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Wine Klutz Recovery

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Wine Klutz Recovery

You’ve invited friends and family to a special "do" at your place. The menu is planned, the table is set.

You’ve invited friends and family to a special “do” at your place. The menu is planned, the table is set.

Now you need to select the wines. Fear grips you as you walk down the wine aisles, and feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and escalating anxiety ensue. Temporary paralysis stemming from acute indecision sets in. So many bottles, so many choices.

Got SWSAD?

Do you suffer from Seasonal Wine Selection Anxiety Disorder (SWSAD)? A common condition afflicting many wine shoppers preparing for a special feast, SWSAD onset symptoms inevitably coincide with entering wine stores. If left untreated, SWSAD can develop into full blown Wine Klutz (WK).

Don’t be ashamed. I, too, was once afflicted and I know how you feel. I’m still not a wine connoisseur, but I am an enthusiastic, dedicated, and responsible wine drinker, and I’ve found many types of dinner wines I can serve with confidence.

In general, wine experts say that lighter flavoured meals “pair well” with white wines while red wines tend to compliment heartier, more intensely flavoured meals. That may well be. But my mouth says there’s nothing like the cooling effect of a sip of chilled Pinot Gris when I am heat challenged by a curry or extra hot salsa.

The colourful language used by wine aficionados to describe the taste, smell, and look of wines is entertaining in itself. Here’s how Canadian food and wine reviewer, Anthony Gismondi describes my favourite Shiraz:

“Lots of dark red mousse with spicy, black cherry jam, black pepper, meaty, floral aromas. Creamy, round, black cherry, black pepper, coffee, licorice flavours. Some sweetness and alcohol on the finish but well balanced. Roast turkey is a great match or simply chill down and party on.”

I just know I love it and so does everyone else. Cheers!

Lucretia’s Four Dinner Wine Picks

  • Pinot Gris, a fresh and fruity white wine from Sandhill Vineyard in Kelowna, BC $16
  • Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp, dry white from Santa Rita, Chile $15
  • Bin 555 Shiraz, a rich, plummy red wine from Wyndham Estate in Australia $17
  • Tinto Nuviana, a low-cost blend of three red wine varieties from Spain; great for making hot mulled wine. $9

Wine Serving Tips for Beginners

  • Serve white wines chilled. Refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.
  • Serve red wines at room temperature (about 65°F/ 18.3°C).
  • Fill wine glasses only slightly more than half full.
  • Allow [red] wine to “breathe” in a wine decanter or in the glass for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  • To minimize drips, turn the bottle slightly as you finish pouring each glass.
  • Toast. Raise your glass slightly above shoulder height and say a few sincere words of appreciation.

Spicy Mulled Wine

No matter how klutzy you feel, you’re guaranteed to delight and impress friends and family when you serve this traditional hot wine drink.

750 mL bottle Tito Nuviana
Juice of one orange
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3 whole cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves
Honey to taste

Combine all ingredients in large glass or stainless steel saucepan. Heat over low heat until steaming hot, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Serve in ceramic mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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