Drinking Tips

1.) Best tip I have ever, TRUST YOUR PALATE! You know what you like and what tastes great to you, enjoy it!

2.) There are a gazillion great wines under $20 a bottle, you do not have to spend a fortune to find wines you will enjoy!

3.) If you have the chance stop by your local wine shop on most any Saturday they will have a few wines to taste. Ask questions, what would you pair this with…most wine reps are experts on their specific wines and you will feel empowered.

4.) Take a winery tour. If you have not had the chance, find a place and take a tour and the wine making process will be explained and normally at the end you will sample all the wines they produce. It will get you thinking about how your soon to be favorite beverage is created.

5.) Sometimes an ice cold beer is a better selection than a glass of wine. Example: After I mow the yard and it is the heat of summer, I personally need a frosty beer to cut the heat. Could a cold glass of wine work in this situation? Maybe, but for me beer is a perfect pairing!

6.) Wine is as much of an experience as it is a flavor or taste. If you hear someone discussing a wine they really fell in love with. I would bet my dog, they can tell you where they were, who they were with and all the details surrounding the situation.

7.) Using the terms sweet and dry means something different to each palette, so do not always believe if someone says this is sweet wine, their definition could be very different to you!

8.) I always by new wines in 3’s. 3 bottles of each wine. First bottle I try now. Second bottle, I try in 3-6 months and I keep the third bottle for future. If I decide I liked it all 3 times, then I order a case.

9.) I share lots of cases of wines with others. We each buy a case and then each person gets 3 bottles and 4 of us get to compare notes.

10.) Wine enjoyment is easily achieved alone, but I find the more folks I connect with the wider my palate gets!

11.) Many of the “PRO” wine testers do not rinse their wine glasses with water in between each wine, they rinse with the next wine they are trying. ( I have to admit it makes a big difference, but at large tasting events, I still rinse with some H2O).

12.) Do not wear perfume or cologne to a wine tasting or at least go easy on it’s use.

I will change these tips from time to time…but I’d love to hear some of your thoughts too! I am still learning and love the idea of hearing about your experience.

Pairing Tips


2.) I personally like cheese and wine together, but I prefer “white” cheeses with both red and white wines. The orange colored cheeses are harder to pair for my tastebuds, but like tip 1 says..trust your palette!

3.) I love champagne and or sparkling wines with everything!

4.) Pairing rule I follow: Try to match the “weight” of the food and wines. So, if I grill up a hearty steak, I open a robust red wine like a Cabernet from Napa to match the two.  I pair baked fish like tilapia with a crisp Pinot Grigio.

5.) When pairing you either follow the weight rule of matching the weights of the food and wine (see #4). Or go completely in the opposite direction. Here s the best example I can think of,  order spicy shrimp carry out and buy a bottle of Riesling. The chilled slightly sweet wine will cut the heat of the spicy shrimp and should work beautifully.

6.) I like chocolate with wine. Some folks pass on wine with dessert, not me. I say port and dark chocolate could very well be my last meal!

7.) I stole this tip from the TV show hosted by Andrea Immer Robinson, Pairing with Andrea. (I actually met her last year at the Women for Winesense event in Napa and she is SHARP as a tack). Anyway, if you are going to dinner with a group and everyone is ordering something different and you have no idea how to find a wine that works with everything. Order a bottle of Pinot Noir and /or Riesling. Those are the two most food friendly wines!

8.) If you are not sure what to order and you are dining where they have a Sommelier (French term for wine expert), here is the trick, Ask for his help and then point to the price point of the bottle you would like to stay within. He will then ask a little about your tastes and then he will come back with a bottle in the price range that should be a great match. I have only ever had on Sommelier who really missed the mark. So ask questions to make a beautiful pairing!

9.) If you are not sure what cheese to match with your wines, here is what I do. I always have goat cheese on hand along with Asiago and Brie. I find that each cheese brings out a different profile of the wine. the goat cheese is tangy and sometimes sour and the creaminess of the wine cuts the acid in the cheese. The asiago is a more salty tasting wine to me and the wine normally will tame it. the brie is more subtle and I find it makes the wine seem bolder in the the mouthfeel. (You might not agree with me on this but I have tastings all the time and folks normally migrate to the cheese platter and they tell me how well the pairings worked for them).

10.) Best pairing in the world is hot chocolate and thin mint girls scout cookies. This combination has cured everything from stubbed toe, broken heart or monthly PMS. Men, if you want to really suck up to your ladies, find a girl scout, stock up and you will be a hero….I am fully aware there is no wine mentioned in this pairing.

11.) I love the pairing of raw oysters and Champagne. The briny oysters and the foamy bubbles are a mix of savory, salty, sweet and light textures along with thick textures, this really works for me. If the oysters freak you out, just stick with the Champagne!