A lot of pressure goes into choosing a bottle of wine. The decision is dependent on a variety of factors. Whether the bottle is for a special occasion, to impress guests or higher-ups, or just a Friday night in, you want it to be special enough to remember. You would also need it to fit whatever budget you have. To meet whatever needs you have, you’re met with infinite choices. Red, white, or rosé? Sparkling or not? How much alcohol? Which region should the bottle originate from? What brand should you get? How long should the wine have been aged? All these considerations may be overwhelming, but it all comes back to one thing: your own preference! Here are some key things to remember when considering which wine to purchase.
Follow your palate
This is especially important if you’re buying wine for yourself. You have no one to impress but you!
You can do your research beforehand by reading reviews or paying attention to wine scores, but pay little attention to what other people say. Instead, listen to what your palate says.
Are you keen on sweet wines or acidic wines? Do you mind tannins? Do you like a bit of fizz? Are you a fan of oaky smells or fruity ones? Does your tongue appreciate a full-bodied wine? These are all questions you should have answers to before you purchase your bottle.
See if you can taste the wine before purchase
Take advantage of specialized wine stores that let you taste and smell the wine before you make your choice.
Testers of potential bottles help you make an informed decision. Pay attention to the following:
- Balance of taste and smell
- How long the flavor of the wine stays on the palate (many swear by the 10-minute rule—a wine whose flavour lingers for 10 minutes after drinking is a good wine)
- How long the smell remains in the nose
- Packaging and bottling
Consider the audience
If you’re buy wine for a gift or a special occasion with guests, you can check out this article for tips on how to choose wine for the right occasion.
A pro tip is to go for a crowd pleaser wine. This is a wine that is most likely to be enjoyed by everyone. Pinot Noir is an ideal wine for this. It’s red, so it bears the sophistication of an expensive wine. But it’s also light-bodied that wine lovers and beginners alike can palate it well.
Don’t mind the myths
One of the most popular adages about wine is that it gets better with age. Many customers end up fixating on the vintage noted on the label, thinking, “the older, the better.”
Do all wines get better with age? The truth is, only a few wines are meant to be enjoyed with age. Other wines are best consumed when young, in order to enjoy the most of the flavors.
Another popular misconception is that expensive wines taste better. Splurging on wine for a gift may be a good shout, but it’s important to remember that price doesn’t always dictate quality. There are plenty of affordable, good-quality bottles!
Stray away from popular regions
Everyone wants to get their hands on bottles from prestigious regions like Napa Valley, Tuscany, and Burgundy. Wines from these appellations are notoriously delicious, but they also cost more.
Great value wines can be found in more undervalued regions. Land and labour costs are cheaper in these areas, and therefore the wines are more budget-friendly without compromising quality.
Some of these regions include:
- Patagonia, Argentina for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
- Mendocino, California for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
- Puglia, Italy for Primitivo di Manduria
- Columbia Valley, Washington for delicious red wines