Coffee and wine on the table.

How You Take Your Coffee Could Suggest What Wines You Will Enjoy

When it comes to picking out wine it can be overwhelming to decide exactly what wine varietal will be most enjoyable to your specific tastes. When it comes to your morning cup of coffee, it’s probably incredibly easy for you to determine exactly what suits you. In fact, your coffee routine is most likely second nature; you like what you like and you stick to it. Interestingly, the way you enjoy your coffee can actually help you figure out what wine varietals may be most suited to your palate preferences. There are three main components that guide your palate through a drink, both coffee and wine. Here, we share what these guides are and what wine you might like based upon how you take your coffee.

Your Palate
Your sense of taste is directly related to your sense of smell. Aroma, a term used both for coffee and wine, is an important aspect of your palate profile. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term body in reference to wine, such as a full-bodied red, but you might not be exactly positive what that means. The body of your drink, coffee or wine, is simply how your drink feels inside your mouth. You may change what type of body you prefer based on your mood, the weather and whether you are drinking wine to celebrate a big promotion or unwind after a hectic day. Lastly, acidity is an important element of your palate profile. Acidity may seem a bit difficult to determine, but it’s actually quite simple. If you were to pick up a piece of sour candy right now, would you like or not? If you would, you prefer drinks that are highly acidic, zesty and lively. If you would rather not pucker up with sour candy, you enjoy a light acidity.

Women having coffee in a bar.

Your Coffee of Choice
Black – If you enjoy a straightforward cup of black coffee, chances are you will enjoy a wine with an equally straightforward, strong flavor. Wines that feature spicey notes and a higher level of acidity are great choices to look to. Argentinian Malbec, Cabernet Franc or a Beaujolais nouveau are all wines that fit the flavor profile for a black coffee drinker.

Coffee with Sugar – If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you probably drink your coffee with a bit of sugar. Looking for sweeter wines is a good bet if you take sugar in your coffee. Some wines to start with are Moscato, Riesling or Zinfandel.

Coffee with Milk – If you take your coffee with milk, you enjoy soft, smooth flavors. When you’re looking for a wine that suits you, look for an aged wine with low acidity. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon are two choices that have low acidity but still feature a smooth texture and flavor.

Espresso – Espresso features a thick, bitter flavor that suggests you would find wines with hearty flavors and high tannins pleasurable. Consider Chianti or Medoc wines if you enjoy a strong, bitter flavor.

Tea – Tea drinkers we have you covered too. Not everyone enjoys coffee so if tea is more your speed, look for wines that are dry and savory. A Sauvignon Blanc or Sangiovese are crisp, fresh and bright flavors that tea drinkers will appreciate.

Of course, when it comes to wine the most important rule is to drink what you like. However, if you find you’re having a hard time getting started finding wine varietals that you do like, this may be a fun way to experiment. Use this guide and see if how you take your coffee really does have an impact on the wines you prefer.

Servers pouring red and white wine.

A Guide to Common Wine Varietals

The enjoyment of a great glass of wine is one of life’s simplest pleasures, though sometimes it may not seem simple to select your wine. Wines are available in so many varieties and have so many subtle, and not so subtle, differences that it can be downright overwhelming when you start to select wines. Often, when buying a Riesling or a Cabernet Sauvignon, you know what you are getting; which is wine produced using the Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. But if you pick up a bottle with the word “varietal” on the label you may not be positive what it is that you’re choosing. Simply put, varietal means that the wine was produced using a specific wine grape. Further, in the United States, wine varietals indicate which grape is the dominant grape in the wine so that you have an idea of what flavor to expect. Some, but not all, bottles even include the percentages for every grape used in the blend. To make you more confident in your next wine purchase, Resveralife composed a guide to the most common wine varietals.

White Wines
Chardonnay – Wines produced using the Chardonnay grape are often medium to full bodied and complex. The most prominent notes in Chardonnays tend to be citrus fruits, melon, pineapples, peaches, butterscotch, butter and vanilla. There are other notes available such as apple, fig, pear, spice and hazelnut.

Riesling – With origins in Germany, Riesling is a grape that grows well in all wine districts. These wines are most typically fruity, fresh apple flavors are particularly prominent, and can be floral as well. Riesling ranges from dry to very sweet, with many having a semi-sweet taste with an acidity for balance.

Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be herbal and quite light. The herbal flavors often are reminiscent of grass or bell peppers. Sour fruits such as apple, pear and gooseberry or tropical fruits and blackcurrant, may also be present. Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be crisp with a strong acidity.

Red Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon – One of the world’s most popular wines, Cabernet Sauvignons are full-bodied and complex. These wines tend to be a bit dry and firm. Flavors can range from currant, plum, black cherry and spice to olive, peppers, herbs, tobacco, vanilla and mint, to name a few. The oak barrels in which Cabernet Sauvignon wines are aged are responsible for vanilla or toasty cedar flavors the wine may have.

Pinot Noir – Another immensely popular red wine, Pinot Noir is fresh and delicate. These wines are smooth, rich and have soft tannins. The most prevalent notes of Pinot Noir wines are raisins with undertones of black cherry, raspberry and spice.

Merlot – Merlot is a supple and smooth wine with a round texture and very soft tannins. The popularity of this wine is caused by its ease of pairing (nearly anything can be paired with a Merlot) and its softness, which is not what one associates with many red wines. Wines produced using Merlot grapes feature cherry, black cherry, herbs, green olive and chocolate.

The wine selection process is a bit easier when you have a bit of background knowledge of common wine varietal. The label on a varietal wine will indicate which grape is the dominant grape in the blend, and may indicate the other grapes used as well. However, it is not required, and indeed it is illegal for a wine to label itself as a varietal is there is no dominant (75% or higher) grape used. When the word “varietal” is present on a label, it indicates what you can expect regarding flavor and finish. Branch out and try a different wine varietal for a new, and delicious, experience.

