Friday, August 16, 2013

The Three P’s of Wine

Photo by André Karwath
by Candice Bizzell
Imagine you are going to a party, you decide to stop off at the local wine shop and pick up a nice bottle for the hostess. Upon entering, you see bottle after bottle of wine, white wine, red wine, something in-between the two, green bottles, black bottles, boxes and bags.
Your eyes grow wide with amazement, but your brain starts to go into overdrive with questions. What kind of wine do you get? What do they like? What are you eating? How much is that bottle with the gold seal? How much wine is there in the world? In a panic, you rush out the door, breathing heavy, and decide that wine is just too elaborate for this party.
In many cases, people will avoid buying wine because they know very little about it. However, wine is not as hard to pick out as most people would believe. All you have to remember when picking out wine are your three P’s: pricing, preference, and pairing.
The price of wine is not the most important aspect of the wine itself. The main factor of the price of wine is the impact it has on your pocket. Whatever the price range is, you can find great wines within it.

The price of wine can range from as low as $3.00 a bottle to as high as $117,000, as was sold in London in 2011. Before going into that beautiful wine store, you should consider two things: how much you want to spend on that bottle you are getting for your friend and the amount of people coming to the party.
These two factors will help you narrow down your choices to something more manageable. If you are having trouble finding a wine that is inexpensive, then do some research. lists many great wines for an inexpensive price. The price may vary in certain locations; however, the list is extensive and includes all different types of wines and a short little review about each wine.
When talking about wine price, one rarely hears “there’s an app for that,” but in today’s society, what do you expect? At, you can download an app that will show you professional reviews, community reviews, label views, and, of course, pricing of the wine you are looking for.
Knowing how many people will possibly be at the party is important. According to Oprah, one bottle of wine fills five to six glasses, and you should figure about three glasses per person. Since you are just buying for your hostess, it is generally a good idea to purchase two bottles. The second bottle can be for backup, or if you like it, take it home. I personally purchase two bottles of wine: one for the hostess and one for me.
Secondly, you should look at preferences. Picking wine for many people can be difficult. Your personal preference can make or break a wine for you. Do you like a light wine, fruity or sweet? Do you want a full-flavored wine or an earthy wine? If you are a first time wine drinker, take your time in choosing a wine. Sample the wine before you purchase it. Most wine stores will open a bottle for you to sample or schedule a wine tasting session with you.
There are four categories of wine that you should remember: red, white, blush and dessert wines.
There are the reds that include wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. They are generally categorized as medium to full body wine. Some of the characteristics accompanied with red wines range from ripe berries to earthy taste.
White wines include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio. The bodies of white wines are generally light; however, Chardonnay is categorized as a full-bodied white wine. Some of the characteristics of white wines vary from a citrusy to oaky in taste.
Blush or rose wines are the middle child of the wine family. According to, rose wines vary by region considerably. In the US, they are considered too sweet. In Europe, they are too dry. They are made from the grapes of red wines so generally they are only labeled blush or rose wine with no particular grape name. The most popular rose wine in the US is the White Zinfandel from California.
Dessert wines are just what you would think when you think of a dessert, sweet and rich. The grapes for dessert wines are picked late in the season to give them a full, sweet, and rich taste. These wines include Vermouth, Marsala, Sherry, Port and Madeira. Because of the richness of the dessert wine, it is served in smaller glasses.
Now that you know a little about the types of wines and what you may prefer, we will move on to lastly, pairing wines with particular foods.
Pairing wine with a meal seems more like a science than art to some people and utterly impossible. According to, wine drunk by itself tastes different than wine with food. However, there are a few basic rules provides that one can remember when trying to pair wine. When serving more than one wine with a meal, serve the lighter wines before the full-bodied wines.  Also, serve the sweet wines before the dry wines, if you are serving a sweet dish in the meal. Lighter wines pair better with light foods, and full-bodied wines with heavy meals, and do not pair dishes that are sweeter than the wine.
When you think of pairing wine as an art and not a science, it is easier to comprehend. At a chart of almost every possible dish has been created and paired with a wine, and vice versa. The best thing to remember according to is, “The best paring occurs when the good wine is paired with good food and good company.”
In the end, picking wine isn’t all that hard. You just have to remember your three P’s. Pick your price range; wine doesn’t have to break the bank. Determine your preference; this will make or break the wine for you. And pairing wines with food carefully; but remember it’s not rocket science.



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