David Gianulias Explains His Wine Choosing Process

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Serving as one of the founders of the Levendi Winery in California, David Gianulias is known amongst his friends as a great resource for wine knowledge. Many people ask him how he chooses which wine to bring to a gathering or function held by someone else. To answer their queries, he gives the following advice.

Bottle of wine against lavender.

  • For those who are new to the world of wine, selecting the right offering for a dinner party or other occasion can be very intimidating. Before shopping for a wine choice, it is important to ask a few questions and understand the nature of the gathering. Armed with a little knowledge beforehand will make the whole process easier and overall more successful.
  • In most cases, wine selection will firstly be determined by the food that is being served at the event. Knowing how to pair wine with food is something that is learned over time. There are, however, a few standard rules that can make even the novice wine connoisseur have an easier time in choosing.
  • If the event will also serve food that is bold in flavor, the wine must accentuate and have the ability to stand up to those robust flavors. This is often the case when red meats, game, and acidic or tomato based pasta sauces are being served. For these types of menus, choose a red wine. If the food served will be lighter in flavor, such as chicken, fish, or creamy sauces, choose a white wine. The exception to this rule is when spicy foods are served. Regardless of whether the foods would fit into the traditional red or white categories, it is smart to pair spicy foods with a sweeter wine to promote balance on the palate.
  • If the event will not have food served as well, a few classic choices for sipping wines include a Cabernet, Pinot Noir, or Riesling. Certain Sauvignon Blancs are also good for simple sipping without the accompaniment of foods.
  • The next choice Gianulias will make is based on the region where the grapes were grown. He is of course partial to the Napa Valley region, though knows that many fabulous vintages are found around the world. He recommends that those who are new to wine play it safe and select wines from France or the Tuscan region of Italy.
  • To narrow down his selection at this point, he must choose a specific varietal or blend. If, for example, he has determined that a red wine from Australia will be the hit of the party, he often selects a Syrah. Depending upon the food and the region, there are still many delicious choices at hand, explains David Gianulias.
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