Deciding on which wine to choose can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t really know what you’re trying to pick out. With these basic wine selection tips, you’ll at least be able to let go of some of the anxiety that you may currently have when picking out wine, and over time you can develop an understanding for your preferences which will help you decide more easily.
Wine preferences are very personal, so you can’t let others tell you what is and isn’t good. The following wine selection tips will help you make an informed decision:
1. Decide on a colour
Red, white, or rose? Well, there are a few different indicators that can help you decide. First of all, new wine drinkers should probably start with a white or rose because they are normally lighter wines and their flavours are easier to become accustomed to. You can gravitate towards red once you are familiar with some of the flavours you’ll find in the wine.
2. Decide on the food
Another way to decide on the colour is to pair it with the food you are going to be eating. Tomato sauce pastas and red meats are often paired with red wine, while cream sauce pastas and white meats are generally paired with white. These are just general indicators, however, since the label of the wine will also often tell you what foods it pairs well with.
3. Pick out your favourite flavours
Wines can consist of almost any flavour imaginable from apples, berries, and pears, to vanilla, cinnamon, and even earthy flavours like soil and leaves. Find a wine that lists some flavours that you know you like, if you are able to pick out a familiar flavour in the wine, it is likely that you will find it more appealing than something that is totally foreign to your taste buds.
4. Experiment with different flavours
If you want to try something new, you could buy a wine that combines some familiar flavours with something that is new to you. This can help you to expand your taste horizons while still keeping high chances that you’ll find something you enjoy.
5. Choose a taste category
Wines can belong to one of three, and very rarely four, flavour categories. These are: sweet, bitter, sour, and sometimes salty. This is likely the feature that most depends on your own personal tastes. Wines can come with strong or subtle hints of one or more of these categories.
If you are looking for something that will appease the tastes of many different people, try to choose something that is a little more neutral. If you are just buying something for yourself, you can lean more heavily towards something that matches your preferences.
6. Remember your preferences
Find a way to remember what you’ve tried, what you liked, and what you didn’t like. Over time you will find some general go-to descriptions – you’ll learn some of the flavours you want to taste in a wine, or whether you prefer sweet or bitter wines more.
7. Take notes about the different wines you try
If you really want to learn and become a master of your own taste, take note of the ages, the flavours, the grapes used, and even the locations. There are so many factors that go into a wine, it would be impossible to remember them all, so store that information somewhere for future reference.
8. Just test it out
Be adventurous! If you are really trying to find what works for you, try a variety. Try white, red, and rose. Try Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Try wines from a variety of countries, from a variety of vineyards, and from a variety of different grapes. There are so many different aspects to wine, don’t be afraid to give your taste buds an adventure.