Are you stuck buying the same old wines every weekend because you don’t want to risk wasting your money on a wine you’re not sure you’ll even like? With so many options on the shelf, shopping for wine, even for the seasoned wine drinker, can be a daunting task. But, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the wine aisle and taking a chance on something new. Follow these easy tips to help you navigate the wine aisle like a pro.
There are no rules
The most important thing about drinking wine is that you enjoy your wine drinking experience — forget the fussy rules and expectations.
What’s your favourite colour?
This next step is fairly easy and is all about identifying the colour of wine you usually like — white, red, or pink. Do you prefer a crisp, clear white wine or a bold, warming red? While any wine can be enjoyed at any time of the year, it’s fairly accepted that white wine is refreshing for a hot, humid day and reds are perfect to curl up with on a bitterly cold night. Once you’ve made that distinction, and really it’s just a matter of preference, you’re already halfway to narrowing down which wine to pick.
Reading the label also helps – here you can find out the vintage, the varietal and origin of the wine, while also finding expert notes about its taste and characteristics.
Consult your taste buds
Once you’ve chosen a colour and varietal, it’s time to decide what taste you’re going for. Do berries sound better than chocolate to you? Or perhaps gooseberries are more appealing than grass? Maybe you’re craving something citrusy and sweet over something spicy and full-bodied? Think about the wines you usually enjoy and the flavours and then let the flavours in those wines guide you to discover a new wine on a similar vein. Everyone is different, so try out a few to see what these differences mean to you.
Of course, you can always ask for assistance in the shop to get a better idea of flavour profiles and which wine will suit your tastes best.
Which varietal do you prefer?
Next look at the varietal type. The varietal is the type of grape used to make the wine. Is your wine a pinot noir or chardonnay? Understanding the different flavours with each grape varietal is important to choosing the right wine. Think about the wines you usually enjoy and try wines made with a similar varietal. Knowing which varietal you like will also help you narrow down the flavours you enjoy in a wine.
For example, the flavours in a Sauvignon Blanc will usually range from zesty lime to flowery peach. You’ll most likely taste lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach.
What’s the occasion?
Next, consider the occasion for drinking this bottle of wine. Are you simply having a quiet night in on your own or are you buying a bottle as a gift for a dinner party or birthday? Once you’ve decided what the wine is for, and you’ve got a price range in mind, ask an assistant to help you find the perfect wine for your budget.
Ultimately, it’s really not that difficult of a task. There is so much variety available and that allows for some fun experimentation with different flavours and styles of wine. The best part is you only need to keep trying out different ones to be sure of your favourites, so as with most things, practice makes perfect.
Feeling overwhelmed by the wine aisle? Shopping for wine online can be a lot more relaxing than being faced with an entire wall of wine in a physical store. Many online wine stores make it easier for customers to narrow down their search and find wines they’ll love. Most online wine shops allow you to search by colour, varietal, and flavours and can give you suggestions based on wines you have liked in the past.
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