Red wine is a staple in many homes and with good reason. The versatile nature makes it ideal for several settings other than the dinner table. If you’re wondering how to go about selecting the right red wine, Nicholas Kyriacopoulos has some advice that will help you. Follow these tips and you’re sure to find something ideal for your use.
The Intended Purpose for the Wine
One of the questions that people ask Nicholas Kyriacopoulos has to do with the intended purpose of the wine. Do you plan on using it for cooking or for drinking? Not everyone realizes there is a difference.
As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos explains, cooking wine tends to be ideal for adding flavor to the dish you’re preparing. Typically, the wine will not have as pronounced a taste like something you would drink. Instead, the effect is more subtle and is designed to mingle with the flavors of the other ingredients.
By contrast, red wine intended for drinking has more body and flavor. It doesn’t have to compete with the flavors of other ingredients. The result is a wine that’s more tasteful than the counterparts intended for cooking.
You’ll see enthusiasts like Nicholas Kyriacopoulos lift the glass of wine upward and enjoy a gentle whiff. Why is that? It’s to get an idea of the aroma that the wine emits.
Why does this matter? The aroma or bouquet helps to prepare your brain for what the taste buds will experience. If you like the bouquet, the taste is likely to be appealing. You can also tell something about the grape variety and even the fermentation process by enjoying a gentle whiff.
It’s no secret that red wines don’t taste the same. Some of them have a fuller body that’s somewhat dryer and ideal for pairing with certain foods. For example, something with a dryer taste would pair nicely with stews, steaks, and foods that are usually not sweet. By contrast wines with a slightly sweeter taste would do well with pasta, chicken, salmon, and some types of chocolates.
This is another area where you want to consider when the wine will be served. If it’s going to be part of an afternoon event with cheese and light chocolates, go with something that has a slightly sweet taste. For meals, something with a dryer and lusher taste is what someone like Nicholas Kyriacopoulos would recommend.
Tannins and the Exposure Time
What is it that helps determine the body, flavor, and taste? One of the key factors has to do with the tannins and how much exposure is involved. There are a few things that wine lovers like Nicholas Kyriacopoulos have learned over time. They will help you too.
Tannins are found in many parts of the grape and the vine. Skins, seeds, and stems are all sources. With some wines, the fluid is left in contact with the tannins for longer periods. When this happens, the taste is less sweet and may have a slightly pungent or even a slightly bitter taste. Finding out more about the tannin exposure will help you focus on wines that are likely to have the taste that you’re seeking. Like Nicholas Kyriacopoulos, you may discover a wine that would be overlooked otherwise.
The Region and Climate
Knowing a bit about the region where the grapes are grown, including the climate, can provide valuable clues regarding what to expect. As red wine enthusiasts like Nicholas Kyriacopoulos will point out, there are specific places in the world where the cultivation of certain types of grapes results in superior wines. It’s good to know what constitutes the perfect setting for the type of red wine you want.
Keep in mind that the location doesn’t necessarily have to be known for producing large quantities of wine. You can indeed find excellent red wines that hail from different areas of France or Italy. What you may not know is that lesser-known locations can also produce excellent vintages. For example, you may find Nicholas Kyriacopoulos recommending something that hails from Chile or even a California winery.
Reviews by Wine Connoisseurs
When considering your options, it never hurts to check online and find reviews shared by wine connoisseurs. As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos, this is often a good way to get opinions from those who know what to look for and can provide ideas about what to expect.
Don’t be surprised if you come across conflicting reviews for the same wine and vintage. Preferences do vary among experts. Pay attention to what each one has to say, and contrast the differences. An area where two or more disagree may motivate you to try the wine and see what you think.
One last bit of advice offered by Nicholas Kyriacopoulos has to do with your instincts and the reaction that the wines you try invoke. Remember that the ideal red wine will be the one that meets or exceeds your expectations and becomes one that you turn to frequently. While advice from others is always welcome and often helpful, it’s your preferences that determine the final choice. Settle into your favorite chair, enjoy your wine, and make the most of your evening.