Choosing wine by mood/setting?

Slightly strange question I guess, but which wines do you choose based on your mood/setting rather than just food matching etc?

For instance, I’ll choose a good-as-I-can-afford NW chardonnay when I want to relax at the end of a busy week, a Vinho Verde if it’s sunny and I want to sit in the garden with family/guests before dinner, a silky red like a good carmenere or Rioja if I’m feeling contemplative and want to sit nursing the glass in peace and quiet, a juicy Spanish red for after-dinner chats with friends… that kind of thing.

It’s another dimension to wine - the way it suits certain situations and the way you’re feeling. :slight_smile: I’d be interested to hear your top matches to certain situations! :wine_glass:


Lovely topic, @laura! It’s definitely a consideration for me when choosing wine, probably only second to food matching.
The following immediately come to mind… a very cold Rueda Verdejo on a hot summer’s day (we do get some of those in Sussex sometimes!! :wink: ); same goes for a Sardinian Vermentino (which probably started my love affair with wine)- has to be DOCG Vermentino di Gallura. For a cosy cold winter’s evening- a comforting St Chinian, or a Tempranillo from Ribera Del Duero/Toro, and for relaxing with the other half- Alsace wine always hits the spot, whatever the weather… Amarone della Valpolicella for contemplative mood, and a German Spätburgunder from Baden to remind me of my German friends and the good times we always have when we meet. There are so many other examples, but difficult to think of them all, and work is calling! :smiley:
Looking forward to reading other people’s thoughts!!

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Great topic @laura. Mood and settings really play into the choices I make about what I’d like to drink. I also think, a bit like music, certain wines remind you rather in a romantic way of times, places, people and memories you’ve made . I would always associate pigato with sitting on a terrace on the beach in Diano Marina, Liguria and a kir royale with sitting in the Place du Tetre in Montmarte.
Similarly, I drank almost exclusively Tsindali White while living in Baku and it reminds me not only of my time there but of the wild parties and great friends I made (most likely helped by the Tsindali).
I associate Torrontes with a summers day sitting outside and similarily Soave .
A hot Dutch beach in the height of summer called for an ice bucket and a chateau Minuty shared with a short lived romance :rofl:…!! (Many moons ago)
and the wines you drink at Christmas can also help you remember the “specific” Christmas …!!
I remember sharing a rather soulless and stinky carmènere with an old boss , it very much reflected his boring personality but also sharing a bottle of stunning Sancerre with a friend on the banks of the river near Ely, Cambridgeshire! ( I could go on FOREVER ).
I think if you’re “into” wine, there are so many events you remember because of the wines you drink. They become associated with the time, the place and the person you share it with … all very romantic really :wink:…!


Long time ago I took part in addiction counselling training, as part of my counselling degree. We spent a whole day discussing the connection between drug use and ‘set/setting’. Far from suggesting that wine is a drug (!!) - it nevertheless seems to work in the same way :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@Inbar :scream::scream::scream::scream::scream::scream:

Sorry, didn’t mean to sound alarmist!!! :blush::blush:


If we go by the following definition then wine IS a drug…

a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body

Was also surprised to find the following. Dosing is as follows…

For reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke: 1-2 drinks (120-240 mL) per day.
For reducing the risk of heart failure: up to four drinks of wine per day.
For reducing loss of thinking skills in older men: up to one drink per day.
For reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in healthy men: between two drinks per week and three or four drinks per day.
For reducing the risk of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes: up to seven drinks per week.
For reducing the risk of infection with the ulcer-causing bacteria called Helicobacter pylori: more than 75 grams of alcohol from beverages such as wine.

I am wondering whether for multiple illnesses you simply add up the doses.


I am, like, so healthy.



The self-medication approach to life!! :thinking:


I own up to not consciously choosing particulars ones to suit certain situations…perhaps an exception to rule would be
1st grade celebration…Champagne from the Larmandier-Bernier house
All other celebrations. …Cremant de Jura Aldi :rose::wine_glass:


I don’t often get the chance to put a record on and just sit back and wallow in it these days, but every now and then I stay up for a while after my wife’s gone to bed, get the vinyl out, and pour myself a decent claret in a big glass. Layers of flavours you can get lost in to enjoy with a great record. Heaven.


All your examples are warming my heart, you guys! :heart_eyes:

Especially the ones associate with fond memories, like @Inbar’s German friends, and @Leah’s ghosts of Christmas past. That’s very true actually, lots of wines I go back to at Christmas I choose because they remind me of past Christmases, like the Talmard Macon and McManis Petite Sirah.

