Taste of Tuesday: How to Overhaul Your Wine Cabinet

Winos near and far, fresh and sage, will tell you that it happens to all from time to time: You fall into a bit of a wine rut. If the last few bottles have been a bit blah and you couldn’t quite figure out why, it might be time to liven up your wine purchasing routine.

We went to our friends at Colonial Wines & Spirits to find a remedy, and they didn’t disappoint. Here are some tips from Colonial’s expert Clark Trim on how to revamp your wine cabinet. Let’s get to it.


If you normally reach for Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio…

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio are light bodied citrus driven wines known for their fresh, crisp flavors and zippy acidity. They are perfect sipping wines that boast flavors of lime, Meyer lemon, apple and nectarine.  

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If you enjoy Pinot Gris/Grigio and are looking for something similar, try Spain’s Albarino. These bring apple, pear and citrus to the palate. Drink these wines young and enjoy them with your favorite appetizer, spicy dishes or grilled fish. Albarino is also a perfect wine to pair with vegan and vegetarian dishes.


If you normally reach for Pinot Noir…

Pinot Noir enthusiasts are possibly the most varietal loyal of all wine drinkers. There is just something about the wine, with or without food, that is hard to duplicate. They show so much berry flavor and light-body in a refined and classy style.  

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A nice alternative is Nebbiolo from the Piedmont region of Italy. Like Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo has flavors of cherry and cranberry with notes of forest floor. Pair this wine with roast chicken or pork with a cherry sauce.


If you normally reach for Cabernet Sauvignon…

Cabernet Sauvignon is a king among red wines. These wines are big, bold, full-bodied and are driven by dark fruit flavors and spice. If you enjoy this style of wine but are looking for like characters in a lighter wine that you can drink chilled, consider a Rose’.  

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In today’s market, you can fine a wide selection of Rosé wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir. These wines deliver the same serious profiles as their red counterparts, they are just not as heavy and are excellent served chilled. Try them with almost anything off the grill including steak, pork chops and hamburgers.  


If you normally reach for Sauvignon Blanc…

Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s signature wine known for grapefruit and lemon citrus aromas and flavors. The grapefruit dominance is not so present in Sauvignon Blanc from other regions (California, for example) where aromas and flavors of melon, peach, mineral and herb are more pronounced.  

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Torrontes, like Sauvignon Blanc, is light bodied with a floral bouquet and flavors that range from citrus to tropical fruit. It is a very food-friendly wine that pairs well with most white meats, seafood and poultry.


If you normally reach for Chardonnay…

Chardonnay is by far the most sold varietal wine in the United States. It’s made in many different styles, which adds to its popularity. Some are fermented and aged partially or totally in oak barrels and are butter-y or oak-y with loads of tropical fruit aromas and flavors. Others never touch oak and are sometimes referred to as “naked” Chardonnay. These tend to be flintier and lighter bodied in style, but still have the signature apple and pineapple aromas and flavors.  

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Chardonnay fans will enjoy wines like Viognier. These are powerful wines offering rich aromas of apricot and orange blossom. Viognier matches flamboyance with crispness, making it the main attraction of summer parties that feature chicken dishes or hearty fish recipes.


You can find all this and more at Colonial Wines & Spirits, located at 11200 W. Markham in Little Rock. Check out their website for information.

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