Any lover of wines will tell you that a good palate is not something one is born with. It is a skill that is acquired over a long course of time and education. For those of you who are not yet loves of this fine liquid, a little education may be in order. There are basically four types of wine: red, white, blush (or rose), and champagne and contrary to popular belief, good wine doesn’t come in a box, that is unless it’s a small box that has been gift wrapped.

For my purposes here I will focus on red and white wines, as they are by far the most common. The general rule about red and white wines has for years been that in general if you are eating a more delicate dish such as chicken or fish you should choose a subtle wine that won’t overpower the dish. That is why red wine is traditionally associated with darker meats and white wine with lighter meats and vegetable dishes. This rule however, is not inviolate and if you are spending your hard earned money, you should be able to drink whatever you darned well please with your dinner. But hey, that’s just me. But I think this rule kind of hit the wind when people began wearing white after Labor Day.

Find what you like and work with that. Branch out from there and try to find similar wines in flavor, body, and texture without buying the same identical bottle of wine over and over again. If you find a wine you really like, purchase a few bottles so you have some on hand. Slowly build your collection in this manner and you will eventually have a nice collection of wines that you enjoy.

While France has for many years been known as wine country the U. S. and Australia are producing some really good wines lately and Italy has always had an excellent selection. Each process will produce a different flavor and texture, as you learn more about your particular likes and dislikes make note of where the wine was made, what specific type of wine it was and what the approximate age of the wine is.