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A Beginners Guide to Choosing Wine

Updated on April 24, 2014

It Is Your Choice

I enjoy a glass or two of wine when we are sitting back and relaxing. Also wine goes well with a meal. Some say that your choice of wine will match your main dish, for example, chicken or fish call for a white wine while a roast or steak demands a red.

However, you may want to rethink that, while as a general rule it may provide a good starting point for your wine choice, consider the sauce you may be using.

If you are serving BBQ chicken for example, you may prefer a red wine. Balance is the key to choosing the wine to accompany and enhance the meal. You do not want the wine to overpower the food, nor the food to overpower the wine.

You will also want to give thought to the sugar content of the wine and what dessert you will be having. The sweet dessert calls for a sweet wine.

Being a light drinker, I do not have wine often, usually if it is with a meal, it will be a special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday or when we have one of our rare dinner parties.

When it comes to having a few drinks with friends, wine is frequently my drink of choice and I tend to order or bring a dry red wine. It is not simply that I prefer a red wine such as a Pinot Noir or Merlot.

Over the years I have tried a number of wines, both red and white, and while I do enjoy a properly chilled white wine such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, my choice in wines is influenced by the setting.

By this I mean, at home I will, now and then have a glass or two of a white, just because I like to have some variety in my choices. However, at a public event, say a wine and cheese, I will usually have a red.

Why, well simply put, the white may be slightly warm and the taste is not quite right but the red, while, often enhanced by a slight chilling 10-15 minutes, will be more enjoyable warm than the white.

In a good restaurant, it is usually a safe bet to select either white or read depending upon your meal. If in doubt about what wine to order when dining out, do not be afraid to ask, as asking questions is one way we learn.

On the other hand do not be intimidated, it is your dining and drinking experience so order or buy what you enjoy.


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    I agree if you like it, it is a good wine for you, thanks for dropping by.

  • Marie Dwivkidz profile image

    Marie Dwivkidz 

    9 years ago from UK

    Good point about choosing red at a public function, never thought of that before - it is much more forgiving if it has been sitting around waiting for guests.

    I enjoy trying different wines, although I am no expert. Being based in the UK we travel to France a great deal, and people seem to be very scared of wine snobbery and making mistakes. In reality if you like it, it is a good wine for you. Trying lots of different wines from different regions is a good way to start distinguishing different tastes and flavours.

    I enjoyed this hub.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    There are studies that show a glass or two of red wine are beneficial. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


    9 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

    Great hub! I have understood that drinking a red wine may actually be good for you in moderation. I do not know how true this actually is, but comes from what I have read.

    If I drink wine at all, I prefer the sweeter varieties.

    Enjoyed this!!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    That is basically how I first started to get to know wine was watching what others purchased. Thanks for dropping by.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 

    9 years ago from Wisconsin

    Good tips. I usually only drink wine and then very rarely. I've never chosen my own because I am so inexperienced. I usually let my mother-in-law who knows a lot more choose when we go out.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for dropping by.

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 

    9 years ago from Philippines

    What an informative hub!

    I'm no wine drinker really, but I appreciate it when we celebrate special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and New Year.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • myawn profile image


    9 years ago from Florida

    I like red wine when any food cheese,fishor meat.Nice hub on wines Thanks!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Enjoy, thanks for dropping by.

  • LVM profile image


    9 years ago

    Whether it's fish or meat, I'll go for red wine!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • Storytellersrus profile image


    9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    Bob, I love wine! I agree with your comment, buy what you enjoy. There is so much wine snobbery. But I did surprise myself one Thanksgiving by serving Gewurztraminer with the turkey. It was an AMAZING coupling! Thanks again. Yum.


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