Hi folks! Today let’s talk about choosing your very own house wine.
A house wine is your “go to” bottle of choice: the wine that you know you enjoy drinking, is at a price point you are comfortable with and one you don’t mind sharing with others.
It’s the reliable wine you always have on hand and can pull out and serve without a second thought.
Consider these factors:
Determining a price range is a good place to start.
Some people choose “4 Buck Chuck” as their house wine. They are delighted with the cost and happily stock up on cases of Charles Shaw wines at Trader Joe’s.
On the other end of the spectrum super oenophiles, lovers of all things fine in the wine department, would rather pass (literally, as in they’d rather die) than drink “cheap” wine.
Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.
In deciding what you are comfortable with, think about a price you would be willing to spend on a bottle of wine for a random Tuesday night dinner.
Your house wine should be your everyday wine, not necessarily your “special occasion/using the fancy china” wine.
Pick A Type
Pinot Noir is a great choice for a red house wine. It pairs really well with most foods from meat to fish. There are lots of Pinot Noirs out there at virtually every price point.
Many wineries make a red blend. They take several different types of grapes (Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah, etc.) and combine them in one way or another to create something new.
Red blends go by all sorts of names. You might see Proprietary Red, some clever signature name chosen by the winery or simply Red Blend.
Choosing a red blend as your house wine might be the perfect way to please all and to expand your wine repertoire.
Pinot Grigio is light and easy to drink. Many people think of it as a summer wine to be consumed ice cold on a hot day. That’s an excellent plan but Pinot Grigio can also be a great year-round option for those looking for an alternative to the ubiquitous Chardonnay.
I used to think I didn’t like Chardonnay. But I started forcing myself (it’s a tough job, right?) to try selections from different wineries and different countries and found I have a preference for certain styles and flavor profiles.
How about other white wine options?
What about a Viognier as your house wine? Viognier is like the white wine version of Pinot Noir in that it pairs very well with a variety of foods and drinks well on its own.
Many wineries also make a white blend. The same rules apply – an infinite variety of combinations make for an infinite variety in flavors. If you like the idea of a Chardonnay and a Viognier, look for a blend that combines the two.
Choose A Crowd Pleaser
Your house wine should definitely be something that you love but should also be kind of mainstream. You may LOVE a big, juicy cabernet but it may be way too much for the every day palate.
Remember, the idea of a house wine is to have something that is easy for everyone to drink.
Storing Your House Wine
Once you choose a house wine, you will want to stock up. But don’t go crazy.
Plan ahead. Make sure you don’t buy more wine than you have storage space.
A wine refrigerator is ideal but, in a pinch, your wine can be stored, on its side, in a cool, dark place (closet, basement, kitchen cupboard away from the oven).
Wine can be stored for short periods of time in a kitchen refrigerator. But Dr. Vinny at Wine Spectator explains why it’s not a good idea for the long term health of your wine.
The short story is that your food refrigerator is too cold and too dry for wine. Read Dr. Vinny’s complete analysis here.
Making The Selection
Once you have decided on your budget and narrowed down some idea of your preferences, it is time for research.
Of course the best way to research wine is to taste it.
Make a trip to your grocery store, wine & liquor shop or warehouse store and start experimenting!
Seek advice from the staff. Even grocery stores and places like Costco have wine department managers who are quite knowledgeable about the wines they stock.
Tell the wine department expert that you are looking for a house wine. Describe your general wine preferences, mention a few of your favorite wines and let them know your budget.
Be adventurous and try new things!
The research process will lead you to find your “house wine” and might introduce you to some new, special, favorites.
One last thing to consider when deciding on a house wine is its availability.
You wouldn’t want to have your heart set on a particular brand and not have a ready supply of that specific wine. With the help of the wine department staff, choose something that is likely to always be on the shelf when you need to replenish your supply.
Variety is the spice of life. But it’s also wonderful to have a wine you know you can always count on.
Your very own “House Wine”.
Do you have a house wine? How did you choose the wine? Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas!Thanks for stopping by,
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