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¿Cómo elegir un vino en un restaurant?

This is perhaps another of the most typical questions that people ask us as Sommeliers, and believe me, it is not easy to answer, at all. Both for the clients and for us (or maybe just me) it is an uncomfortable moment, whoever has to choose the wine is left with a decision that will be judged by everyone, but of course, since you are the one who knows wines, it couldn't be someone else choice.

Then everyone is staring at you, those who are with you look at you as if saying “do your thing”, the person in the service thinks that you probably don't know anything about wine compared to what he or she knows and you, well, for you a cold runs down your back thinking about what I choose for the person who ordered a Grilled Steak and that it also works for whoever asked for a pan seared fish.

Today I try not to complicate my life so much. So I go with my 3 simple recommendations:

1. Decide who's boss, the food or the wine ?: Very simple, there are times when you can take a bottle from your home to a restaurant and you can have uncork service or choose something specific from the wine list. In this case, it is better to choose from the wine, make recommendations to your companions about the dishes that could go better with the wine they are going to order or, if someone asks for something else, do so at their own risk. Bonus track: If you want to open that red you have for a special occasion, invite them to go to a steakhouse, so there is not much to choose from.

2. Size does matter: Don't be too quick to criticize, I just want to say that ordering a double magnum is not the same as a glass or a half bottle. What Chile lacks are more restaurants that sell a good selection of wines by the glass, which allows for a correct pairing per dish that doesn't mean forcing everyone to drink the same (although there are some incredible places for this, like the one in General Holley - wink wink -). The same can be with the half bottles, so those who ask for one type of food can share and the others too.

3. Repeat with me “Orange wine please”: This marvelous and relatively new type of wine in Chile is, really, an ace up its sleeve for pairing. Here we find whites made in the form of reds, so they can have enough tannins to cope with meat, but also floral aromas and citrus fruits to go with a fish. Here it is about trying, you will find orange wines that are very different from others and at some point you will find the key, that wonderful wine that goes with several dishes that are on the table.

I think that with those 3 points it is much easier to be able to choose wines in a restaurant. At the end of it all, we must go to enjoy and share with all the people we have not seen during the entire time of confinement, so celebrate with a glass in hand with a wine that we like and that goes well with what we are eating.

In any case, at Winederlust we send you a selection of pairing with the wines of each valley, to learn more about what happens with each wine and the selected food. So we not only see what a local pairing could be, but also rules and trends that will help us select the best possible combination on each occasion.

Giorgio Vecchiola

@ giorgio.vecchiola.m

Sommelier Co-founder of Winederlust

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