How to Pick the Right Wine: Beginner’s Guide

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Does your wine-drinking experience mostly revolve around boxes stored in a dorm room mini-fridge? Now you have to impress dinner guests, a client, or a significant other’s family, and the wine aisle at the supermarket is causing anxiety. Or, maybe you desire to become a budding oenophile (i.e. wine lover) yourself. Selecting wine doesn’t have to be pretentious or even all that complicated—here are some tips to help you on your journey.

You will need

  • 1 A well-stocked grocery store
  • 2 A menu
  • 3 A sense of adventure

1

Identify Your Budget

Wines range in price from $3 a bottle to some rare vintages that cost as much as a house. Fortunately, you can find decent wine at most price points. When you’re starting out, it’s best to look for bottles between $10 to $30 each.

2

What’s For Dinner?

Wine is famous for complimenting food, and different wines pair well with different meals. In very broad terms, white wines pair better with fish, poultry, and vegetables; reds go better with red meat. Sparkling and dessert wines generally go best with, you guessed it, sweet foods. Fortunately, some wineries will print food suggestions on the wine’s label.

3

Read the Fine Print

Many bottles will also showcase tasting notes, meaning flavors the winery believes can be tasted in the wine. Vanilla, blackberry, and cocoa are common nuances. This doesn’t mean the winery actually flavors the wine: the different flavors stem from the growing conditions of the grapes and the winemaker’s production process. Although these notes are very subjective, you can use them as a general guide to select wines that match flavors you already enjoy.

4

Buy A Case

The best way to develop your palate for wine is to compare several types at once. So, buy several and experiment. If you are headed to a gathering, no one is going to complain about having more wine.