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Mike Tier joined him on a live edition of Seattle Kitchen to share what he's noticed people eying on the shelves. (AP Photo/File)

Wine drinkers trend toward lighter fare in 2013

With the year just starting up, chef Tom Douglas wanted to know which wine is pairing best with hot new trends.

Mike Tier joined him on a live edition of Seattle Kitchen to share what he's noticed people eying on the shelves.

"It started with a bunch of folks drinking Pinot Noir," guesses Tier. That's why wine connoisseurs and palatable pairers are leaning towards lighter reds.

Along with whites, the lighter-bodied reds pair well with ethnic cuisines like Thai food, as well as seafood.

Some people, says Tier, are just looking for something with less alcohol.

"Compared to when I started wine retail in 1980 wines that were 13 and 13.5 are now 15 and higher in alcohol and that's going to have an impact too."

The smaller amount of alcohol could contribute to fewer headaches, as anecdoteally Tom said people seem to complain about wine headaches when they're drinking the heavier, more alcohol-robust wines. For Tom, the trend towards fewer headaches makes sense.

Along with lighter reds, Tier says folks are looking for whites too - and it's a good time for that.

"There is a lot of great white wine being made here, and around the world. And I think the overall quality has improved quite a bit."

As for Tom's favorite wine of the year so far - it's a bottle he picked up from Tier: Le Veli from Italy.

"For $12, it's a heck of a buy."

Alyssa Kleven, Editor
Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.
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