Wine has an air of sophistication that isn’t associated with many other alcoholic beverages. A glass of wine can boost your social profile, and it can also boost your health.
But while many people are attracted to wine, some are intimidated when it comes to buying it. They may not know how to choose a wine that they’ll enjoy, or how to buy wine at all.
If you find wine to be overwhelming, keep these simple tips in mind. They’ll help you find a bottle that you’ll love.
Don’t Focus On Price
Many people who are new to wine get fixated on prices. They assume that an expensive wine is of a high quality, or that cheap wine isn’t worth drinking.
The truth is that the price tag says very little about a wine’s value. There are costly wines that are exquisitely crafted, but some pricey wines simply have a big marketing budget. Some cheap wines have a terrible taste, but others offer a surprising amount of value.
While it’s smart to set a budget for your wine purchases, you shouldn’t use cost as an indicator of quality. You’ll have to rely on other factors when it comes to choosing the perfect bottle.
Use Location To Find A Great Value
Wine pricing is often strongly dependent on regions. If you buy wines from regions that tend to have lower pricing, you’ll have a better chance of finding a lower bargain. For example, Chile is known for its excellent and reasonably priced wines. Countries that aren’t often associated with wine, such as Austria, also offer a good value. In contrast, wines from France and Italy are more likely to be overpriced.
Taking Advantage Of Retailer Discounts
If possible, try to take advantage of discounts offered by retailers when purchasing wine. As long as wine is stored appropriately, it won’t go bad, which means you can save a great deal of money by buying multiple bottles at once. For example, some retailers offer a discount if you purchase a case rather than a single bottle. Others offer extra savings if you purchase six bottles instead of one. See what kind of deals are available in your area, and plan your shopping trips accordingly.
Don’t Buy Wine In Bulk
While buying wine by the case can be a great idea, you should avoid buying wine from retailers who sell it in bulk. These wines are often re-labeled, which means that you might not be getting the beverage that you think you are.
If you see a great bulk wine deal, examine the label closely. Look for discrepancies, such as a “French” wine that was actually manufactured in Argentina. When it comes to wine, it’s important to understand your likes and dislikes. Inaccurate labeling can keep you from finding a wine you’ll love.
Taking Advantage Of Trends
As time goes on, certain types of wine tend to be “on trend.” People might rave over Cabernets, or ooh and aah over a Pinot Noir. If you pay attention to these trends, but don’t follow them, you can get a top quality wine for a bargain price.
Wines like Chenin blanc, Beaujolai, or muscadet may not be a hit at trendy wine bars, but they can certainly be enjoyed at your own home. Take a chance and try a wine that’s fallen out of fashion. While trends come and go, great wine is always worth drinking even if it’s not in style.
Selecting A Wine For A Party
If you’re picking a wine for a party, you have to consider more than your own tastes. You’ll need to pick a drink that all of your guests will enjoy.
Because some people only drink white or red wine, it’s a smart idea to offer one wine of each type. Try to focus on wines that are crowd pleasers, like a nice Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.
While it’s generally a good idea to ask for advice when purchasing wine, be careful about doing this when you’re buying wine in party-sized quantities. Some salespeople will take advantage of this opportunity and use it to push mediocre wines that are overstocked.
Deciding Which Wine To Order
Ordering the right glass of wine at a restaurant can be a huge challenge. While most restaurants will allow you to sample a wine before you order a full glass, you’ll still need to have a general idea of what it is you want.
If possible, you’ll want to talk to the restaurant’s sommelier before you place an order. Be very clear about what it is you want. Even though a sommelier is an expert, they have a very limited amount of time in which to come up with a selection. If a sommelier isn’t available, ask the waitstaff if they can suggest a drink that would compliment your dinner order.
Deciding When To Drink Your Wine
Many people obsess over when to open a bottle of wine. Films and television often make a big deal about opening a bottle that’s been set aside for ages.
The truth of the matter is that most wines are designed to be consumed right away. While it’s fine to save a wine for a special occasion, there’s no reason to hold onto a bottle for years or more. Feel free to drink your wine whenever you’d like.
Avoiding Wine Headaches
Some people get headaches after drinking a bottle of wine. Although these headaches are often associated with cheap, poorly-made wines, they can actually occur for a number of reasons.
In some cases, people are sensitive to the sulfites in wine. To counteract this, these people should opt for organic wines or wines from the EU. Others are sensitive to red wines, white wines, or wines made in a particular region. Pay close attention to your triggers so that you can learn what to avoid.
Wine isn’t as complex as it’s often made out to be. If you do your research and shop smart, choosing a great bottle of wine will be a breeze.