@onlyawino - LOVE that Aldi Cremant de Jura! :grinning: Have picked up a bottle a few times and always found it pepped up the start of a party/evening with friends.

@Bargainbob A good wine and music combo is such a pure pleasure. Like you said, you just get lost in it all. Any particularly good combinations you’ve discovered? :smile:

And, well, @szaki1974 and @Herbster, thanks for making me laugh loudly in the middle of the office, yet again… :rofl:


7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Wine and music matching

I’d love to get in on the Joni and the Isaac debates @Inbar @Bargainbob @Herbster - I’m a huge fan of both. Those Joni records take me back… But actually this music talk is off-topic, really, so here are my thoughts on @laura’s question.

If you remove all the obvious/immediate factors that lead you to a bottle of wine (time of day, day of week, location, food you’re about to eat, company), what have you got left outside of mood and setting? Not much.

So I really identify with this. My mood has always strongly been influenced by weather. In the autumn I like Rhône, for example, or anything with Syrah or Grenache or Mourvèdre; in autumn it has to be Pinot Noir all the way, and Barolo, and Rioja; in spring I start opening lighter wines like a Beaujolais Cru or a traditional Rioja; in summer I can’t wait to open the good rosés, Grüner Veltliner, Albariño, and continue with lighter reds… So the seasons are big drivers for me.

Throughout the year there’s never a reason not to drink varieties I love regardless of mood, like Chardonnay, which I love at any time, and Pinot Noir. I only drink claret at Christmas. I’m barely interested in claret and Bordeaux varieties, but I do like a good one in December.

In terms of mood, I’m not terribly introspective so I don’t think of mood as a trigger. But I do like to work out what wine I think will suit the company I’m expecting. If the people really like their wines, then I’ll do a mini-vertical of something, or a horizontal of a region they might not know. If they don’t know anything about wine, but are interested, I’ll get a Society Exhibition wine, in the hope that they’ll love it and will join. (Yep - I’m a shameless promoter). If they know nothing and are not interested… Actually I don’t know anybody like that.

I also tend to think about what to cook as a function of the wine, rather than the other way round. So if I’m in the mood for a Sauvignon Blanc, then I’ll want fish, for example. If I want a Burgundy I might want a roast. If I’m dying for a buttery, oaky Chardonnay I might want cheese or a roast chicken. If it’s sunny and I want a really good Grenache-based rosé, I’ll get olives or almonds out - something salty.

Finally, I cannot separate a lot of wine from memories. Most wine types, and in a number of cases, specific wines, have associations for me. Rioja takes me back to my earliest wine experiences, wines from Galicia make me think of the many Galician seafood feasts I’ve had, Australian wines make me think of the vineyards I’ve seen there, Priorat is my go-to patriotic wine region for all things relating to Catalonia, rosés remind me of brilliant summers of days gone by and fill me with hope of summers to come, while very specific wines make me think of people I love and make me smile.


As an introvert, it’s possible to be transported to your favoured places just by a tasty drop… the scent of Provençal pines can be conjured up with a pale rose wine, a Tuscan square with a Negroni Sbagliato and Andalusian bars with a Manzanilla… an inversion of the original question. So where to tonight…?


Nice to know I’m not the only one! Sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by how passionate people are about Bordeaux/Claret, and think that something is wrong with me :thinking:. I have loved some over the years, for sure, but somehow they never make my heart sing… Or perhaps I am yet to taste a definitive one which will change my mind? :slight_smile:
I like your mention of the importance of seasons! I am also influenced by seasons and the moods I associate with them- perhaps it’s something to do with coming from a place with none. Having said that, part of me always yearns for a weighty or perfumed white, whatever the weather. An Alsatian Pinot Gris or Gewurz always lifts the spirit…


I’m glad! I think they should very much be taken into account when thinking about wine as well as food.

Definitely nothing wrong with you. Overwhelmed by the passion of others? Don’t let it bother you. Find your own passions. My views on Bordeaux - or more precisely, my views on what drives people to love it, or pretend to love it, or look “passionate” about it - are unprintable, so I’ll leave it at that.


Oh! I’m intrigued now! :thinking:
… but I think I can make some educated guesses… :wink:


Excellent question - after all, it’s all about context.

Early summer evening in the garden, at that magic time when the buzz of commuter cars has died away but before the bats come out; Beaujolais - ideally a Morgon with a few years in the bottle, a few friends around.

If you want to push the boat out; then same time of day/evening but solitary camping in the Lake District … best Claret you can afford, lamb steak sizzling on the BBQ.


I’ll give this some careful thought and then maybe I can come up with a printable version!

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