Military Spouse Magazine

FEB 2019

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GIVE IT A TRY? Wine has come a long way since poisoned sweeteners and the failed fermenting at- tempts of the 1560s. Whether you are a newbie to the wine world or a seasoned pro there is an amazing assortment of wines on the market for every taste and price range. One of the biggest things to remember is to not be afraid to experiment either by delv- ing into the wine world by taking your first sip or imbibing in unfamiliar varietals. If you are just starting your wine journey, the staff at your local wine bar, wine shop or winery tasting room can assist you in finding the perfect wine for you. There are even net- work marketing companies that will do in-home tastings. If you are in a bar or restaurant, don' be afraid to ask for a sample pour before ordering a glass of wine. Many places will be happy to give you a small sip if they have an open bottle. If it turns out not to be a wine you like, then at least you have a starting point as to whether you need to lean sweeter or drier. Faith Cooper co-owns Partners in Wine, a wine bar located in Walhalla, South Carolina. She is a major in the Air Force Reserve, while her husband serves as a major in the Army Reserve. Learn more about their bar at facebook.com/PartnersinWineWalhalla. START HERE As the owner of a wine bar, there are a couple questions I ask when trying to find the right wine for someone. First is whether or not the customer drinks coffee and, if so, if she drinks it black or with lots of cream and sugar. People who appreciate and can withstand the bitterness of black coffee tend to have fewer taste buds. Because of this, they are more apt to enjoy and like a big, bold tannic red. Tannins are the naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems that give a wine that dry feeling. Those who prefer coffee with lots of creamers and sugars usually are trying to mask its bitter- ness. These drinkers tend to have more taste buds and therefore may prefer a sweeter wine as not to overload their sensitive tongue. This is obviously not an exact method but may work to help the wine newbie get started. Another tip is to veer out of your comfort zone and try something new. Many wine drinkers get stuck in the chardonnay or cabernet rut but there are so many varieties you may be miss- ing out on. If cab is your thing, why not try rioja or a cabernet franc. If chard tends to be your go-to wine, a viognier or viura may also be right up your alley. Don't forget the blends either! Blends, those wines made of more than one grape varietal, often get a bad rap. But combin- ing grapes to bring out the best in each varietal makes for some delicious and complex and uniquely flavored wines. Don't feel you need to follow old school wine traditions. If having a glass of white wine with your cheeseburger makes you happy, go for it! Vice versa if you want to indulge in a big red with your fish dish. Another myth to shatter is that price point determines how good a wine is. Whether the bottle costs $100 or $10 does not matter as long as you enjoy drinking it. While it may be nice to splurge on an expensive bottle for special occasions, there are many wines at various price points that will provide similar flavors but are priced for everyday drinking. Whether you are making it through a deployment, celebrating a promotion, getting together with friends or just want a relaxing drink with dinner, there are many exciting wine varietals at numer- ous price points for you to enjoy. Don't be afraid to try something new! H FEBRUARY 2019 / MILITARYSPOUSE.COM 27

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