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The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Nebbiolo

Wine FunBy Mike Thayer

This is the seventh of an ongoing series of wines and food pairings

Wine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

With the whites there's Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Moscato; Pinot Grigio; Riesling; Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Torrontes, Albarino and yes, white wine has it's share of blends as well.

So you walk into the liquor store in need of a bottle of wine for a dinner date or special occasion... 

Sure, you can rely on the store attendant to help you with a selection but that can be hit or miss.  A good attendant will ask you if you prefer wines on the sweeter or dryer side and what you might be pairing it with.  But keep in mind the attendant's palate is different than yours, their sweet and dry preferences are different than yours and they might try to push a particular brand on you that's in the store's best interest, not yours.  So why not walk in the store knowing what you need?  That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

For previous reviews, click on the link below:

Today's featured wine:  Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo grapes are grown in many parts of the world, but the vast majority are grown in Northern Italy.  Nebbiolo wines are also produced in California, Argentina and Australia.  Having high tannins and acidity, it pairs well with fatty, creamy dishes with the acidity cutting through the rich flavors and cleansing the palate.  Like Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo is a food friendly wine and matches up with a number of main dishes and sides.  Look for tasting notes of cherry, raspberry, rose, star anise and tobacco.  This is a medium to full bodied wine that will compliment just about any tomato based pasta dish you can think of, especially a good ragu or bolognese and going Italian is your best bet.   When it comes to a non pasta meat dish, think fattier meats but nothing too gamey, perhaps a slow roasted pork or beef roast.  When it comes to cheeses, don't go too funky. Creamy cheeses like brie and goat are excellent paired with Nebbiolo, as are hard cheeses such as Parmigiana Reggiano or Pecorino.  For you veggie lovers out there, mushroom anything!  Roasted root vegetables are great and you can get away with loading them up with a lot of olive oil and/or butter.  A spicy Asian veggie stir fry is good as well.  For dessert, don't go there.  Nebbiolo is not a good match with anything sweet.  And like other red wines, serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees, refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving but decanter it first, it will benefit from breathing.

Kirkland BaroloBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Kirkland Signature Borolo - $19.99. I know I prefaced this with recommending good wines for $15 or less, but finding a good Nebbiolo for under $20.... Challenging!  What Costco produces with their Kirkland Signature brand hails from Piedmont, Italy, THE place on the planet for the top producers of Nebbiolo.  Here's the description from the bottle:  Rich garnet red in color with notes of vanilla and rose petal on the nose, this full-bodied wine delivers notes of black currant and licorice on the palate. Great for long-term aging.  14% alcohol.

Next Up in the series:  Sangiovese

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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