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Do you know your French Wine Rules?

When it comes to knowing “all” about wine, most people turn to the French for their guidance. While considered old-fashioned and classical by some, the French approach to wine is tried and tested and barely ever fails. Food and wine pairing is something the French do with style so if you’re planning a dinner party, want to experiment with new wines and food combinations or simply want to try something different it’s worth looking at these French rules for food and wine.

The French school of wine is very strict on its teachings and sommeliers learn a very specific way of serving wines with foods. In France, food and wine pairing is a true art, and something to take very seriously. French rules state:

  1. You can never serve white wine with red meat or game

  2. You can never serve aged red wins with fish or seafood (particularly crustaceans or mussels)

  3. Every meal should involve different wines paired with the different food types

  4. White wine must always be served before red

  5. Lighter wines must be served before more robust offerings

  6. Chilled wines must be served before those served at room temperature

This is just the beginning when it comes to the French sommeliers’ rule book. Some will argue alcohol concentration should also be considered when serving wines, with those with lower concentrations served first. Water is always served between wines at a French dining table, to ensure you can fully appreciate the aroma and bouquet of each individual wine.

Buy Wine Online with The Fine Wine Company

You can buy a range of high quality and flavourful French wines at the Fine Wine Company, ready for your French-inspired dinner party. Alternatively, you can opt for a more casual affair, choose any wine you like from our wide range and still enjoy a fully satisfying and tasty wine and food experience.

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Buy Wine Online

How NOT to Buy Wine Online

At The Fine Wine Company we are committed to helping our customers buy wine online easily and without any issues. We work to ensure our range of wine, our prices and our website are setup in a way which makes your wine buying experience easy, straightforward and even enjoyable. However, when looking to buy wine online you may come across sites which aren’t setup particularly well and here we’re looking at some pointers to look out for when buying wine online and warning signs that maybe you should be considering a different retailer.

  1. Clutter

A cluttered online retail store should always be avoided. Whether or not you know exactly what kind of wine you want to buy it should be easy to explore the different option available, whether it’s by country, type of wine or other deciding factors. If you visit a website and there is no direction, no order and too much going on, you may want to move on.

  1. Poor Design

No one is suggesting that wine sellers need to be expert web designers but a well-designed ecommerce site should be an investment every reputable retailer makes. Many different easy-to-edit and build on platforms are available so even the least tech savvy retailers should be able to have a website they can update easily.

  1. Product Availability

Nothing is worse than finding the wine you want and it not being available. No store can have their full stock range available at all times but when you come across stores with many items out of stock with no explanation or reasoning then you may want to consider looking elsewhere.

Choosing to buy wine online gives you many more options and choice but you need to be clever in your choice of retailers. Make sure you spend a bit of time exploring and choosing a retailer like us ensures you can access a wide variety of wines at reasonable prices, with high quality ensured.

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Cooking with Wine

Everybody cooks with wine but are you making the most of your wines when cooking and are you using the right wines? Wine is usually something we simply plonk into a sauce, use to add a little more flavour when browning meat or simply deglazing a pan. However it can be used in many other ways too and why not get the most out of your wine collection?

What does cooking with wine add to your food?

Wine can add a number of different things to any meal. Principally you’ll add wine to a meal for flavour purposes. The character of wine is often amplified and brought out even further when used in cooking so the key flavour becomes more pronounced. Wine also adds acidity to any meal you include it in, which will change the whole makeup of the dish. How a wine effects a dish will depend on exactly how it is used.

People often question whether the alcohol in wine is all ‘cooked off’ when it’s used in cooking. Alcohol actually evaporates at 81 degrees Celsius and it is very unlikely you will cook off all the alcohol as you prepare a meal, although it could be possible. If you don’t like the idea of cooking with wine then consider using a stock in any recipe that suggests adding wine.

Which Wines should you cook with?

The first place to begin is to avoid anything labelled as “cooking wine” and think about the flavours you like and the wines you like to drink and how they may compliment your food choices.

If you’re cooking with white wine then chardonnay is highly recommended alongside creamy sauces and cheese-based dishes or pasta dishes such as macaroni, pasta alfredo and lasagne. Sauvignon Blanc or pinot grigio can be great for a wide range of different styles of sauce and when cooking with fish as their herbaceous character brings a different character to your meal. If you are enjoying a rich delicacy such as Iberico Jamon, this is a great choice of wine to enhance the flavours and cleanse the pallet. 

When cooking with red wine then burgundy reds are always recommended when cooking with beef. The rich and robust nature of the wine works perfectly with the similar characteristics of the meat.