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The Golden Rules for Buying a Bottle of Wine

You’ve browsed our store and you have half a dozen tabs open. Every single one goes to an Italian wine that you’re thinking about buying. All of these wines sound delicious and you’d happily buy all of them…

But your bank account isn’t going to allow for that. 

You need to make a choice. You’ve got to figure out which wine to buy and you’re struggling. What if you make the wrong choice? What if you let the perfect wine slip through your fingers?

Take a moment and breathe!

We’re going to give you the golden rules for buying a bottle of Italian wine.

With these rules at hand, you can feel confident in any purchase that you make.

Let’s kick things off with…

Ask Yourself “What’s the Occasion?”

Why are you buying this particular bottle of wine?

It’s an important question because the decision you make will differ depending on the occasion.

If you’re buying for yourself then your job just became a bit easier. After all, you hopefully already know what you like and what you’re not so keen on. That should help you to figure out which wine on your shortlist should make the cut.

If you’re buying for somebody else, you’ve got to know what they like. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to gather some information or they’ve told you about a particularly variety that they enjoy. 

But if you’re buying for a group occasion, like a party or dinner with friends, the rules change all over again. Now, you’re not buying something for one person. You’re buying something that has to satisfy a large group of people, all of whom have different tastes. In these circumstances, it’s generally best to select a popular wine, rather than one that has the potential to be divisive or overly-complex.

Ask an Expert

Looking for something new but don’t know where to start?

Why not ask an expert?

If you’re shopping in a physical wine shop, take a few minutes to ask the owner what they think you will enjoy. Come ready with a description of the types of wines that you usually enjoy and they may be able to point you towards something new.

If you’re shopping online, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. Check out the descriptions from the manufacturer and vendor. Read up on reviews and find out what people think about the wine.

The more you know, the more likely it is that you’ll make a purchase that suits your tastes.

You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot to Get Quality

The idea that only expensive wines are worth your time is one of the biggest misconceptions in the world of wine.

Sure, wines that carry a heftier price tag come with a certain level of prestige. Plus, you can feel assured that they are of a good quality because they wouldn’t be able to justify the price if they weren’t.

However, a wine that costs a little less isn’t automatically bad by comparison. In fact, there are many Italian wines that cost less than €30 that are acclaimed by experts all over the world.

The point we’re making is that you don’t have to assume that you’ll spend a ton to get a good wine. That means you don’t have to automatically disregard anything that falls under a certain price point.

Be Honest About Your Budget

Sticking with the money theme, have you ever spent more than you would on a bottle of wine in a restaurant because you felt like you had to?

Or, have you ever felt nervous about asking questions about a bottle of wine based on your budget?

The simple advice here is that you shouldn’t let budget issues stop you from asking questions. Practically any decent seller, be it online, in a wine shop, or in a restaurant, will want you to find the best possible wine based on how much you can spend. Don’t worry about making some sort of bad impression just because you don’t have hundreds to drop on a bottle of wine.

Think About What You’re Eating

We’ve spent plenty of time talking about great Italian wine and food pairings on this blog so we think you’ve gotten the message by now…

Your wine choice could make or break the meal that you’re planning on having.

You could buy the best wine in the world and it would lose much of its charm of combined with the wrong type of food.

When buying wine, think about how the flavour profile stacks up against the food that you’re thinking of eating. You want them to complement each other, rather than clash against each other.

Always Check the Label

A wine’s label tells you a lot about what’s inside.

Usually, you’ll be able to get the name of both the wine and the producer. This gives you a great starting point for your research. The label may also contain notes about what you can expect from the wine’s flavour profile. Plus, you’ll want to find out if it carries DOC or IGT certification.

But beyond this, there’s another reason to check the label.

You’re looking for signs of counterfeit wines. Even the most reputable vendors can occasionally get duped by counterfeiters. A quick scan of the label for things like spelling errors may be just what you need to prevent you from buying a fake.

The Final Word

There’s one more golden rule for buying Italian wine…

Enjoy the experience!

There are so many options available to you that you can get joy from the mere process of exploring the world of Italian wine. And sure, you may occasionally grab a bottle that doesn’t work for you.

But you may also find something that’s better than you ever expected.

Just check out the vast Xtrawine catalogue to find a wine that suits your tastes and your budget. And if you have any questions, feels free to get in touch with our experts today.

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