Thinking about which wine you should purchase can be a daunting experience for many. Wine can seem strikingly complex and when you are looking at a list of unfamiliar wines, it can be difficult to know which ones you will like, especially if you are a newbie. In a restaurant, of course, the easiest thing would be to ask the sommelier for help, but as most ordinary people don’t have access to one, they have to rely on basic strategies to pick the perfect wine for them.
Having some basic knowledge of varietals, which is the type of grape used for the wine can go a long way in helping you to avoid common mistakes. Additionally, understanding your favorite wine can help you talk about it with authority, which will, in turn, allow you to try different blends and varietals. If you find yourself at a wine store and are not sure which wine you should buy, here are some tips that can help:
Take a look at the label
Many people are guilty of buying wine simply based on the font of the label or its quality, which is wrong. It is important to read the label to avoid surprises. For instance, labels that say table wine might seem delicious, but they could also raise red flags. Wines labeled table wine or California wine are likely from a general region, state or an entire country. Although the wine’s quality may be fine, such wines tend to be noticeably unbalanced and are often bland.
Understand why the bottle is on sale
While wine stores are likely to have crazy discounts and deals all the time, most stores place wines on sale either because the ideal consumption window for the said vintage has come and gone or the wine is not popular with customers and the store simply wants to clear out the inventory. Neither of these factors necessarily point to a bad quality wine, but it is something to consider before you pay for that discounted bottle.
Know which terms to use
The terms that you use to describe wine can make a huge distinction. Instead of simply asking for sweet wine, be sure to specify whether you want a sweet one like some Rieslings or one that has a nose of tropical fruit, but is not necessarily sweet. Understanding which adjectives to use instead of vague terms can help you narrow down your choices and pick the right wine for you.
When in doubt
Whenever you are in doubt and do not know which wine to buy, a crisp, dry rose will almost always do the trick. A crisp rose has a refreshing acidity and a lively effervescence that goes beautifully with almost all dishes and situations. To wow your guest, opt for a sparkling rose.