Wine is a great addition to your home! It is absolutely wonderful to have on hand in the comfort of your own house. It can also help to liven up the interior of your own home by adding a rustic and fun feeling to your own house, if you choose to pursue a collection of wine bottles! Many people love wine and prefer to have some bottles in their own home, ready to use at the beck and call of their family or even themselves. There is something very exciting about not only drinking wine at other places, but having your own wine as well. It is like shopping for new clothes! The experience of buying something new and different is altogether exhilarating, and this is no exception when it comes to wine. Purchasing wine can be a fun experience as well and even can be even more fun when you purchase the right wine that you are looking for. As stated before, buying wine is like buying new clothes. A lot of clothes can look good, but once tried on may not be what they once seemed to you. You may even end up disappointed when you buy something and realize it is nothing like what you expected. The same thing can be said about wine. Wine can overall look and sound attractive, but it may not always be what you need or are looking for. This is why it is so important that you partake in an overall positive wine buying experience by following these tips and tricks. By doing so, you can be more informed about knowledgeable about the wine buying process and won’t experience any hiccups when adding to your own wine collection!
Tips for Buying Your Kind of Wine
Discover Your Tastes
The art of wine buying begins with exploring and experimenting with all the different kinds of wine that exists out there in the world! How can you know what kind of wine you are looking for, if you have never tried it or experienced it yourself? You need to develop your palate and tastes of wine so that you are more knowledgeable about the kind of wine that you want for yourself. It probably is not wise to buy a wine just because your friend told you that it is their absolute favorite. The truth about wine is that it is so vast in tastes, aromas, etc. that not every wine is going to be favorable among everyone. For example, if someone asks you “What does orange juice taste like?” you know you can offer a general idea by saying it is citrusy, sometime smooth or a little bumpy with pulp, it is cold, refreshing etc. Yet if someone were to ask you “What does wine taste like?” people will be stumped by the question and most likely follow up with “Well what kind of wine are you talking about?” Varieties of wines produce a myriad of flavors that may be suitable to your friends’ palette but is most definitely not suitable to yours. That is why the only smart way to purchase wine is to know what type of wine you like. Do you like red, white, or rosé? Do you like high or low tannins? Are you looking for citrusy and light, dark and bitter, or in-between? The only way you know what you want is by testing out the wine! Test and taste. Experiment and get creative. Get familiar with many different kinds of wines. Maybe stop by a winery. Learn how to taste and what you want to taste. Only then can you be able to make the correct decisions about which kind of wines you want for yourself!
Know the Basics on Reading a Wine Label
It would be very useful that when staring upon shelves and shelves of wines that you know how to read the label on wines. The label offers you a little glimpse of insight into what the wine is all about and this is crucial for buying wine. The labels are not meant to trick you, so although they may be daunting to read at first, once you have learned how they operate, this can be an incredibly useful skill to you. In America, it is absolutely mandatory that all wine bottles are labeled with information such as the producer, brand name, alcohol content, net content, sulfite declaration and a government warning. They will also indicate the type of wine you are dealing with. Producers for the most part will also include extra tidbits of information that are very useful such as origin of the wine, the color, flavor specifications, and the types of food it can be paired with. Don’t be hasty with your wine decisions and take the time to read the label. Those extra few minutes can mean the difference between splurging on a wine that you will absolutely love or spending money on a wine that you cannot bring yourself to finish.
Download a Wine App or Browse Some Wine Blogs
As I stated before, do not make all your wine buying decisions off the opinion of others, but doing some research that relies on blogs and apps may not be a bad idea! Use the research as a way to understand what kinds of wine bring what kinds of flavors and what you can expect from a certain bottle of wine. There are a myriad of wine apps and websites that are catered to bringing you so much information on a bottle of wine such as very specific flavors, aromas, the tannins, acidity, the color, where it comes from, how the grapes are grown, etc. This is all incredibly helpful information that can make you even more enlightened on the many types of wine out there and what they can provide you with. By doing this type of research, you can also then just roll up to the wine store with your lists of wines ready to go!
