Wine Lessons from The Bachelor: Episode 9

Each week, GrapeFriend sums up each episode with what we've learned about wine from Ben's journey to find love.

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I haven't had much good, Swiss wine. However, only about one percent of the nation's wine is exported outside the country, so I don't want to dismiss it as quickly as Ben threw Kacie B. out of his hotel room, and I'm definitely not going to lie down on the floor crying about it. Since Ben and the three girls were in Switzerland, maybe they were drinking some Chasselas. Or maybe not. Here's what would go with each of last night's dates.

Nikki's dates:

1. Picnic on top of the Alps

The pair were on top of the snowy mountains, which I actually thought was gorgeous and incredibly romantic. You'd have to go with a wine made at a high elevation, and Salta, Argentina is the highest winemaking area in the world. Salta's known for its crisp, citrusy Torrontes, which have lately soared in popularity in the U.S. But, since Nikki was drinking out of a thermos, she was probably sipping some hot beverage and not even wine. Also, Ben = not drinking = definitely wasn't wine.

2. Dinner in the chalet

Fireside is always a good time. They were drinking red, and given the cozy setting, that's the right choice. A Cab-Merlot blend will set you right. I loved how there were two bottles in the background at the ready. Who doesn't like a guy who comes prepared?

3. Fantasy suite

Champers was waiting for them (and the other two fantasy dates) in the room. Seems about right.

Lindzi's dates:

1. Rappelling

When flinging your body off of a rocky cliff, why not pair the experience with grapes grown in rocky soil? In Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhone, the large stones on top of the soil confuse visitors into thinking the rocks were were moved there. Anyway, the area produces insanely good wine (my favorite of all time) made out of mostly Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes.

2. Hot tub

Obviously, you gotta go bubbly. Maybe try a Prosecco here since you're going to get Champers in the fantasy suite — should you choose to accept it.

3. Dinner in the Victorian house

Ben was wearing that bow tie (why?) but Lindzi was wearing a mini-dress that showed off her legs (and not in the lame, Angelina Jolie way). You'd want to pair that with a wine that has good legs, i.e. high alcohol. Fortified wines like Port and Madeira could be a good alternative in the fantasy suite.

Courtney's dates:

1. Picnic in Mengen

It seemed kind of cold, but they went with white. (Note how Courtney was the only one who drank wine on her day-date — a sign of Ben's affection?) I couldn't discern what food they bought for their picnic, but I did see Courtney pick up some pears in the little food shop. If you want a wine to pair with pear, go for a yummy, Oregon-grown Pinot Gris.

2. Dinner in the wine cellar

Courtney: "It's just us down here."

Ben: "And a bunch of bottles of wine."

Taking Courtney to the wine cellar definitely signals that Ben is totally into her. Things are really spicing up at this point, so you should go with something like a peppery Zinfandel.

Next week we've got the "Women Tell All" special and then we're down to the final rose! I could totally picture Kacie B. crashing. Or even worse, over-aerating all of Ben's wine and making all the Champagne go flat.

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