The holiday season is here, and for many, it's a time of celebration and hosting guests for parties to toast to togetherness and honor another year accomplished. Wine might be a part of those celebrations for many, but a sommelier recommends keeping it simple and sticking to what you love.
Perrine Prieur Gallardo is the founder of Perrine's Wine Shop, which occupies a number of physical locations in the Atlanta area, and operates online as well. Gallardo, a certified sommelier, says in the modern world of wine there are a plethora of options, from affordable to expensive. She says wine lovers should stick to what they enjoy, as there is a flavor for each palate.
For that beloved bubbly, she says don't get too hung up on Champagne and its fancy reputation. Gallardo says customers can choose from a wine made from grapes from the Champagne region of France, which carries more prestige and cost — but says they can also choose from wines made in the Champagne style of fermentation, which might come with a more affordable price tag. Both are perfectly suitable and delicious, depending on what the person enjoying it likes.
Another tip, in the spirit of keeping it simple, is not to worry about changing glasses when you or your guests change wines. Just keep the glass and enjoy whatever you want. Wines are sometimes blended anyway, and there's no need to overthink it when partaking in a holiday libation.
Gallardo says a "true Champagne" should be at about the $50 dollar mark, but there are options as low as $15 a bottle.
We may often see people swirling the wine around in the glass, or sniffing it and admiring the color. These are all great ways of appreciating the different aspects of the product, but it's important to also enjoy the drink the way you choose to.
Gallardo recommends also paying attention to the vineyard and how the grapes are grown, and to the process for making the wine. Many vineyards are conscientious about being pesticide-free and creating their wines by adhering to organic and sustainable practices, and this may be important for many modern consumers.
Gallardo says, "We visit the winery, we know what they do — some of them are certified organic, some of them are bio-dynamic."
Sugar content, and how sweet or dry a wine is may also be another top priority when choosing a wine.
Another tip when hosting gatherings is to stay budget-conscious by offering a more expensive or prestigious wine to your guests at first, and then filling out the rest of the night with a nice table wine with your hors d'oeuvres.
Gallardo says "It depends on your party, wine is a very personal thing ... remember that wine is still alive, it is aging in your bottle. So, not everybody has the same taste of wine, the same way as we don't have the same taste of clothes. So, it's important to have a good variety."
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