Wine Tips from Sommelier Yves Sauboua of Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery – Sonoma County, CA
1. Decant or aerate all wines (whites and reds) priced over $50 retail. Allow 15 to 20 minutes before drinking them and you will enjoy them at their best.
2. Be careful about temperature. I drink white wine around 48-55° F and red wine around 60-65° F. If you drink wine that's too warm or too cold you lose all the fruit flavors and the complexities of the wine.
3. Be adventurous with food and wine pairing. Try to go for lesser-known grapes like Pinot Gris, Gruner Veltliner and many others. Also, match your wine with the sauce or juice of the dish rather than with the meat or fish. The sauce or juice is the most important part of the dish.
4. Don’t drink the same style of wine every time you go out - only Cabernet Sauvignon, only Pinot Grigio, etc. You don’t eat a T-Bone steak every day, so why should you drink the same style of wine?? Make wine like a fun evening: drink Californian wine one night, on another night Spanish, or South African, or French, or Chilean…the consumer is so lucky nowadays to have access to so many great wines from all over the world.
5. Talk to your Sommelier/ Wine Director in the restaurant. This person is there to help you and to make sure you will be 100% satisfied. The best way to know about them is to buy the Chalk Hill Sommeliers Guide to Restaurants in America; you’ll learn all the secrets of the sommeliers’ world.