Wine in Europe
We’re all familiar with the food and cheese pairing system, each dish has a wine that will bring out the best of it. Weather, too, can easily help us make our wine decision; a hot day encourages a chilled white or rose, while cold weather urges a sweet, full red or port. Is there more to consider when picking a wine off the shelf? Often we feel that there isn’t, and that is because we are often home or in our hometown when we drink wine. Traveling, however, brings the factor of location. As it would with a good meal, the right wine can bring out the best in a location, and the right location can add massively to a wine. In Europe this is especially true. For centuries, vines were bred and blended to produce wines perfect for where they were. The result was a plethora of regional specialties, each specially adapted to its geography. Drinking a wine where it was meant to be drunk adds a layer to the experience as significant as adding the right wine with a good meal. The following are three wines I have found perfect for their time and place.
Rose in Nice
How do you end a hot cloudless day spent on a pebbly beach cliff diving and swimming in water warmer than the Pacific is in Santa Barbara with a group of friends you just met? The combination of a warm August night, a view over Nice and the sea, and a cold bottle of good Rose with great people is hard to beat. I’ll usually be the first one to reach for a cold beer after a hot day, however, the rose was perfect, fresh, and fruity, like drinking the flowers on the walls around me.
Montalcino in Tuscany
Florence is famous for Chianti, but I’m really not a fan of tannins unless I’m eating a lot of hearty food, and gelato doesn’t really help. I had a glass of Montalcino up against some of the best Montepulcianos and Chiantis and loved it. Whenever I have this wine now it tastes like red-tile roofs, lemon gelato, and small family farms on hillsides.
Bordeaux in Paris
Paris is a toss-up. The ultimate gastronomic city, it’s destined and designed for the enjoyment of food and wine, but outside of the few vines still growing in the Montmartre there isn’t any wine native to the city. I found a great deal on a Bordeaux at a dealer in the Latin Quarter and got the chance to enjoy it with friends studying in the city. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience either Bordeaux or Paris, I recommend both, together.
This list could go on for pages, but the message is clear. When you mix some of the best places in the world with great wines meant to be enjoyed right there, the result goes beyond either of them taken on their own.
Chris Michaels is a business development intern at FindTheBest.com , a comparison website designed to be the trusted place where consumers can find reliable information, free from hidden marketing schemes or other clutter, to make faster and more informed decisions.