira 55°F
Chianti, Zinfandel 59°F
Cabernet, Red Burgundy, Bordeaux, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Port 63°F
Room Temperature 70°F

FOOD and WINE AFFINITY
Drink the wine you enjoy with the food you enjoy.
Beef         

Barbera, Barolo, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo,  Pinot Noir

Cheese Dishes

Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Riesling... very ripe cheese hides the flavor of wine...serve fine wines with mild cheese

Chicken

Chablis, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Loire, Sauvignon Blanc

Clams

Chablis, Chardonnay

Crab

Chablis, non-vintage Champagne

Duck, Goose

Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Rhone, Ros, Zinfandel

Fish

Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Alsace White

Ham

Ros, Gewurztraminer, Zinfandel, Beaujolais

Hamburger

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chianti, Zinfandel

Lamb

Chianti, Pinot Noir, Rhone, Zinfandel, Tempranillo

Liver

Beaujolais, Merlot, Rhone, Zinfandel

Lobster

Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling

Omelettes

Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Ros

Oysters

Chablis, Chardonnay, Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc 

Pasta with red sauce Barbera, Barolo, Chianti, Zinfandel
Pheasant

Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Rhone

Pizza

Almost everything

Pork

Zinfandel, Chenin Blanc, Alsace White

Quiche

Sauvignon Blanc, or a young Red according to ingredients

Scallops

Chablis, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc 

Shrimp

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer

Turkey

Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Loire, Sauvignon Blanc

Veal

Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Riesling

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 Visit A Matter of Taste to find out more about specific wine regions and grape varietals. 


Wine Serving tips (wine - food pairing) at:
FurlongsLiquor.com and Quarterly Review of Wines (QRW.com)

BestWineSites.com

Wine Ratings:
Wine Spectator
Classic Wines
Top 100 Wine sites

Links:
See also Wine Glasses
Wine, Wine Gifts | Wine.com
www.wine-searcher.com
Wine Spectator
eRobertParker.com: A Glossary of Wine Terms
vinology.com: Wine Phrase Glossary and Definitions
The Elements of Wine Tasting | WineCare.com
Wine 101: A Sensory User's Manual

last updated 25 Jan 2009