Have you been wondering how you can recreate your dinner simply by choosing the perfect wine for your dish? Well, you are not the only one. If this is something that you are looking to do, then you should definitely consider aperitif wines.
This is an alcoholic wine drink that is taken before a meal as an appetizer, and it is something that can completely change up your dinner routine. You can have a glass of wine before your meal to spice things up a bit.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about aperitif wines, so you can find out what they are all about and what you need to consider when choosing the perfect wine for your meal.
We will also give you a list of some of the best aperitif wines to choose from.
Where Did Aperitif Wines Come From?
Just in case you were wondering, the idea of having an appetizer drink before a meal actually dates back to the ancient Egyptian times in the Old Testament.
Aperitifs have long been served, and they are believed to wet and stimulate the taste buds by people across the world.
A long time ago, the Egyptians actually used to mix liquor with spices and herbs that were not only aimed at stimulating one’s digestive tract, but also boosting hunger.
Over time, even though this mixture of herbs and spices has not entirely changed, smoother and classier aperitif inventions have been created.
Some of the first places to introduce appetizers before dinner were places like France and Italy, and this is something that they have kept and proliferated for more than two centuries.
Today, lots of other countries around the globe have adopted the use of aperitifs, and they are produced depending on preference.
To some cultures, an aperitif is a type of social event or get-together occasion where families and friends will come together to socialize and have a good time.
How And When To Serve Aperitifs
The majority of people will prefer to serve aperitifs before meals, just as the guests start arriving, but this is something that will depend on a culture’s consumption history.
The sole reason for providing your guest with an aperitif before dinner is to give them some time to relax, unwind, and socialize. Although, there are some people that will serve aperitifs with dinner, which is also fine.
Either way, there are some rules that still seem to remain universal.
The first general rule when it comes to aperitifs is that they are usually wine for dinner, and they are best served chilled. As well as this, they should remain chilled for the entire consumption period, but this isn’t very long.
The second thing to keep in mind is that an aperitif should be clear, light, dry, and low in sugar content. This is because the aim is to stimulate the appetite and not to limit it.
Sugar is something that can limit your appetite, which is why it is often avoided in higher quantities.
It is also recommended to be lighter, as you don’t want to make your guests feel even slightly full before they have even tasted the food that you have prepared for them. So, the drier the wine, the better, as it will be more effective.
The third, and arguably the most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your aperitif is easy on the stomach. This means that it should be low in alcohol, yet still alcoholic enough to agitate the hunger level of your guests.
To be on the safe side, a good aperitif should contain between 16 and 25 percent alcohol content, which is much lower than other drinks, like spirits, and is why wine is such a great choice.
Finally, you should be sure to keep your aperitifs refrigerated until they are being served, and they should be consumed within a few weeks of opening, as they will oxidize once they have been opened.
What Should You Serve As An Aperitif?
There are no specific rules when it comes to which wine can be served as an aperitif, and the drink that you choose can often be related to your region, culture, and consumption history. In different countries, different aperitifs may be more commonly used than others.
However, whatever you are serving should be something that both you and your guests like. Aperitifs are often filled with flavors like spices, herbs, and roots.
There are lots of different types of wine to choose from, and you should consider the dish that you are making when it comes to finding the perfect wine to pair with it.
In some cultures, aperitifs will be served along with light snacks like crips, olives, or crackers, especially if the dish is still being prepared. This gives the server more time to finish preparing the meal without their guests getting too hungry.
Some Of The Best Aperitifs To Serve At Dinner
Now that you know a little bit more about the history and general rules of aperitifs, it is time to take a look at some of the best aperitifs to serve with dinner.
We are going to share our list of the best aperitif wines with you below, so you can take a look at them if you are unsure what to get.
This is a famous and bitter herbal ruby red Italian drink that’s origin traces back as far as the 18th century.
It is something that has been enjoyed in cocktails for a very long time, and the recipe was actually thought to have been kept as a secret since 1860 by its founding father Gaspare Campar.
Due to its bitter taste, this wine is often best enjoyed by mixing it with a sweeter drink, like club soda. It is also best served chilled.
This is another beverage that is also produced by the Campari group, and it was first created by two brothers called Silvio and Luigi Barbieri in late 1919.
It is a bitter drink with a bright orange hue, and even though it has a bitter taste, it is soft and perfect for serving with dinner. It can often be paired with a well spiced and flavored meal.
Negroni is thought to have first been served in Florence, Italy, back in 1919. It is a great cocktail aperitif that has been made by mixing equal parts of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.
This is a drink that will be served garnished with orange peel, and it is best served on ice. This is why it makes the perfect summer aperitif.
Champagne is a French wine that makes a great aperitif, and it is best served with little or no cream sauced foods, like fish and seafood. Mix up some orange juice and champagne for mimosas. This refreshing cocktail makes an excellent aperitif.
Lillet is a French wine based aperitif that has both the red and white versions that first came to the market back in the 18th century. It is made from a mixture of citrus liqueurs and bordeaux wine grapes. Lillet is best served chilled with a twist of orange to make a great classic aperitif.
Vermouth is a drink that was actually originally used as a tonic drink due to its rich and herbaceous nature. This is a herb infused wine that is one of the most well known aperitifs, and it is very popular.
It is produced by both Italy and France, and it comes in both red and white versions. This is a drink that is best served chilled.
Dubonnet is a french wine based aperitif that also comes in both red and white versions that are infused with spices and best served chilled.
This beverage was first introduced by Joseph Dubonnet in 1846, and it contains a mixture of spices, herbs, peels, and quinine. Although there are red and white versions, the white wine is herb infused, whereas the red one is richer in taste with spice and quinine flavors.
If you are looking for something more classic, then you should definitely try serving martinis as your aperitif drink of choice. This type of drink is typically best served before a great seafood meal.
For those that don’t already know, the incredibly popular martini is an Italian cocktail drink that is composed of artichokes, and is infused with herbs to provide it with a bittersweet taste.
This cocktail is commonly served with another sweeter drink, like soda, and it is best served on ice.
Rose wine is another popular choice that is made from both red and white grapes. Rose wines are typically pinkish in color, and they are the perfect aperitif to serve before any kind of meal, whether it be chicken, beef, seafood, or anything else for that matter.
Rose wines are known for being quite fruity and rich in flavor, and they can even be combined with pizza and grilled foods. Rose also makes a great spring and summer aperitif, and it is a drink that is best served cold.
This is a light and refreshing cocktail that is a mixture of lime cordial and gin. It can be served with almost any meal. Keep in mind that lime cordial can vary in flavor.
Kir And Kir Royale
This is a mixture of champagne and creme, and it provides a range of flavors, from blackcurrant to cherry, or even peach. This is the perfect dinner wine, and it is refreshingly sweet.
A classic cocktail can be achieved when a dry, acidic, and non aromatic wine has been used in the mixture.