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Choosing A Wine Gift for the Hostess

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									Choosing A Wine Gift for the Hostess

It's considered polite to bring a gift for the hostess when you are invited to a dinner party. The perfect
hostess gift is a gift of wine to accompany the meal. Unfortunately, if you are not a wine enthusiast you may
feel a bit lost when deciding which wine to bring. This article will give you the information you need to
choose a wine gift that will be appreciated by both the hostess and the other guests.

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing a wine to go with a meal is that you need to match the weight of
the wine to the weight of the food served. No, I do not mean for you to serve 6 oz. of wine with a 6 oz.
filet mignon. When referring to matching weights, I mean that you should present light wines with lighter
foods and more robust wines with heavier foods.

The second thing to keep in mind is seemingly contradictory to the last concept but you also need to have
contrasting elements between your wine and your food. This means choosing things that will balance each
other. For example, serving a dry red wine with the afore-mentioned juicy filet mignon. The dryness of the
wine and the juiciness of the steak will play off each other, enhancing the enjoyment of both.

Tannins are substances found in wine, especially in red wines. These substances are perceived as a dryness in
our mouth. Wines have differing amounts of tannins so will go with different dishes. Any wine that is high
in tannins (sharper in taste) will pair well with red meats, cheese and buttery dishes. The animal fats in
those foods will soften the dryness caused by the tannins.

Saltier foods should always be paired with wines with a high acidity level. The salt mellows the acidity of
the wine while the acidity of the wine balances the saltiness of the food. Seafood dishes will pair well with
wines like Sauvignon Blanc that have high acidity and crispness of flavor.

When serving spicy foods, try serving a sweeter wine like Chenin Blanc or Moscato d'Asti. The slight
sweetness of these wines will tone down the heat of the spicy foods. Never get a dry wine for spicy foods as
the dryness will intensify the heat of the spices.

Another pairing that makes both the wine and the food more enjoyable is by serving a wine with a high acidity
level with foods that have a high acidity level. Although it sounds like it would intensify the sourness,
instead the acid in each tends to neutralize each other.

If you don't know what foods will be served, you may want to go for a more neutral or universal wine gift.
Some wines have just the right combination of acid and fruitiness that they complement many different types of
foods. Two choices that would be appropriate in these circumstances would be the Pinot Noir and a nice dry
Riesling white wine. Both are paired easily with a wide variety of foods.

								
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