With holiday meals ahead and spring vegetables arriving, wine expert Seema Tikare has joined Boston Public Radio Monday to share her recommendations and wine buying tips.
Tikare was born in India, grew up in the South and lived in Germany, France and Mongolia. She said the culture surrounding wine is quite different here than in some of the places she has lived, especially in Europe.
“Wine is not considered food here. In many other places it is food. They don’t ask if you want wine with your meal, they just pour it,” he said. she stated. “It’s becoming a culture here – wine sales are growing, and it’s also a huge market for imported wines.”
She said you can find well made wine at all price points. Still, she believes wines above $12 are the best deal. At this price, wines are more likely to avoid grapes containing pesticides or herbicides.
“They will be harvested by hand. You’re going to get more sorting to get healthier fruit in the juice, fermentation is going to take longer and so you get more flavor extraction,” she said.
Another regional difference: corks versus screw caps.
“It’s a distinction between the old world and the new world,” she said. “I think a lot of people in France and Italy, they see the screw cap and they cringe a bit. But even the most expensive New Zealand wines are all screwed.
If you’re planning a night out in Greater Boston, Tikare recommends visiting the Spoke Wine Bar, the Forage, the Alcove, or Taverna de Haro.
And if you’re browsing a wine list or want to find a bottle to enjoy at home, here are some Tikare recommendations for spring:
Origin: Von Winning Winery in southern Germany
What Tikare had to say: “So many people have the reaction that Riesling is too sweet, and in fact, Riesling is known for its acidity.”
Tikare’s gourmet pairings: Easter ham, vegetables, salads
Origin: Rafael Palacios in Galicia, Spain
What Tikare had to say: “It’s round, it’s a little softer in the mouth. It’s aged on dead yeast for four months, so you just get a little hint of that sort of cracker or bread.
Food and wine pairings recommended by Tikare: Spanish cuisine
Origin: Dutraive family in Beaujolais, France
What Tikare had to say: “Fleurie is known to be very floral and delicate.
Food pairings recommended by Tikare: Salads, fish, ham, Easter fruit
Variety: red mix
Origin: Tulip Winery in Galilee, Israel
What Tikare had to say: “I’ve never had anything like it before, I didn’t know what kosher meant for Passover…it’s a fabulous, fabulous wine.”
Food and wine pairings recommended by Tikare: Roast lamb, steak, Passover seder
Seema Tikare is a wine expert who taught at the Commonwealth Wine School and now runs her own wine website, thepremiercru.com.