How To Make The Right Wine Selection Off A Restaurant Menu

written by Josiah Kahiu 10th February 2018

How do I know which wine to choose from a restaurant menu? Gilbert Chege, 30

We have all had this problem before: you go to a restaurant, are presented with the wine list and have little or no clue as to what to choose. Well here are a few things to make your life simpler and hopefully impress the rest of your dinner party.

Start with something light. Keep in mind that drinking a full-bodied Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon could ruin the rest of the meal. Big bold wines have the opposite effect of a palate cleanser and will mask the taste of any other wines and dishes that you have. A light, crisp and refreshing wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or even better a sparkling wine will get your taste buds ready for whatever is to come.

Let the food do the talking. By this I mean choose the wine after you have decided on what to eat. You do not want to end up with a full-bodied red for your salmon or a light easy white wine for your barbeque ribs. Also, another suggestion is to choose food-friendly wines. By this, I mean wines from warmer growing regions such as South Africa, Chile or Australia. These wines are generally fruit forward and often pair well with a wide variety of dishes. They are also more pocket-friendly.

Try getting younger vintages on the wine list. This is good as they are generally the cheaper to mid-range wines. These varieties are often easy drinking and appeal to many due to their light fruity refreshing qualities that tend to fizzle out as the wines age.

So the next time you are out on a date, read the tasting notes on the wine list and try not to order to impress. Chances are the people on the table will not be able to tell the difference between a 5000 shilling bottle and a 2000 shilling bottle!

Have a question you want to ask? Get in touch with Josiah by sending him an Instagram DM on @knife_and_wine

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