Wine is one of the most popular gifts during holidays in Korea these days as families warm to its pleasant aroma and various flavors. However, it is often difficult to know which vineyard, vintage or price range to pick without some level of knowledge.
Experts recommend limiting choices by setting a strict budget.
"If you don't have a specific wine in mind, it would be better to narrow down your search by setting the budget," said Huh Eun-young at Winetime, a premium wine retailer. "Then you can choose red or white, followed by the country of origin, such as Chile, France, or the U.S."
Huh said that knowing how to enjoy wine is as important as choosing a good quality bottle. "It's important to enjoy the flavor and aroma of the wine. If you use the right type of glass and keep the temperature right, you'll be able to get the most out of it," she said.
The optimal temperature differs by type. Usually, red wine should be consumed at around 16 to 18 degrees Celsius, or 8 to 10 degrees for sparkling or white wine.
It is also recommended to pair the wine with the kind of food that will be on the table over the holiday, in this case Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving.
Wine in general contains plenty of polyphenol, which removes low-density lipoprotein cholesterol that tends to accumulate in the blood vessels. This makes it suitable for pairing traditional Korean dishes at Chuseok as many of these are relatively high in fat. Red wine brings out the flavor in meat dishes, while white wine may go better with fish. Sparking wine can be enjoyed with pan-fried dishes like jeon, or Korean-style pancakes with assorted vegetable.