Sample Up Some of the Wines
A lot of the time there are two different types of buyers in this world. One buyer who enjoys planning out what they are going to buy so that they can find what they are looking for as soon as they get there. The other buyer actually enjoys the approach of knowing that they want something, but wish to be surprised by that specific kind of something when they get there. If you are that type of buyer then no problem! It is okay if you feel as if you want to see the options there and decide from there at the store. If you want to try a different kind of wine and branch out on your wine preferences, but don’t know how exactly to do that then it wouldn’t be bad to request samples of wine when you reach the store. This is a great way to experiment with the different kinds of wines that are offered and find something that is completely new from anything you have ever had before! You can gain great insight on unfamiliar wines. Sample out specials or wines that have been verbally recommended by the people who work there and see what kind of surprise waits for you!
Be Smart About What the Inventory is Like
We all want to believe that any store we go to will provide us with quality service and products, but unfortunately this not always the case. You have to be smart about the wine shops you choose to step foot into so be alert when you are in there! Examine the wine bottles. Inspect them for any sorts of cracks or possibility of air penetration. Look at the corks of the bottles, check out how they are stored or where they are stored. Improper wine storage within the retailer can be a heavy signal to you that the wine may not be top notch or good quality. Improper wine storage leads to a huge negative impact on the taste of the wine which is something you want to avoid. If you notice certain flaws within the store like the wines are incredibly unorganized or the staff lacks the ability to answer your questions descriptively and promptly then this is a major red flag that this retailer may not be willing to offer you the top-notch wine that you are expecting to pay for! Yelp is a great way to get the lowdown on wine retailers. Many people will post honest reviews and ratings of the wine retailer so that you can have a better idea beforehand and can save yourself a disastrous wine shopping experience.
Your Go-To When Buying Wine at a Restaurant
Let’s face it, not all of our wine buying is done at stores that specifically sell many types of wine. A lot of wine buying also comes from frequenting a restaurant with friends, family, or a significant other and this specific situation of wine buying can be very difficult. In this situation once you get handed the list, you are immediately bombarded with so many different wines and you have zero idea of what they are or what to expect. So, you get panicky and then just pick a random one, hoping that it will be good, only to find that the wine does not fit what you are looking for, but too bad the wine bottle was already opened so whether you plan on finishing it or not, you will end up paying for it. Avoid this by following the rule of seeking out wines that have to do with the region of whatever restaurant you are at. If you are enjoying some delicious French food then a nice French wine should do you good. If you are frequenting an Italian restaurant then most likely the Italian wines that the restaurant can offer will be of great quality. One of the most important things though. Do not be afraid to ask! Inquire and ask questions about the various wines and what to expect. It may seem daunting, but it greatly helps in ensuring that you buy the right wine for the correct occasion.
Don’t Fall for the Marketing Tricks
Many marketers will try to use an array of fancy vocabulary to spark your intrigue towards a particular wine. The wine bottle may be littered with an array of words like “Gold Metal Standard”, “Winemakers Selection”, “Grand Reserve” etc. A person who is not that educated on wine buying may fall into the trap of thinking that the wine has won some kind of special contest or award and therefore may be very good! It isn’t. A lot of the time these fancy, schmancy titles don’t mean anything. The wine could be any regular bottle of wine or even poor in quality, but can have these labels in an attempt to trick the customer. Don’t fall for it! Yeah, they could end up being a good bottle of wine, but don’t walk into the store without testing, sampling, or researching and then grab this wine bottle because it sounds like it won a bunch of cool awards. Chances are, it didn’t. So still do some probing and investigating!
Convenient is Not Always Convenient
It is very typical of many wine lovers and buyers that when buying a wine, they tend to go for the ones that are easiest in reach. The wines that are eye-level with them will catch their attention more than the wines that may be shelved at the bottom or top. In peak periods, it is typical that big budget brands of wines sit in the center. In non-peak periods, it is quite common for there to be a mixture of all kinds of wines on display. Cheap to special to heavily discounted may all be intermixed amongst the shelves. Do yourself a favor and really take in all the wines that are being offered. Don’t just survey what is in the middle, rather explore the wines at top or at the bottom. You can find a lot of great hidden gems that way!
There are many tips that can be considered when buying a good bottle of wine and by considering these basic tips listed above, you can become one of the smartest shoppers in wine. Buy great wine at great prices and stay confident that every wine you buy, is a great addition to your own collection!