New York, NY – (WiredPRNews.com) — You know the feeling. You go out for a fancy meal with friends and you’re just getting settled at the table when the waiter comes over and hands you the wine list. “Oh no!” You say to yourself. “Not the wine list!” With all your education, somehow you forgot to learn about wine, and suddenly, you’re stammering like a grade schooler as you look down the list of wines, wondering how to make the right choice.
At this point, there are three possible scenarios:
1. You choose a wine from the list with your eyes shut, and hope for the best.
2. You hand the list to your friends and suggest they choose the wine, or..
3. You look up at the waiter and sheepishly say “We’ll have the house wine.”
If this has ever happened to you, “you have vinophobia (vee no PHO beeya), a fear of choosing the wrong wine,” says Nilani Trent, the founder of Eatingvine.com, the first website devoted exclusively to the pairing of food and wine.
Created as the “Facebook of wine pairing,” EatingVine.com is a free, registration-based website that uses a proprietary algorithm to pair recipes with wine selections from a vast inventory of wines spanning all price ranges. But that’s not all the site does. Beyond pairing, EatingVine.com aims to cure vinophobia by guiding users on a step-by-step journey through understanding and fully enjoying the total wine experience, from selecting the perfect bottle and understanding the wine label, to developing your tasting palate and helping you distinguish a wine’s individual flavor notes and characteristics.
“Gaining a knowledge of wine is often perceived as difficult and anxiety-provoking,” notes Trent. “Our goal is to create a community that makes wine accessible to everyone. We want to take the mystery out of wine by guiding members through the wine culture using simple, intuitive, and practical tools to help them learn. At the same time, serious wine connoisseurs will find that Eating Wine is a place they can share their expertise and experiences while exploring new wine and food pairings.”
Here are Trent’s tips for curing vinophobia:
• Plan ahead – whether you’re hosting a dinner party or dining out, know what you are planning to eat, and decide when you’ll want to have wine with your meal. Will it be as a cocktail before the meal? With the appetizer and/or main course or with dessert. Call the restaurant ahead of time and ask them to email or fax you their wine list so that you can research various wines and decide on your selection even before you arrive.
• Start jotting down the names of wines that you’ve had and liked. Take a photo of the label with your cell phone, and start training your palate to smell the bouquet, discern the wine’s characteristics and taste the various flavor notes.
• Start having some fun with wines. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Expand your repertoire beyond the tried and true Pinot Noir, and break some rules. Did you know that sparkling wine goes extremely well with your main course? It’s not exclusively red wine with beef and white wine with fish anymore. If you think the wine you’ve uncorked is bad…send it back, or return it to the wine shop where it was purchased. If it was a gift….use it for cooking.
• Seek out local vineyards when you travel, sample local wines and keep asking questions. Attend wine tasting events and develop a relationship with your local wine shop, where the operators are usually quite knowledgeable. Let them tell you about specials, seasonal opportunities and selections to order, serve or bring to friends.
• You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a great bottle of wine. There are several terrific wines for under $15. If you love a wine that’s just too pricey for your budget, ask about the wine producers’ “second label.” The characteristics of the wine will be similar, but the price could be shockingly affordable.
• Last but certainly not least, join www.eatingvine.com! You can upload your favorite recipes or choose one of the existing ones, and instantly receive an array of wine pairing suggestions in a range of prices. Then, check out the “How to read a wine label” on the site and the flavor note tutorial, and you’ll be “speaking wine” in no time and saying au revoir to vinophobia forever!
The brainchild of Contemporary Art Advisor Nilani Trent, Eating Vine was founded in 2009, after Trent married into a restaurant family with a vast knowledge of wines, and an extensive wine cellar. As a New York newlywed, she began entertaining at home, and quickly realized that there were few websites at her disposal that could adequately pair her recipes with appropriate wines. The more Trent searched, the more she realized that there was a need for an online site that could take the guesswork and anxiety out of pairing food and wine. With that objective in mind, Eating Vine was born. Today, Eating Vine has an inventory of more than 22,000 wines, and a recipe inventory that ranges from soup to nuts, and lays to rest the age old question of which wine to serve with what.
Contact: Karen Sperling
Sperlingreene PR and Marketing
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