WINE, DINE & 69

photo: Noah Abrams

Wine is without a doubt the sexiest of all drinks. It ages better than most humans and is good for your heart.  The variety of flavors, aromas and textures titillate your senses in oh so many special ways. With wine comes wisdom. It never hurts to talk a good wine game.  You can’t deny that the aroma can be tantalizing and the taste seductive.  Don’t be surprised if you get the yearning to fuck the glass.

HARD AND FAST RULES OF WINE PAIRING

Balance food and wine
Strong food flavors = strong wine; delicate food flavors = delicate wine.

Match regionally
Italian food = Italian wine; French food = French wine.

Drink from the right glass
There’s a reason for specific red, white and champagne glasses.
You can find these on the cheap.

What pours out of a bottle is affected by countless factors.  Give Vintners some props.  There’s a reason why exceptional bottles fetch well over $1000.  Each bottle of wine is unique reflecting where it was grown, the fermentation process, whether it was oaked (flavor of wood barrels absorbed into wine), tannin content (astringent compounds that make you pucker), seasonal glitches, and the vintner’s personality. Some wines are purely one grape, others are blends, some are marketed purely by the cache of the region they were grown: Bordeaux, Chablis, Napa Valley. All fart-sniffing aside, below are the major wines genres you’ll need in your CTB arsenal:

RED WINES

Cabernet Sauvignon
Aroma:
Pungent with hints of black currant & grass that punches you in the nose.
Flavor:
Full-bodied (strong flavor, high in alcohol) w/ herbaceous flavors like bell peppers, mint & eucalyptus.  It’s not for pantywaist wimps desperate to look classy.
Grape:
Small black with thick, durable skins, high in tannins.
Region:
Everywhere: Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Australia, your mom’s backyard.
Pairing:
Overwhelms delicate/spicy dishes. Stick to meats, burgers, pasta w/ red sauce, and the wooly mammoth you killed with your bare hands.

Merlot
Aroma:
Light and fruity with hints of berry, plum and currant. Don’t you feel pretty now?
Flavor:
Soft, fruity and smooth with less tannins easy for wine-drinking amateurs to enjoy.  Just don’t tell the guys from Sideways.
Grape:
Large, soft-skinned, dark blue in loose bunches with less tannins.
Region:
Mostly France, also: Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Chile, Argentina, Australia.
Pairing:
Similar to Cabernet.  Pair w/ grilled meats, seafood, greens, mushrooms and pasta behind closed doors where wine snobs can’t mock your petty existence.

Pinot Noir
Aroma:
Broad bouquet (scent) with hint of fruit.  Smells like half your paycheck.
Flavor:
Delicate, fresh, and voluptuous AKA romantic.  The pretentious wino’s preferred poison.
Grape:
Dark red clustered together in bunches like pinecones.
Region:
Challenging to grow. Grown in cooler regions: Burgundy, Sonoma, Willamette, your ex’s heart.
Pairing:
Salmon, chicken, lamb, salad, duck, heavy cream sauces & smug fart-sniffing.

Syrah/Shiraz
Aroma:
Depends on aging, from violets, berries, chocolate & black pepper
Flavor:
Intense and full-bodied when young, savory & earthy when aged. Like a hottie that gets her hair cropped short  and starts wearing Mom jeans once cruel Old Man Time busts his nut on her
Grape:
  Dark-skinned, grown with massive tannin content in clusters
Region:
Warmer regions in Australia and France, also US, Argentina, Chili, South Africa
Pairing:
Pairs best with peppered meats: beef, game, stews, sausages, and BBQ. You can always use the bottle to club the animal you plan to eat.

WHITE WINES

Champagne
Aroma:
Delicate floral scents like you’re at a wedding, possibly your own.
Flavor:
Bubbly, crisp & sweet from sugar added to create carbonation. Drunk by wealthy industrialists and hip hop moguls in St. Tropez.
Grape:
Made with blend of chardonnay, pinot noir & pinot meunier grapes
Region:
Technically only Champagne region of France, but “sparkling wines” abound.
Pairing:
Oysters, fish, shellfish, appetizers/starters.  Also mixes well with cocaine on yachts.

Chardonnay
Aroma:
Subtle scent that doesn’t overwhelm your nostrils, but reeks of the suburbs.
Flavor:
Wider-body with citrus flavors. Commonly enjoyed by housewives zonked on Xanax.
Grape:
Malleable green skin that takes on flavors from the oak and soil.
Region:
Most planted grape worldwide.  Thrives in France and California regions.  Chances are one of your snooty neighbors has a mini-vineyard.
Pairing:
Wide array: poultry, pork, seafood, cream sauces, cheese, garlic, and extra-marital affairs.

Riesling
Aroma:
Flowery, perfumed scent with hints of fruit like apples, honey & green grass like a ballerina gracefully tickling your nostrils and balls.
Flavor:
Dry, semi-sweet, tart, fresh, crisp taste due to acidity & lighter than Chardonnay.  Drunk before hardcore German porn shoots, especially shiza films.
Grape:
Delicate white and takes on characteristic of region where they are grown.
Region:
Colder regions, mostly Germany, also Austria, France, Austria, Italy, Australia.
Pairing:
Versatile: fish, pork, chicken, grilled seafood, spicy food, Asian cuisine and German girls/guys.

Sauvignon Blanc
Aroma:
Evokes powerful scents like grapefruit, bell pepper and fresh grass.  Smells like sexy elitism to me, like a porno filmed in the Harvard library.
Flavor:
Crisp, dry & refreshing ranging from tropical sweet to grassy.  Enjoyed by those who enjoy ordering it just because it sounds so goddamn classy.  Ooh la la!
Grape:
Green skin that buds late, but ripens early. Doesn’t age well, like summer sun sluts.
Region:
Cool climates like Pinots: France, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, California
Pairing:
Seafood, poultry, salads, cheese, the only wine that compliments sushi.  Also pairs well with trust fund tramps…so long as they pay for the bottle.

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