Hosting Book Club–Pt.3–Choosing Wine

My Book Club hosting saga continues. Here are the first two postings if you’re so inclined…Part 1 and Part 2.


Now I need to choose what wine to serve. Where do I start? That was the question facing me. At my last book club meeting, I mentioned that I knew nothing about wine and that my wine palate was not sophisticated at all or even in evidence. One of the women, who probably doesn’t drink sweet white wine (my choice), told me I need to have a “cab”.  I’m pretty sure she wasn’t talking about the vehicle you take home from the bar after you’ve had one too many vinos and I’m guessing the dumb look on my face gave me away, so she continued with “Cabernet Sauvignon”. Okay. That helps—not.

I decided to make a trek to my local grocery store. They have a very large variety of wine. Where do I start? I started by walking the aisles of the wine section, photographing the signs and then, on to the source of all knowledge…Google. Here’s what I found:

Cabernet Sauvignon–Dry Red. Cab is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors and savory tastes from black pepper to bell pepper.
Riesling/White–White grape, can have a touch of sweet or very dry depending on where the wine is made.
Pinot Grigio–Dry white wine, punch, acidity, flavors of lemons,  limes, green apples
Pinot Noir–Red Burgandy, dry
Sauvignon Blanc–a type of green grape. White “herbal” crisp dry
Chardonnay–full bodied white
Zifandel–Robust red or in United States, semi-sweet white
Syrah or Shiraz–dry red
Merlot–dark blue grape, more fruity thus sweeter
Chablis–very dry
Moscato–Semi-dry or sweet
Vignoles–can be dry to sweet
Pink  Catawba–fruity, light sweet rose

“Alcohol is what gives wine its viscosity and is responsible for either heavy or light mouthful.” Alcohol by volume:
Under 12.5% is considered light (such as Riesling)
12.5-13.5% is medium such as Rose or Pinot Grigio
Over 13.5% is full bodied. Wines such as Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot

So what did I chose? I chose labels I liked in the main flavors of Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Merlot. These were the winners and these were not chosen (no one wants to be called a loser).

The Chosen:
Montelle (a local St. Charles County winery), Red Raspberry
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon
Prophecy, Pinot Grigio
Margo Negri, Moscato

Not Chosen:
Middle Sister, Pinot Grigio
St. James (another Missouri winery), Velvet White (not chosen was perfectly fine with me because this is one of my favorite wines–I could, and have, drink/drunk the whole bottle)
Cupcake, Sauvignon Blanc.

My other favorite is the Marco Negri Moscato. It’s a little pricier than the St. James, but it is velvet smooth and goes down sooooo nice!

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