Wine expert and enthusiast Stephen Iwerebon provides a basic guide for choosing the right wine for any special occasion from birthday celebrations, weddings, date night, impressing the in-laws and beyond.
Many individuals consider themselves casual wine drinkers and can select wines they like to go with dinner or a glass or two of in the evening. Buying wine for oneself isn't so stressful but having to pick out a wine for a special occasion or for someone else can be a bit overwhelming.
Throughout his college years and career Stephen Iwerebon has had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the globe. During his travels, he has spent ample time sampling different wines and learning about their different flavor profiles and categories. This experience has allowed him to gain insights on which wines work best for specific occasions and for specific individuals. Check out some of his tips and advice below for choosing the perfect wine for any occasion.
Date night or first date
The best wine to impress your date is, Pouilly Fume. If one wants a dry taste and the other wants a taste on the light side the Fleurie is a red wine with a light fruit flavor for both of you.
Meeting the parents or impressing your in-laws
Here some wines that are sure to win them over:
- Champagne or Prosecco – champagne mixed with orange is a great Mimosa for brunch. Prosecco mixed with orange and cranberry juice makes a Holiday drink called Poinsettia.
- The Italian white wine Cutizzi is a favorite for Stephen Iwerebon. It is made from Greco di Tufo Grapes and is rich with a full bodied flavor. This wine is best served with grilled fish, roast pork with vegetables, or a pizza made of seafood.
- Rhone wines are best served in the winter months. The reason being is it’s a sun filled, fruity red wine. You can eat just about anything with this wine. Rhone complements steak very well.
Most likely a white wine will be served at a summer wedding. Keep in mind Champagne is a great drink to serve for the toast. If the menu for the day has fish and seafood you might want to have a Rosé wine.
If the wedding is in the fall or winter than its best to serve a red wine, though it is always a great idea to have both to please the preferences of all the guests.
Giving Wine as a Gift
Stephen Iwerebon would have to suggest the Magnum bottles as a great size for a gift. You might choice to give your friend a bottle filled with a sparkling wine to lighten the mood of the party and most guest will enjoy the bubbly taste. If the magnum bottle is not to your liking you can pick a standard-sized bottle for gift giving after the party. Also a good bottle of Bordeaux Grand Cru wine from 2005 makes for a great gift for a collector.
The Wine for Every Occasion
Stephen Iwerebon's recommendation is a bottle of Barolo straight from Italy. Some of the best foods to have with this bottle is wild duck, quail, grilled steak, sweetbreads, truffles, risotto cheese and more.
All of these wines can be bought online or likely in your local supermarket or liquor store. Stephen Iwerebon encourages wine enthusiasts to step out of their comfort zone and try different wines they wouldn't normally buy. This is the best way to develop a taste and understand which wines pair up with different occasions.