Red, white... or something in between?

Red, white... or something in between?

November 13, 2017

Red, white... or something in between?


For wine lovers, there's nothing quite as satisfying as a relaxing glass or two of fantastic vino. Whether that means nursing a robust red, curled up by an open fire in winter, or cracking a chilled white as the barbecue's sizzle heralds the arrival of summer - one thing is for sure, wine lovers cherish the ritual of savouring their favourite drop.


The thing is, most of us generally have a preferred type. How many times at a party, social gathering or night out has someone asked you the ubiquitous question…

“So, ah, wine? What can I get you… red or white?”

Although most wine drinkers know some of the (safe) generalisations - a bolder red to pair with a steak, a drier white for chicken and fish - many other nuances of the elitist world of squashed grapes can be lost on most of us. Bottle Service was born to counteract these automatic go-to preferences we all have, getting you out of your comfort zone and helping you find your new favourite drop. Even for those rusted-on, “I only drink red/white” types who want to expand their horizons, there’s hope for you, too!


Getting the best out of any grape variety depends on appreciating that each wine is just one example of its type. So much depends on where it’s made, how oaked it is, which foods it goes well with, the vintage, and how mature it is when you drink it. All of that sounds complicated, and it certainly can be... but as it’s a natural product, all the differences in each wine can be appreciated as its unique character. Wine is, after all, an agricultural product that picks up characteristics from its surroundings, including climate, soil and other factors. One type of grape will fare better in certain climates over others of course, and this is why a New Zealand sav blanc will be drastically different from a sav blanc from France, Chile or the USA.


For red wine-only drinkers looking to expand their tastes into the wonderful world of white wine, there are a few things you can try off the bat which won’t throw you off:

  • If you like Pinot Noir, try... Chardonnay from around the world
  • Chardonnay has been given a bad rep over the 1980s and 90s for being over-oaked and heavy - characteristics which appeal to lovers of red over other white styles. Interestingly, Pinot Noir is usually grown in the same regions as Chardonnay, too - so it’s no wonder there are a few similarities between the styles.
  • If you like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, try: Californian Sauvignon Blanc
  • Californian-produced sav blancs tend to be heavier than the local NZ drops, as a rule. The US tends to produce a richer, deeper style whereas here we produce the zingy, fruity, lightly coloured bottles you see at summer barbecues.
  • If you like Spanish reds, try: Rhône whites or Viognier
  • Usually made from the grapes Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, white wines from the Rhône tend to be full-bodied and aromatic - just like the Rioja reds you know and love. Think of it as the same richness, different package! 
  • If you like fun and funky reds, try: Orange wines
  • You know who you are! Orange, or ‘skin-contact’ wines are white wines which have been fermented like red wines: the juice sees extended contact with the grape skins, giving the wine colour, texture, and exciting flavours like apple cider, honey and rustic earth.


    As with everything in life, though, the more you try different wines and explore the various regions, grapes and types, the more you’ll come to know your own palate and preferences. Naturally, some wines will be your cup of tea and some won’t - and that’s what we find to be the exciting thing about the world of wine: there’s no limit to what you can learn, once you have a grasp of your own tastes and a few basic principles.  


    Cheers!




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