Buy Fine Wines

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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When I was in college, my best friend and I fancied ourselves quite the sophisticates. We'd head to the drive-through liquor store and order a gallon of California Mountain Chablis (bought with $8.00 of our allowance riches), and feel like we were really something special. Ah, to be 21, feeling fancy, and in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Now, thankfully much older and wiser, and having the benefit of having now lived that last 12 years or so in New York and Los Angeles, I know a little more about wine, what is fine, and what is not. It should be said that I turned my back on wine for a time--and who could blame me--but I've now come full circle, having rediscovered for myself what intelligent diners have known for hundreds of years. The right wine can make even the simplest meal a quiet, albeit elegant celebration.

Buying Fine Wine: Let Your Taste Buds Be Your Guide

Fine wines don't have to be expensive. Excellent French, Italian and California bottles can easily be had for less than $15. All it takes is a little education, and a little confidence.

In the beginning, it's best to follow the rules like white for fish, poultry and other light meals; red for heartier fare, pastas with red sauce, and strongly flavored cheeses. But it's not so much a "color" rule as it is a "weight" rule. The lighter the meal, the lighter the corresponding wine should be. There are also certain foods which actually affect the flavor of some wines. Nonetheless, with a little practice, you'll soon be brave enough to try the light-weight red, Beaujolais with salmon, poultry and pork. Just pass by the drive-through liquor store, and leave the jug-o-chablis to the college kids. You've got that ruby-red Noir to discover.

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