If you're anything like us, it'll often take more than the ramblings of a self-proclaimed wine aficionado to separate you from your favourite spirit. Volatile, tannic, terroir? Um... in English, please?
Thankfully, there's an easier way for spirit-lovers like ourselves to find that perfect wine for our range of tastes - without having to drink our way from A to Z (FYI: Albariño to Zinfandel).
We've created a guide to help you find your perfect red, white or rosé by matching it to your spirit soul mate - whether it's gin, whiskey, vodka or tequila.
Vodka - Chablis
If you enjoy the smooth and velvety taste of vodka - then a Chablis might be your new best friend.
Created in a region southeast of Paris, Chablis is made from Chardonnay grapes grown in a cool climate and vinified with little or no exposure to oak barrels, this is one of the world's driest, cleanest, most refined white wines - and it is this refined taste that makes Chablis the perfect wine for vodka enthusiasts to try.
We'd recommend The Petit Chablis 2016 from the Domaine du Colombier vineyards. Crisp, mineral, green and flinty the Petit Chablis 2016 is everything you want from this region. Unoaked, lively and light, with the purity of all good Chablis.
Gin - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
With a plethora of flavours, fragrances and feels, gin is often hard to emulate. However, there are a few constants that can be used to pinpoint that perfect vino. The light, dry and crisp feel is easy: this describes most of the white wines of Austria, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The fragrance and flavour of juniper berry is a bit more challenging, though. The closest comparison is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The New Zealand versions typically have a juicy smell suggesting lime and grapefruit, and to a lesser degree, herbs and flowers.
We suggest trying Tohu's superb New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the iconic Marlborough region. Tohu exhibits aromas of fresh citrus, currant-leaf and herbal notes on the nose, while the vibrant palate displays green apple, pink grapefruit, sweet lime and capsicum flavours; all perfectly balanced with just a touch of zesty minerality, leading to a pure and focused dry finish.
Whiskey - Italian Red
It's certainly not uncommon to see die-hard dram drinkers enjoying a glass of wine on occasion. After all, there are some striking similarities between the two tipples. Both drinks are aged in oak barrels, both can be blended or single estate, and both are significantly impacted by their terroir (a fancy word for where it was made).
But that doesn't mean that any old wine will do. For those venturing from whiskey to wine for the first time, we'd strongly suggest trying out an Italian red to start. Just as many whiskey drinkers thrive on savouring the wide range of aromas and flavours in their drams, the same challenge exists with a complex, full-bodied red.
Interested? Then try out our Villa Sant'anna Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012. A full-bodied red with a vibrant and fruity palate and a long and pleasant finish with notes of toasted spice, this is a perfect introduction for an experienced whiskey drinker.
Tequila/Mezcal - Syrah
Before going much further, it's important to note that a Tequila's flavour is significantly impacted by the ageing process: Añejo spends 1-3 years ageing, Reposado goes 2-12 months and Blanco/Plata only 2 months (or less). If you prefer the toasty flavours that are usually associated with the ageing process - e.g. walnuts, toffee and cloves - then, similar to whiskey, you'll likely find enjoyment with Italian Reds.
However, If you enjoy tequila or mezcal’s for their smokey, salty and citrus tinged agave profiles, we'd instead recommend trying an old world Syrah, particularly from the Northern Rhone region. These are packed with smoky, briny, spicy flavours that will appeal to most tequila and mezcal drinkers.
Domaine Les Chenets 2013 from Crozes-Hermitage, made with 100% Syrah grapes, is a perfect example. Strong and peppery, this red has a dominant nose of red fruits and blackcurrants with round and soft tannins and a full body.
Cocktails/Liqueurs - Viognier
For a refreshing sweetness, not too dissimilar to some cocktails or liqueurs, we suggest a nice Viognier. Lush, perfumey and white, Viognier wines offer a yummy complexity that's perfect for long summer days.
We'd highly recommend South African Viognier 'Lady 2014' as your introduction. Perfect for sweet-toothed shoppers looking to enter the wonderful world of wine, this white boasts notes of dried peach, white pear, almond, stone-fruit and florals.