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Delhi Wine Club
Blog: Mix and Match is Fine with Wine

Posted: Thursday, 23 May 2013 17:50

Blog: Mix and Match is Fine with Wine

May 23 : Bitten by a hangover on mixing their hard drinks like vodka, gin and whiskey, many novices mistakenly feel it is not proper to mix wines, meaning that white wines should not be drunk after red wine or sparkling wine after a red wine may give a hangover. However, this is not true so long as the volume consumed is not excessive and the wines are not cheap, full of sulphites.

At one party at my house we tasted and drank several wines, mostly reds, at the bar. A friend had been drinking a white wine as she prefers whites. But hearing the excitement going on at the bar she decided to try a red that we were all enjoying. But then she refused saying she had been having a white wine and did not want to mix her drink lest she got a headache. It took some convincing on my part to make her believe that it was ok to mix the wines so long as one was not mixing with whisky, gin or other alcohols, a sure recipe for headache.

By no means was that an isolated case. Many times, friends have told me the same thing. I tell them that at Delhi Wine Club dinners we serve 5-6 wines. Never have there been problems of a hangover unless one has had one too many (we generally serve unlimited wines at such events). We generally serve whites, reds and occasionally sparkling wine as an aperitif and rosé and dessert wines as well. Occasionally, when we have a situation where white wine goes best with the main course, we do switch from a red to white wine. At times, we may want the members to taste a white and red with different finger foods as the first course; in that case, we go back to a white wine after the red wine.

It is a different matter that we serve them in an order-sparkling, white, rosé and red followed by the dessert wine. Heavier whites and reds follow the lighter ones first. This is more to keep the palate a bit more sensitive and has nothing to do with the mixing of wines. While judging at competitions, the organizers keep in mind the order of tasting - generally whites are served initially, followed by reds. But this is only indicative. At times, the reverse order is followed. The tasters are given bread, water and coffee etc before such changes are made. Bread and water are good palate cleansers. After full bodied dark reds, lighter wines are avoided. This is because the palate is coated a lot with the tannins and one would not be able to get the flavours of white or much lighter wines.

At several walk-around tastings, there are hundreds of wines - a complete mix of sparkling, white, Rose, and dessert wine, as I encountered at a recent tasting of wines from Slovakia in Bratislava where there was a kaleidoscope of sparkling wines, whites, reds and Tokaj (yes, part of Tokaj region is also in Slovakia, the bigger half being in Hungary). I started with tasting the bubblies from their biggest sparkling wine producer, Hubert. After mixing and matching whites and rosés, I tasted a few reds before ending with Tokaj from the Tokaj Wine Company and Takaj Macik Winery. I loved the tasting this way, but there were other tasters going from stand to stand and trying their complete range and moving on. We all enjoyed the tasting - the point being that mix n match was ok.

If you drink a dessert wine with a lot of residual sugar and follow it with a dry white wine, it will not show its flavours properly because the tongue is coated with sugar and needs to be cleaned. But the mixing won’t cause headaches or hangovers.

So go ahead and enjoy mixing and matching wines when the occasion demands, always remembering that if you are getting a hangover later, it would be because of excessive alcohol. Caution is recommended beyond consuming 375 ml/half a bottle, though the recommended daily dosage is 250 ml. Period.

Subhash Arora



Rifaquat Mirza Says:

True that !!Its always the case of "More the merrier" haha...and never about too many marys!!...Very factual article

Posted @ May 31, 2013 10:42


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