Did you know a wine can taste different every year based on how well the crop has grown? With hundreds of wines taken from grapes all around the world, choosing just one can be an intimidating task. Kirsten Gleaves, Director of Food and Beverage at Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Centre, gives some insight into how she chooses wine for Executive Chef Nick Walker.

Kirsten says that the first priority is to match the taste of the wine with the dishes being served. She works alongside Chef Walker to create a meal that is balanced in both food and wine tastes. The two will determine what accents the menu should hit, and what wine will best enhance the food. Sweet, tropical, or honey notes, for example, can be complemented with a sweet white wine, such as a Riesling. Kirsten and Chef Walker will then pick two to three wines for each meal to sample and then determine the best fit for the final event.

So, how do you even begin to know what notes a wine will have and how they will pair up with a dish? Kirsten keeps up with the latest in the field by reading magazines like Wine Spectator, and using pairing charts like the one below. There are also some great apps out there for choosing wines, such as The Tasting Guide or Hello Vino. If you are unsure of where to begin your search, you can also take a look at Cobb Galleria Centre’s menu and wine listings. “There is no absolute right or wrong,” Kirsten says, and sometimes the fun lies in the mystery of the search.


wine graphic