Wine glasses with food in the background

Resveralife Live Well: Sauvignon Blanc Recommendations

Now that you know what food to serve with Sauvignon Blanc (check out our last post), it’s a good time to know what some of the best Suavignon Blanc wines are. There is a large variety of Sauvignon Blanc due in part to the fact the the white grape features a broad range of notes and tastes. Some Sauvignon Blanc wines feature a very citrus-like taste while others have a more “green” or herbaceous flavor. Additionally there are some Sauvignon Blancs that feature heavy notes of oak. Some of Resveralife’s favorite Sauvignon Blancs are:

Robert Mondavi 2011 Fume (Sauvignon) Blanc (Oakville)
This Sauvignon Blanc is a textbook Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, For an authentic, and affordable (it retails for $32), you cannot beat the 2011 Fume Blanc. The main notes of the wine are citrusy and fruity, making it a great choice for a summer gathering. The Robert Mondavi 2011 Fume Blanc features heavy notes of lemons, limes, pink grapefruits, gooseberries and rich tropical fruits. Like a true Sauvignon Blanc this wine is completely dry and has a delicious crisp to it. It also has low acidity and just a light touch of oak.

Chalk Hill 2008 Musque Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill)
This California Sauvignon Blanc is another highly recommended wine. The Chalk Hill 2008 Musque Sauvignon Blanc is a vibrant, bright wine with a light acidity to it. True to the name of Sauvignon Blanc this wine is bone dry though finishes with an elegance and complexity. The main notes identified in the Chalk Hill 2008 Musque Sauvignon Blanc are tangerine and lime. This wine also has indulgent notes of honey, making it a perfect treat, though at $40 per bottle, it is a bit pricey.

Guardian Cellars 2012 Angel Sauvignon Blanc (Red Mountain)
Sourced from the Klipsun Vineyard, this Sauvignon Blanc is a dense, pungent white wine. The Guardian Cellars 2012 Angel Sauvignon Blanc is intensely aromatic and opens with notes of the green variety. Opening notes are of freshly mowed grass and hay. The fruity notes experienced towards the beginning are citrus and fig, which is then followed pineapple and additional citrus notes. While the Chalk Hill above features notes of honey, the Guardian Cellars 2012 Angel Sauvignon Blanc has interesting notes of bee pollen and beeswax. Each bottle retails for $20.

Spy Valley 2012 Envoy Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)
The Spy Valley 2012 Envoy Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is generally regarded as much better tasting than the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Like a traditional Sauvignon Blanc there are fruit notes and this wine opens with notes of citrus and fig. To add a bit of surprise and elegance to the wine the fig and citrus notes are followed by vanilla notes. The wine then features more citrus fruits with the prominent note being nectarines. This Sauvignon Blanc is not quite as dry as others and has a silky texture with a robust finish.

Sauvignon Blanc can be served alongside a variety of foods from a simple salad to a freshly prepared white fish. The above Sauvignon Blanc wines are highly regarded as representative of what a Sauvignon Blanc should taste like.

Sauvignon Blanc grapes being grown in a vineyard.

Resveralife Eat Well: Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairings

Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white,” and the grape is one of the most widely planted because of the variety and wide range of tastes and styles. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc is largely due to the master winemakers in the Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, both in France. The grape has origins that trace back to the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is mainly a dry wine, though there are some regions, such as California, that produce Sauvignon Blanc that leave just a gram or two of residual sugar for a texture that is richer. The most commonly associated fruit notes in Sauvignon Blanc are peach, passion fruit, lime and green apple but what really distinguishes this wine from other whites, such as Chardonnay, is the presence of greener flavors. Some Sauvignon Blancs feature notes of jalapeno, bell pepper and grass. It is these notes that put Sauvignon Blanc in a category of it’s own.

Sauvignon Blanc 
Because Sauvignon Blanc has interesting herbaceous tastes, this wine is excellent to pair with “green” food items as well.

Artichokes.

Citrus Sauvignon Blanc
For a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, asparagus and artichokes are an excellent choice. These vegetables can be hard to pair with other wines as they can leave a metallic finish, but they pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc featuring notes of citrus. Grill or roast with herbs like rosemary for a perfect, light accompaniment to your Sauvignon Blanc. Vegetables are certainly not your only option for a Sauvignon Blanc with citrus notes. Prepare some authentic fish and chips or grill some chicken with rosemary, thyme, basil and white pepper. If you prefer something with a bit more heat, consider pairing citrus Sauvignon Blancs with Mexican food. Avocados and tomatoes work perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, you can go Greek and pair your Sauvignon Blanc with olives and feta cheese.

Fresh salad with green vegetables.

Herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc
One of the greatest features that Sauvignong Blanc has is it’s unique, earthy tones like grass or bell pepper. Enhance this taste by serving your Sauvignon Blanc with green foods. Salads are an excellent choice and provide virtually limitless combinations to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. Meats that pair well with Sauvignon Blanc include chicken, lobster and crab among many others. A simple grilled chicken with spinach salad and an herb vinaigrette makes for a wonderful meal. Another way to pair Sauvignon Blancs with green notes is to prepare a light meal of fish such as Halibut or Tilapia. If you don’t feel like cooking, call your favorite Japanese restaurant and order an assortment of sushi. For those who are a bit more adventurous, make your own sushi at home.

Sauvignon Blanc is a unique, complex white wine that features notes perfect for preparing summer foods. Prepare a great spinach salad for a daytime affair or have an ethnic feast with foods from Japanese, Greek and Mexican cultures. If you simply want to serve your Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of cheese, look for softer cheeses like goat’s milk cheese or creme fraiche.