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Tasting Wine with Food

Wine and food are meant to go together. The taste and acidity of each influences the other. So when you’re visiting a winery and tasting several wines, how do you know what that wine will really be like at home? Most wineries have some type of cracker available on the tasting bar. Visitors may find everything from oyster crackers to whole grain crackers. Crackers do help to neutralize the nuances of the wines but don’t help with pairings. However, if you have a good imagination, try to think of a food such as a sizzling steak off a hot grill and taste a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. That will help in the tasting. 

The best idea we have seen at a few wineries, is where a small plate of different bite-size pieces of food are available. As you taste a wine, you can experiment with the foods to decide which wine goes best with which type of food. When you’re with a small group it’s fun to discuss the influence of the wines with the foods. Some of our best experiences with this concept have been at Vintage Ridge, VA, McGregor Vineyards, NY,  Duck Pond Cellars, OR, and Quintessa, CA. Wineries who have the food option generally charge a small tasting fee, but I believe it is worth it.


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