Making the most of your wine experience
The wine experience is something I also think about a lot as a wine lover and critic. It's very important to consider when, where and with whom you are drinking wine, whether it is a casual evening with my wife in the kitchen or a formal dinner at my restaurant in Hong Kong with guests.
There needs to be a strategy to the moment. Most people consider food and wine pairing as the most important aspect of a meal like this, but I prefer to think about the entire experience, from the people attending to the time of day and food being served.
I like to organize wine tastings and meals based on themes. The most common for me are new wines I have recently rated highly or new discoveries.
For example, just the other night I had dinner at my restaurant in Hong Kong with one of the most serious wine collectors in Asia and I was happy to show him one of the greatest pinot noirs from Chile and the best chardonnay from Argentina - Errázuriz Pinot Noir Aconcagua Costa 2016 and Chacra Chardonnay Patagonia 2018.
My friend mostly drinks expensive Burgundies like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Coche-Dury, but he was impressed with the two wines. It probably helped that the two South American wines had been crafted by two famous Burgundian winemakers!
The point is that a great wine moment is when all your guests are satisfied with the wine selection. In fact, I often make the wine selection before considering the food.
In fact, I don't emphasize the food as much as some people. My wife is Korean so we are used to eating complex or spicy foods, so wine pairings can be challenging. I find the best thing to consider is how refreshing the wines are, both red and white.
Therefore, I focus on wines with slightly lower alcohols and fresher acidities and try to stay away from big and tannic wines that are so fruity they almost taste sweet. This strategy works with all flavorful foods.
Acclaimed as "one of the world's most powerful wine critics" by Forbes, James Suckling is now the ambassador for the newly launched LG SIGNATURE Wine Cellar.
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