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Offering more than one wine at a meal is one way to ramp up overall dining pleasure. When properly paired with the entree, each wine can make everyday dishes seem like holiday cuisine. Be sure to provide a glass appropriate for each wine. Both a red and a white glass should be a part of your table setting, then each wine can be poured with the appropriate course.

Just as important as pairing the food with the wine, is the order in which the wine is served. Whatever wines you choose to serve with your meal, keep in mind that they should progress in flavor and complexity to avoid being anticlimactic. (See suggestions at left.)

A dry white is great for a first course, but would be a real disappointment when served after the presentation of a rich red wine. A sweet wine served before a dry will make any wine that follows (red or white) taste bland and maybe even bitter in comparison. (Of course, this does not include dessert wines which should always be served at the very end of the meal.)

Rules worth following:  1) White before Red   2) Dry before Sweet   3) Light before Full   4) Young before Old

WHAT FOODS? WHAT WINES??

Keep in mind that highly seasoned, richly- and robustly-flavored foods should be matched to wines with big personalities. Milder flavored cuisine bodes well with less dramatic wine flavors. Take into consideration the seasonings used in sauces or stuffings, rather than the meat flavors alone. It’s best to choose wines you are familiar with, including any favorites of yours or your guests. Avoid any extremes.

What Do YOU Think? CORK vs. METAL   Mike Rowe Comments: Actor, TV host, author, producer, spokesman

“Ahhh. The sound of a real wine cork being slowly pulled from a real wine bottle. I just watched a friend open an overpriced cabernet by unscrewing the metal top. I can’t shake the sound of it, or what it portends.” (Could the demise of the wine cork be on the horizon? Say it ain’t so!!)

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Tracie Burket
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