Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 14/11/2014

How to choose wine at a restaurant?



When it comes to picking up the wine from the wine list, what is the basic rule? What aspects you need to consider for making a good decision? The correct matching is crucial for wine expression and food boost, showing the best of each. To be confident and try, is the first step.

Many restaurants own a wine list so broad that causes confusion and even a little bit of fear.

We are confronted with numerous labels, weird named varieties and very different origins. This can stress you out, especially when you have to choose the wine in front of the friends or family, or in an important business lunch.

That is why we recommend you to stay calm and first choose your dishes. Having the information of what all of you will eat, you can decide if it is better to ask for a bottle of wine for everybody or a glass of wine for each person. Your choice depends on the style and richness of the food. Just knowing what will eat each of the guests, you can decide on the variety and style of the wine.

You can ask the sommelier for some advice and suggestion. His experience and knowledge of wine and food would support your choice.  But if you prefer to choose the wine by your own, or the restaurant does not have a sommelier, there are several questions to answer before making the right decision.

Color and style

The first step would be the decision if the wine should be white, red, rose or maybe sparkling. Of course that it depends on your dishes and personal preferences. The pairing of wine and food is an art and demands some knowledge about the varieties and types of wines, but also aromas and flavors of foods.

Although there are exceptions, but a very basic and useful first rule is that white meat such as poultry or fish should be accompanied with white wines, while red meat dishes with red wines. The more abundant and complex your dish is, with rich in seasonings, sauces or fillings, more generous must be your wine. Rosé wine can be a solution and compromise between white and red wines, especially when people ask dishes based on very different ingredients.

Varieties and origin

Each variety has its own aromatic profile. The style of the winery also has influence on it. Knowing the basic and most popular grape varieties allows you to find an unforgettable and unique pairing easier. Some strains are known to pair especially well with particular dishes. For example, pasta or pizza with Merlot; fish with Sauvignon Blanc; and red meat, such as chuck or loin roast, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah with lamb, or a rich meat ragout with Carmenere.

Also, you can have your favorite variety. We encourage you to be faithful to your own palette of flavors and enjoy your favorite wines, but without forgetting that the world of wine offers much more. Why not to try some new or unknown strain? There is no better way to learn about wine than tasting! The same goes when it comes to the origins of wines. If you know very well the Maipo Valley and the Cachapoal Valley and its wines, great, but why not go a little further and venture with wines from Leyda, Limarì or Casablanca.

The price factor

Finally, it comes to the issue of price, which is an important factor. You know better how much you can spend. It is important to note that not only the most expensive wines can suit your taste. When in the meal participate several persons, each with different taste, we recommend you to avoid the extremes, that is, the cheapest and most expensive wines on the list. It’s definitely safer to order a medium price wine.

The winemakers of Concha y Toro work intense to offer you quality wines in each line. Premium wines as Casillero del Diablo offer fresh aromas and they’re food friendly wines. Ultra premium wines from Terrunyo or Marques de Casa Concha lines, each with its own personality, deepen their relationship with various Chilean valleys. And finally the icons as Don Melchor are characterized by their high concentration of aromas and flavors, a profile of the well defined range and a strong identity of origin. In this case we are talking about a great Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley, from a vineyard located at the foothills of the Andes. There climatic and geological conditions allow producing a wine of an exceptional standard and with great aging potential.

So many factors influence the choice of a proper wine, starting with the consumption occasion. Is this a casual lunch or a celebration dinner, wine choices obeys certain basic criteria, but it is also very important that you do not lose the curiosity and desire to experiment, even if it means a little risk. To have not fear is the first and most important step.