How to Select the Ideal Wine For You
Step 1 - Find a Good Store
No two wine stores are identical, which is why you need to look out for stores with an extensive range of selections at varying price ranges. Certain stores organize wine tasting sessions or allow you to try a glass of a particular wine before you purchase it.
It's essential to find a store where you will feel comfortable asking questions since this will ensure that you purchase a wine that is correct for you. Make sure you visit more than just specialty shops since you can find good quality wines in plenty of grocery or liquor stores, too.
Step 2 - Check the Price Tag
The price tag of each bottle of wine should be something you need to take into account, however, avoid basing your choice solely on this factor, since the pricing of many wines is not always related to quality.
Location, business costs, age of the vineyard and many other factors also play a role in determining how expensive a wine will be. It's good to note that certain established wineries actually sell their wines under a different name at a lower price.
Step 3 - Don't Ignore Screw Caps
It is a common misconception that fine wine must have a cork and not a screw cap. In fact, there are actually many advantages to using a screw cap over a cork. First off, they prevent corkiness, which is when corks start to give off their own aroma, thereby harming the wine's quality.
Screw caps are also good for preventing bacteria from entering your bottle of wine, allowing opened bottles to stay fresher for longer. If you believe that you may take longer than a single night to consume a certain bottle of wine, you should consider purchasing one with a screw cap.
Step 4 - Look at the Vintage
While certain wines get better as they age, the vast majority do not, and have finished aging by the time they are bottled. For most wines, you should look for the most recent vintage available, which may be hidden behind older wines (a shady yet common store trick). If, however, you are actually looking for a fine wine, then it would be best to consult a store expert.
Step 5 - Pair Your Wine Properly
What you eat while drinking your chosen wine can significantly affect the taste, which is why following these tips will ensure you get the most out of every last drop:
• Seafood is best accompanied by lighter white wines.
• Savory and salty dishes are usually best served with sweet wines.
• Red meats usually pair better with red wines, while white meats are best paired with white wines.
• Spicy food is best paired with Gewürztraminers and Rieslings.
• Dessert wines and sweet white wines are perfect for pairing with sweet foods.
• Vegetable dishes are best accompanied by light reds and rich whites, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
• If there are many different flavors on the table, then be a bit conservative and go for a well-balanced wine that doesn't have an extreme taste. Pinot Noirs or Sauvignon Blancs are typically considered to be 'safe' wines.
Step 6 - Use an App (Optional)
There's a very good app called Wine Ring, which allows you to record wines you enjoy, and then gives you recommendations based on your personal taste. You can use it instead of (or along with) a wine journal.
Step 7 - Join a Club (Optional)
There are plenty of clubs, both local and international, which can help you learn more about wine while allowing you to explore the rich variety available in the world. One such group is the International Wine of the Month Club, which will send you a bottle or a case of wine once a month.
How to Get the Most Out of Wine
Step 1 - Store Your Wine Correctly
Storing an open bottle of wine incorrectly is a tragic way to ruin it, so follow these tips to ensure that your wine remains fresh for as long as possible:
• Never store an open bottle of wine for more than 5 days.
• Use the screw cap, a cork, or your own stopper to seal the opening.
• Store your wine below room temperature. Your fridge will typically be ideal.
• Store opened wine bottles upright to minimize the amount of air coming into contact with your wine.
Step 2 - Serve Your Wine Correctly
Buying a good wine will mean very little if you then go on to serve it wrongly. Following these tips will ensure that that never happens:
• Red wine should ideally be served in large, wide-bowl glasses.
• White wine should be poured into smaller, more enclosed glasses.
• Fill each wine glass only a third of the way, so that there is space for air to meet the wine and release the aromas.
• Not all red wine should be served at room temperature and not all white wine needs to be chilled. Check the label to see what the producer recommends.
• Pour your wine into a wide-mouth glass pitcher or decanter around an hour before serving to remove harsher flavors.
Step 3 - Cleanse Your Palate
If you are going to switch from one type of wine to another in a single meal or sitting, then you'll need to cleanse your palate to be able to appreciate the flavor the most:
• Crusty bread is a commonly used palate cleanser, which soaks up both the flavor and the alcohol itself.
• Olives work well as a palate cleanser after drinking sweet wine.
• Cheese is great after a red wine since it helps get rid of the tannic flavors.
• A glass of room-temperature water can also cleanse the palate without requiring you to eat.
BONUS: 6 Great Home Uses For Wine
Make sure you share this guide with any wine enthusiasts you know!