It’s no secret that wine has become far more accessible over the last two decades. This means you can’t just pick up any old bottle and cross your fingers – because it’s likely that those coming to your dinner party will have already tasted that bottle and be able to offer a different choice. The key, these days, to picking wine is knowing what you like, what goes with what you’re serving, and what will impress.
Here are WineDom’s tips for how to best select wines, for consumption by others, on your next trip to the store.
- Don’t Be A Snob:
Your local shop is always a good idea, especially if it specializes in wine, but don’t overlook other options like large grocery stores. Many are now providing excellent selections, including from smaller, local vineyards, and hiring dedicated wine staff to help. Prices are likely to be a little lower due to the stores’ ability to buy in large quantities and chances are the wine staff aren’t used to customers who understand wine.
- Know The Basics:
Have an idea of your basic likes/dislikes and not just color. Do you like full or light bodied? Spicy or fruity? Offer some bottles you have particularly enjoyed, which brings us to #3.
- Keep A Wine Journal:
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (although moleskine and other companies offer awesome wine journals, or you can ask for a handmade one for a gift but tracking what you’re trying and how you feel about it is the most valuable tool you can use with a wine expert to find things you are likely to enjoy. While there are plenty of online apps, many of these are lacking in a wide database of options or don’t know the specifics on limited or special additions, boutique brands, or interesting mixes. Tracking your wine by hand or in a document on your phone or computer (or using something like googledocs that is accessible anywhere) will provide the best results. Wine shops are always excited to turn you onto something new – they know it will bring you back.
- Expand Your Comfort Zone:
If we were drinking the first wine we liked we’d all still be drinking something we probably haven’t touched in years. Something than when we do buy for nostalgia’s sake we wonder how we could drink. As you learn about and taste more wine, your palette will develop and crave new things. Don’t be afraid of this: embrace it. Try dry if you think you only like sweet, go for sparkling if you have only had it at weddings. By telling an expert what you like and are willing to try they can cater to your tastes and curate selections that will slowly bring new wines into your life. You can’t drink that same Sterling Merlot forever (even if it is good!).
- Talk To Others Who Like Wine:
On social media? Follow vineyards or wine writers on Twitter and facebook. Leave comments, ask questions. Wine is social and people love to talk about it. You don’t have to spend hours on the forums or create a new wine identity, but take advantage of the internet to communicate with others and learn from them. Pinterest is a great place to find curated lists of wine. Don’t forget to connect with us online – Winedom is on Facebook, G+, Twitter and Pinterest!
Start logging your wines and tell us the new bottles you’re trying based on what you currently love. We’re always looking for new wines, too.