its traditional bottle. In France, both red and white wines from Bordeaux can be found in bottles with straight sides, high shoulders and a short neck. Conversely, red and white wines from Burgundy are found in slope-shouldered bottles with a longer neck. Similarly, and in varying degrees, so are the wines of Cotes du Rhone, Loire and Champagne. Many wines from France’s Alsace region and from Germany (Riesling and Gewurztraminer) come in tall, slim bottles.
But now that other countries are making wine from the same kinds of grapes as France and Germany, many have borrowed the same bottle shapes. Using a particular bottle shape is a tradition that’s not set in stone, so be aware that some newer winemaking countries may often use any bottle available.
Whichever you choose, the gift of just the right wine can be a topic of conversation while providing hours of enjoyment. The next time you’re invited to the boss’ house for dinner, you’ll be the toast of the party.
A general rule, red wines are best served with dark meats, andwhite wines go well with lighter dishes. Here are threerecommended brands to look for in each category.
Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon (California) Taltarni Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia) Shafer Merlot (California)
Pinot Noir Eyrie Vineyards (Oregon) Domaine Drouhin (Oregon) Carneros Creek (California)
Chardonnay Simi (California) Cuvaison (California) Thelema (South Africa)
Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon Mulderbosh Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa) Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) Clos du Val Semillon (California)
Shramsberg Blanc de Blancs (California) Domaine Caneros Blanc de Blancs (California) Iron Horse Blanc de Noirs Wedding Cuvee (California)