Relying on that same faithful Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz could mean you’re missing out on trying something that’s a better match for your taste.
According to wine expert Tom Surgey from wine match app Pingza, your favourite foods offer a major clue to the wine you’ll love the most.
“If you drink your coffee black or prefer strong tea then you like bitterness and astringency, so you’ll probably like Chianti made of Sangiovese grapes or red Bordeaux (elegant and energetic),” he says.
“Others are more obvious; your preference for fruit naturally indicates the type of fruit flavours you’ll enjoy. For example, bananas and mangos show tropical fruit preference for New World Chardonnay, compared to people preferring apples and pears who would enjoy a crisp Chablis.”
In Australia, we have an abundance of New World Chardonnay and if you’re after a Chablis style wine, just look for any unwooded Chardonnay with dry, light characteristics (Chablis is made using Chardonnay grapes) or you could try a Verdelho.
Surgey also suggested that those who like zesty flavours, such as mango and passion fruit, for example, might want to pick up a bottle of rich and highly aromatic wine like those made with Gewürztraminer.
Sometimes shortened to ‘Traminer’ here, native varieties of this wine are available from regions like The Macedon Ranges in Victoria, Huntington Estate in NSW, Spring Vale in southern Tasmania and Pipers Brook northern Tasmania.
Those who reach for a crisp apple or creamy and smooth cheesecake would be better off with wines with a refreshing acidity, but a round mouthfeel, like a heavier, classic Chardonnay.
When it comes to reds, you need to decipher if you’re classic or bold when it comes to flavours.
If you prefer flavour bases made up of garlic and onion, but tropical fruit salad and mushroom risotto also have major appeal, then you’re a classic lover. A juicy New World Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape for you to experiment with, whether from Western Australia or the Napa Valley. Try Syrah, Châteauneuf-du-Pape from France and Portugal’s Douro Valley blends. From Chile, look out for Carménère.
If long black is your go-to coffee and a rich, indulgent ice cream is your dessert nirvana, then ‘big statement’ reds are a good match for your palate. Think lots of ripe fruit to balance out the oak, then give a local Shiraz, an Argentinian Malbec or a Californian Zinfandel a whirl.
Is drinking healthy?
It would be remiss of us not to address this question here and the debate about the risks and rewards that drinking wine has on your health. So what’s true and what’s not?
Some research has suggested that ‘moderate’ drinking (no more than four units per week) does seem to offer some protection against heart disease – but primarily for men aged over 40 and post-menopausal women (and only when consumption is limited to four units a week – that’s just two standard glasses of wine).
There is little evidence that drinking wine or other alcohol will improve the health of younger people, who are less at risk of heart disease in the first place. The impact of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease should be evaluated within the context of other effects of alcohol on health. For example, alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of cancer including breast cancer, even at very low levels.
That said, it is true that wine – particularly red wine – does contain several antioxidants, such as quercetin and resveratrol, which some believe may play a part in helping to prevent heart disease. However, there are many other, more health-promoting foods and drinks which are a rich source of these beneficial phyto-nutrients.