Do you generally stick to what you know?
When faced with rows and rows of unfamiliar wines in the local supermarket, do you find that you always end up sticking to what you know? If you do branch out, it's likely to be because you are swayed by the nicest, most appealing label or because you've gone on someone else's recommendations (which then leave you feeling flat when you discover that you don't like the same wine as them!) So in your quest to buy new, exciting, great tasting wines for your dinner party or Sunday Lunch, you come away with your same old, trusted bottle of wine. Sound familiar?
Join a Wine Club:
But all of that could be put to an end if you join a wine club. Each month or quarter (depending on the wine club), the wine club will send you a selection of wines from around the world. Featuring a variety of whites, reds, ros? and maybe the odd sparkling or dessert wine, you get to try wines from different grapes, countries and styles. True, you probably won't like them all but it's a great way of tasting your way through a selection of new releases, customer favourites and award winning wines that you probably wouldn't have previously dared chosen.
Discover What You Like:
In the same way that we all like different food, the key thing to remember about wine is that we all like different wines and no one can tell you what you will like. (Remember this next time you are in the wine shop!) So to get the most out of your wines, you need to work out what you like. To help you along the way, most wine clubs enclose detailed information in the wine club case about the wines, so that you can learn more about the grape, country and winemaker as you drink. Suggestions for food matches can also give you confidence next time you host a dinner party. It's also worth rating your wine club wines as you taste them, as you can be sure that you'll have forgotten how the first ones tasted by the time you finish the case! Even better is to choose a wine club that displays customer comments on its website. That way, you'll have an idea of what to expect from your wine club wine before you taste it.
Wine Styles Can Help:
Some wine clubs, such as the Virgin Wines Discovery Wine Club, categorise wines by style, such as "Classic Chardonnay", "Oaky Aussie Chardonnay", "Huge Reds" and "Soft and Juicy" reds. This is great for newcomers to wine, as it is far more intuitive than the traditional country and grape based categories, plus it recognises that certain grape varieties like Chardonnay can vary significantly in taste. The real advantage of being a member of a wine club that categorises wines in this way, is that it opens wine drinkers up to a far wider range of wines than they might otherwise have come across. For example in the "Fragrant but Dry" category, wine drinkers will find Argentinean Torrontes as a great value alternative to a pricey French Muscat - a recommendation that you won't get from a wine club or shop that focuses simply on grape or country.
Try a Tasting Course:
To help wine drinkers learn more about wine, some wine clubs offer tasting courses or events. Tasting wines back-to-back allows drinkers to really get a feel for how two different wines taste and, ultimately, it can help them decide what to buy more of in the future.
Risk Free Buying:
Still not convinced? Part of the fun of joining a wine club is tasting new wines and discovering new favourites but if you are worried about getting something you really don't like and wouldn't have chosen yourself, don't worry. Many wine clubs offer a money back guarantee, so if you come across a wine that you really can't stomach, they will refund your money.
Joining a wine club can really help you when it comes to learning about wine. Not only will you get to taste a variety of new wines and find out what you really like but also it will give you more confidence in choosing your wines. You'll never need worry about picking out a bottle of wine for your next dinner party again! To find out about Virgin Wines' Discovery Wine Club, visit Virgin Wines.
By: Louise Truswell
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