By George Sandeman

I start by thanking the Wine In Moderation program for letting me plagiarise the title from the key message for the WIM DAY celebration of the culture of moderation when drinking wine.

There is a question I am frequently asked; “which wine is the best?” I usually respond, “a good starting place is a wine with a flavour which you enjoy – of course, in a quantity that you will remember!”

Like everything, personal preference should guide the final choice, but often some guidelines are helpful. In the past, for wine, the guideline was “white with fish and red with meat”, which can still hold true as a basic tenet, but can be challenged and experimented with. For example, a Pinot Noir with grilled Salmon, or a Chardonnay with chicken salad?

Whichever the choice, it is important to enjoy it and, more significantly, remember it! There is nothing worse that waking next day and being told you overdid it (and I don’t mean with the chicken salad!).

There are some important guidelines when it come to drinking, often small things which are part of the pleasure of choosing and sharing wine with food or with friends. A small, but significant, measure is to drink small measures of wine and water between each glass. It keeps you hydrated and dilutes the alcohol in your body. I like to stick to room temperature water.

Food and wine are symbiotic, wine needs food and food needs wine! Well, you can have food without wine, of course! However drinking wine without eating something causes you to be affected to a much greater extent by the alcohol component of the wine, and you lose the opportunity to enjoy matching the flavours.

Wine may have an alcohol component ranging between 9%-16% and so it is wise to glance at the label before embarking on drinking two or three glasses, just to check - also keep an eye on the size of the pour, the glass should not be full to the brim!

One place to watch out is when you are attending a big catered dinner, where servers will often keep topping up your glass when you are talking to the person beside you! Believe me it can have a disastrous effect!

In the end, it is the good sense and balance of the way we approach the challenges of an environment that encourages drinking more than is wise, which allows us to enjoy and remember the wine.

Like everything in life, enjoying “la giusta dose”1 is the solution.

Wine is more than terroir. It is culture, community, gastronomy, rural economy and social interaction. In moderation, wine is great!

1 The correct amount

Note: The opinions expressed in EX AMPULLA “Out of the Bottle” BLOG are exclusively my responsibility.
You can visit for more information on moderate and responsible wine drinking.