From the most experienced connoisseur to the budding wine enthusiast, we have all found ourselves in a situation where we are stood before shelves full of different wines wondering which is right for us. The answer to that question is not a simple one to answer, as taste is not objective and a lot of who you are and what you enjoy is eventually going to have to go into the decision you make.
However, there are a few things you can do to improve the probability of that selection actually being something you enjoy. Here we are going to look at a few tips that will help you pick out a wine that should be suitable to your tastes.
Consider Your Budget
How much you have to spend is important, because it allows you to immediately rule out wines that are outside of your price range. This allows you to limit the search somewhat, giving you a smaller field of potential wines to choose from.
However, there is one more note that we should make about price. Many people hold the mistaken belief that only the most expensive wines offer quality. This is not the case at all. There are plenty of wines out there that can be purchased for very reasonable prices that will satisfy you. So don’t turn your nose up at any wines because of their price tag. At least not until you have followed the second tip.
Do Some Research
With the internet at your fingertips thanks to smartphones and tablet computers, you never have to go into a wine purchase uninformed every again. There are plenty of sites out there that can offer you more information about the wines you find, including Xtrawine.
What you should be looking for is wines that offer similar notes and texture to those that you already know you enjoy. However, digging beyond that you may also want to consider how the wine is going to be consumed. Are you going to drink it without any food? In that case, something lighter may serve your palette well as you will have nothing to complement the heavier textures found in more complex wines. Alternatively, you may have an idea for a meal you are going to prepare to stand alongside the wine. In that case, find out what types of wine complement the meal you have in mind to narrow your options down further.
Read the Label
If you have a little more experience with wine and tend to understand what you actually enjoy from a bottle, you should find that the label can offer you plenty of information to help you make your choice.
Through careful examination of the label you should find out about the producer and region, in addition to being able to spot any certification or designation of appellation, such as the DOC label on Italian wines. Many labels now also go into more detail about the ageing process used for the wine and what the dominant notes are. All of this can be used to inform you decision, especially if you don’t have a phone to hand or internet connectivity is poor.
Attend a Few Tastings
If you don’t have much experience with wine yet you may not have developed a strong enough sense of what you do and don’t enjoy in a drink. This can lead to a few bad selections that could put you off of drinking wine for a while.
To avoid this, consider attending a few tastings and, if possible, get some lessons from a sommelier on what to look for in a wine. Use these sessions to really get a sense of what you are drinking, which means swirling and smelling the wines before you consume them and letting them linger in your mouth for a while so you can develop your ability to pick out the various notes that make up the overall body of the wine. While we don’t want to say that we guarantee that a tasting session will lead to you finding a wine you enjoy, we do think you will come out of the experience with a better idea of what to look for and what you actually like.
Ask Other People
One of the great joys of the modern wine industry is that there is so much to choose from. Producers from all over the world make great wines every single year, but this abundance of choice can also make it very difficult to find the perfect wine for you.
This is where other people can help you out. Speak to friends and family about the wines that you enjoy and you will often find that many of them can make recommendations to you. Now, you can’t always expect these recommendations to be as great for you as they are for others, wine preferences are somewhat subjective after all, but it can be a pathway to discovering new wines.
Furthermore, you can use the internet to your advantage here too. By heading onto a forum and giving people an idea of what you tend to enjoy in wines, you should find that many people will be able to offer recommendations that are more tailored to your tastes.
Take The Occasional Risk
What is life without the occasional risk? This rings as true for wine as it does for anything else, as you never truly know whether or not you will like something until you give it a try.
Whenever you have the opportunity, try something new. You may be at a bar or restaurant with friends and spot a wine that you have never even heard of before. What’s the harm in giving it a try, just for one glass? You may find that you don’t like it, in which case you know to avoid buying bottles of it in the future. Or, you may discover that a wine that comes completely out of left field and shocks you with its quality, making it yet another to add to your ever-growing list of great wines that you enjoy.