Want to explore more wines across the globe, but don’t know where to start? For Worldview’s Food Mondays segment, master sommelier Emily Wines joined us with “The Wines Report” to talk about wine culture, history, and share some need-to-know wine tips.
Wines is one of only 149 people, and one of a few women in the Americas, with the designation of master sommelier. Wines is also vice president of Wine & Beverage Experience for Chicago-area winery Cooper’s Hawk.
Here are five takeaways from the conversation:
1. Start with what you like
Emily Wines: If you know what you like, you are already an expert in wine because nobody can tell you what you like. So, you start out with the wines you like and then you can branch out from there.
2. Climate is important
Wines: You can have the same grape, grown in very different parts of the world, that tastes completely different. Whether it be cooler or warmer, whether there is a lot of rain or not very much rain. It’s fascinating.
3. Want to explore other regions? Try Portugal
Wines: When it comes to people wanting to explore other regions — who are very accustomed to American wines — I think Portugal is a great place to go to because there are just incredible values. And because it is so warm there, you get these really approachable styles of wine.
4. ‘If it grows together, it goes together’
Wines: I always say when you travel, you have to eat the local food and drink the local wine because it’s really a part of their culture and their heritage in those places. There’s also something to be said about wines that are being raised side by side with the cuisine over hundreds of years. They have a natural affinity for one another.
5. Don’t be afraid of wine blends
Wines: A single varietal is great. If you taste cabernet sauvignon by itself, it’s sort of like listening to a cello by itself. But, sometimes you want to hear a cello in an orchestra. So, there are sort of two different ways to experience the wines. And blends are wonderful.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the “play” button to listen to the entire interview, which was adapted for the web by Bea Aldrich.