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The Millennial's Guide To Wine: Everything You Need To Know

July 15, 2015 by Francesca Giordano
shefinds | Style

Believe it or not, millennials are switching from drinking beer to wine and it is forever changing the wine industry! While Baby Boomers mostly drink wine on special occasions, Millennials don’t need any excuse at all to indulge  in some vino. Watching TV and relaxing on the couch are good enough reason to crack open a bottle! So for all you Gen-Y peeps out there, or should I say Gen-Wine (ha!), here are some things you should know about wine from Wine Folly:

White Wine 

Pinot Grigio (“Pee-no-Gree-jo”)

What it tastes like: Pinot Grigio has flavors such as lemon, honeydew, nectarine, and white peach. It is a dry, light body wine that is on the sweeter side. It originated from northern Italy and France. Pinot Grigio tends to be zesty, thirst-quenching and has a lower range of alcohol with a level of about 12% ABV.

What to pair it with: light seafood or chicken breast dishes.

Riesling (“Reese-ling”)

What it tastes like: Riesling has flavors of lime, apple, honey, and beeswax. It is usually off-dry with a lemon-honey sweetness. Riesling is a low alcohol wine and ranges from around 9-10% ABV.

What to pair it with: chicken, pork, duck, turkey, cured meat, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Moroccan, German, washed-rind cheeses and fondue.

Sauvignon Blanc (“Saw-vin-yawn Blonk”)

What it tastes like: Sauvignon Blanc has flavors of gooseberry, honeydew, passion fruit and grass. It is a dry light body wine. Like Pinot Grigio, it has a zesty taste. However, the flavors are more herbal, green fruit.

What to pair it withfish, chicken, pork, veal, Mexican, Vietnamese, French, herb-crusted goat cheese, nutty-cheeses such as Gruyère.

Chardonnay (“Shar-dun-nay”)

What it tastes like: Chardonnay has starfruit, yellow apple, butter and chalky flavors. It is a dry full body wine. If you have an oak-aged Chardonnay it tastes creamy and buttery, while unoaked wines are lighter and zesty with apple and citrus flavors.

What to pair it with: lobster, crab, shrimp, chicken, pork, mushroom, French, cream sauces, soft cheeses such as triple cream brie, medium-firm cheeses like Gruyère

 

Red Wine 

Pinot Noir (“Pee-no-Nwar)

What it tastes like: Pinot Noir has cherry, cranberry, clove and mushroom flavors. It is a dry light body wine. Pinot Noirs are somewhat tart with some fruit bursts.

What to pair it with: chicken, pork, veal, duck, cured meat, French, German, cream sauces, soft cheeses, nutty medium-firm cheeses like Gruyère.

Merlot (“Mer-lo”)

What it tastes like: Merlot is the perfect wine for those of you who are easing into red wine. It is filled with black cherry and herbal flavors. It is mostly red fruits, however it can vary between other flavors like cedar, spice, vanilla and smoke.

What to pair it with: chicken and other light meats as well as lightly spiced dark meats

Syrah/ Shiraz (“Sah-ra or Shi-raz”)

What it tastes like: Shiraz or Syrah are two names for the same variety. Europe vine growers and winemakers only use the name Syrah. This wine has flavors of wild black fruit, with overtones of black pepper spice. Syrahs make up some of the world’s finest, deepest and darkest reds.

What to pair it with: meat (steak, beef, wild game, stews, etc.).

Cabernet Sauvignon (“Cab-er-nay-Saw-vin-yawn”)

What it tastes like: Cabernet Sauvignon has black cherry, baking spices and cedar flavors. It is a dry, full body wine that is filled with bold tannins more simply known as rich flavors with a black peppery finish.

What to pair it with: lamb, beef, smoked meats, French, American, firm cheeses like aged cheddar and hard cheeses like Pecorino.

Malbec (“Mall-bac”)

What it tastes like: The main flavors in Malbec come from blackberries, plum, and black cherries. There are various other flavors including milk chocolate, violet flowers, leather and sometimes even tobacco.

What to pair it with: Leaner cuts of beef,  lean cuts of lamb, roasted or grilled pork, gamier fowl, pasta with pesto or lighter tomato cream sauces, chocolate.

Zinfandel (“Zin-fan-dell”) 

What it tastes like: Zinfandel is filled with blackberry, spices powder, and sweet tobacco flavors. This medium bodied red wine is sometimes better known as rose or white Zinfandel.

What to pair with it: Chicken, pork cured meat, lamb, beef, barbecue, Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, Indian, full flavored cheeses like cheddar and firm cheeses such as Manchego.

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[Photo: Shutterstock]

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