This information is provided so that you can learn about wine making in Nebraska and so you can enjoy serving wine without fear of making a mistake in etiquette.

Myth: Grapes only grow in California

Not true! Grapevines love Nebraska soil. They also like rolling hills with water far below, but within reach. Finally, wind is essential. Brisk winds keep unwanted intruders away. These are all the ingredients for growing grapes that make award-winning wine. This is Nebraska, and it is wine country.

Fact: Many grapes love Nebraska

A lot of French-American hybrids or American varietals are grown here. Some of these grapes, which are winter hardy and have shorter growing seasons, include Edelweiss, LaCrosse, St. Croix and Vignoles. Grape types are selected to survive Nebraska’s winter — temperatures sometimes drop to 20–30 degrees below 0.

Fact: Wine selection really isn’t that scary

The reason a certain wine is selected to accompany a certain food is so the aroma and flavors of each enhance the taste. A general guideline is to pair red wine with heavy meals and red meat — white wines should accompany light meals and white meat. Remember, these are general guidelines. There is only one firm rule for pairing wine with food: Choose a wine you know and like.

Fact: Cool wine is refreshing

Why should white wine be served chilled? The three main flavor sensations of white wines are sugar, acid and aromatics. Chilling white wine creates balance by decreasing the sweetness and not allowing the aroma to overpower the other components.

White wines are traditionally served as refreshments or to quench thirst. Cool beverages are perceived to be more refreshing than warm ones. In addition, chilling white wine emphasizes the acidity, which adds to the refreshing sensation.

Tip: Pour like a pro

Still wines should be poured in the center of the glass. Sparkling wines should be poured against the side of the glass to preserve the bubbles. To avoid drips, twist the bottle slightly as you lift it upright. When pouring wine, fill the glass two-thirds full (about 5–6 ounces). This will allow your guests to swirl the wine, smell the bouquet and see the wine’s “legs.” A glass can always be refilled if desired.


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