24 Jan
With all the new restaurants and lounges popping up in Las Vegas, one of the requirements is a vast knowledge of wine. My roommate interviewed for a bartender job and came home frustrated after she was asked to name the three types of grapes Champagne was made from. Another friend of mine was offered a job bartending after she was told she needed a crash course on wine and they gave a huge book to study from. Then there are the people that claim they don’t like wine, but those are the same people that keep red wine in the fridge, or have probably never even tried it. I will admit I am far from a sommelier, but I thought I would the basics of wine that even the guys from Sideways can appreciate. That way when you go to La Cave this Tuesday for the Sexiest Server’s champagne reception, you can order with confidence and sip with the sophisticated. 
Wine is measured off of level of sweetness to dry and type of body. In referring to the “body,” if you have ever seen someone swirl a glass of wine to enhance the aroma, the amount of “drip” from the wine is the body. Best comparison would refer to a glass of milk. Think about when you’re drinking milk and when you bring the glass down the milk, there is a coating left on the glass. If it is whole milk the coating will be more apparent, and going to skim milk the coating will be extremely less. The fuller the body, the higher the alcohol content, but just remember we are trying to keep it classy.
Let’s start with white wine from sweet to dry, light to full, would start with Riesling, Pinot Grigio,Sauvignon Blanc, then Chardonnay. In terms of Riesling, depending where it comes from, it can be extremely sweet especially if it comes from Germany and pairs well with salads. Pinot Grigio is usually consider an Italian wine and can vary in sweetness but pairs well with Salmon and seafood. Sauvignon Blanc tends to have a citrus flavor and pairs well with cheese, poultry, and seafood. Chardonnay is the heaviest and driest of whites. Consider it having a “buttery” taste from the oak wood and the flavor will be enhanced with cheese and chicken. 
Going to reds, it starts with Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet, and Zinfandel. Reds usually come in a bigger glass for swirling power and allowing the wine to breathe. It should be served at room temperature and pairs well with different types of bold cheeses depending on the kind of wine. Red also is best paired with red meat. Reds are known for preventing cancer and Alzheimer’s and is even recommend when you’re pregnant… one glass ladies, not the whole bottle. Reds are certainly an acquired taste and something you might have to ease in to. 
Lastly to touch up on is champagne… yum, my personal favorite. Most may think if you’re drinking the bubbly, it is champagne, but that may not be true. Technically champagne is sparkling wine, but it was produced in the Champagne region of France. Consider the experts in producing the bubbly, sparkling wine originated in Champagne, France by Dom Perignon. Other known brands of champagne are Veuve, Moët & Chandon, Cristal, and Perrier-Jouët. A rosé champagne will tend to be a little sweeter than brut, but make sure you check the brand because that may not always be true. 
By no means will this blog make you an expert in wine, but I hope at least the next time you think about trying it or needing to know the basics you can try what you think you will like. Hope to see you all tomorrow night at La Cave where you can expect to see me with my bubbly in hand.

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