glasses of wine on a table

Color Your Palate & Taste The Wine Style Spectrum

Choosing your wine based on the time of year is a very popular approach to food pairing. Typically, your diet varies with the seasons. And it makes sense to use fresh ingredients and keep your beverage compatible with your meal. Sticking with regional affinities is another way to go. As the saying goes, “If it grows together it goes together.” Serve wine with foods from the same general geographic area and you are pretty safe.But selecting a wine based on its basic “style” equips you with the right vocabulary to make future wine selections intelligently and therefore affords you a great deal of flexibility. When you know your palate, your understanding will take you through many different seasons and help you choose wines to accompany many different types of food no matter where they are from.

How To Begin

Wine taste is mainly a function of grape variety, but region and method of vinification also come into play. For our approach, we’ve slotted our three featured wines and a few others by way of comparison on a continuum that describes their taste profile. It may seem overly simplistic and it certainly is subjective (everyone’s taste buds are different!), but it is mainly for instructional purposes. Using this “style” approach can help you break away from sticking with the same varietal all the time. It will also inform you if you are serving many wines during a meal as these styles determine the sequence in which wine should be poured (whites before reds, from lighter to heavier).

At the Traveling Vineyard, we are all about taking the intimidation out of wine selection. This approach will hopefully simplify the home wine tasting for you. Use this language as you communicate with your Traveling Vineyard wine consultant to make the perfect wine selections.

Picking the Right White

What To Wear With Red


There are many shades of grey so to speak along this wine style spectrum. Every wine region typically creates wines along this spectrum in both reds and whites. However, they generally concentrate on a few. Know that any one varietal, depending upon where it originates and how it is produced, can fall into more than one style. Even the grape clone chosen by the winemaker can make a difference.

You may find that on both of these charts, although you’ve started to the left with more “accessible” varietals, as your palate matures, you’ll move to the right. But as you’ve probably learned by now, there are no hard and fast rules to enjoying Traveling Vineyard wines. It’s all about experimenting – tasting and learning! And, here at the Traveling Vineyard, that’s just part of our job!

Back to blog