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By Matt Kopjak
August 17, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Ernest Hemingway wrote:  “Wine… offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”

Looking for something quick and easy to bring to your Labor Day party?Wine makes the perfect complement to any meal, and the perfect gift for any social occasion.  So it’s easy to say, “I’ll pick up a bottle.”  But is it really that simple to choose the right wine for your family gathering? Grocery and liquor stores carry hundreds of bottles of wine, each one crafted for a different occasion.

Would you know what to bring if your host was serving Fontina and Cheddar cheese? If you knew that a shellfish dinner was steaming at home, what bottle would you bring back?  Would you stroll confidently through the store to the perfect varietal, or would you roam aimlessly around the aisle squinting at bottles and eventually settling on whatever was on sale? No matter which level of enthusiast you are, it’s always helpful to get a few hints from the experts.

There are many great resources on the web to help you choose your next bottle. Both Wine Spectator and FindTheBest’s Wine selection tool  can help you navigate through the world of wine, glasses, grapes, and pairings.  For a party serving Fontina and Cheddar, you may try a spicy Spanish Grenache, and for shellfish, try your new found knowledge by opening a nice Chardonnay.

If you’re looking for more direct guidance, FindTheBest has images and links to exemplary bottles of many varietals, if you want a Grenache you may want to try Domaine Lafage’s Côté Grenache Noir, or if you’re looking for a good Chardonnay, you could try one from the Santa Barbara Winery.

On your next trip to the grocery store, saunter down the wine aisle with confidence, knowing that you can find the perfect bottle for any occasion.

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Thanks for this lovely article regarding wine. It is always difficult to pick the right one though. In the UK we have the guideline that white wine goes with white meat, red wine with red meat. But it is so much more complex than that!