Fine Wines

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Understanding fine wines is part of any true gentleman's education. You needn't be able to distinguish various types of terroir of a given region, but you should know enough to chill your whites and serve your reds at just about room temperature. Is an excursion to Bordeaux or Alsace called for? Not really. You may, however, want to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the best of the Napa crop.

Fine wines can be pricey, which is another good reason to get yourself educated about them. Nobody's expecting you to drop several grand on a Chateaux Lafite, but you ought to know when you're being scammed by a restaurant that's heavyhanded on the markup. Paying 15 or 20 bucks on a glass of Beringer or Mondavi is a telltale sign that you're carousing around an expensive part of town on a weekend, not that you have an eye (and a tongue) for fine wines.

Standards of Fine Wines

For a lot of people, Ernest and Julio Gallo set the standard for fine wines. If you regularly find yourself at the receiving end of a bottle of Boone's, this may describe you. For the slightly more worldly, an exploration of fine wines may mean a geography lesson that touches on several continents including Australia, Europe, and South America.

Most of all, it's worth acquainting yourself with fine wines from around the world in order to expand your cooking options. If you're in the dating game and don't cook, here's some good hard-headed advice: start now. An appreciation of gourmet food is not only a great way to start learning about leading vintners and regions, it's also an occasion to flash mad knowledge (but subtly!) in one-on-one situations.

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