History of Wine - Gastronomic functions
Table wine refers to wines intended for human consumption as a beverage. Aperitif wine, dessert wine and wine with a gastronomic function can be grouped according to their cuisine. Table wine, as described, is “the most common and lightest of those consumed during a meal, unlike dessert wine”.
The Royal Spanish Academy defines table wine as “the most normal and preferred wine consumed during a meal, as opposed to dessert wine”. It can also be defined as a “drink with a gastronomic function”. Spanish gastronomy allows the consumption of red wines that are lighter than those for dessert, of no more than twelve degrees.
However, wines that are sweet or very generous in alcohol are not suitable for the table. Before and after a meal, Sherry and Port are usually offered in moderate quantities due to their characteristics, but not too much to accompany it.
While ideas for food are relative, “What would you like for dessert wine?” it can be a sweet wine. Or “I’ll keep the red wine”, etc. That same person may want another wine for dessert another day or change wine over the course of the same meal.
Table wine, in addition to being a drink, is part of a broader category: table drinks. Cider, perada and wine are part of the Escoffier menu. For him, wine is the best choice for all temperaments, besides beer.
According to Japanese cuisine, there are some sakes, such as “ginjo shu”, which is considered suitable to accompany fish and crustaceans. The “jyun meishu” is considered suitable for pairing with bittersweet dishes, as well as fish and crustaceans. In general, white wine is preferred for fish or egg dishes and red wine for meat. The stronger the stew, hunting for example, the stronger and more aged the red wine should be.
Although “grass wine” can also be called “table wine”, the wine consumed in common meals in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy is always wine. In other countries, it is only consumed when a party is celebrated. Exceptional wines are usually reserved for special occasions and not for daily consumption. “Grass” doesn’t mean low quality.
Rather, “peleón” is used to describe wines that are of low quality. For a wine to be considered of low quality, it must be referred to as “house wine”. The same goes for “house wine”. “House wine” is rarely made by the person who serves it. Good or bad wine is usually offered as a rule. The best restaurants serve the usual wine as house wine. It’s expensive and decent. To be served as house wine, the usual restaurant wine must be excellent and expensive.
According to Regulation 1493/1999, of May 17, low-quality wines, based on certain criteria, could no longer indicate on their labels the vintage, the vineyard or the place of origin. Instead, they could only label “table wine” so that buyers would know that it wasn’t another liquid.
As a result, “table wine” has become synonymous with bad wine in the minds of many. This is not accurate. Bordeaux and Rioja wines, of unquestionable quality, are “vin de table” or “table wine”, but they are not labeled as such.