Choosing wine is what we’ll be looking at in this part of our wine 101 guide…

Choosing wine can be a confusing task given the amount of options available. So, how can you narrow down the choices when picking one? The first step, as in all purchases, is to know what you like. Buying the best Pinot Gris available isn’t an ideal purchase if what you really like is Chenin Blanc. Therefore, you should taste each of the different types of wine (Nebbiolos, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, etc.) to decide which you like and which you don’t.

Having decided on the general type of wine you prefer, you’ll need to look into which wines within that specific type are most agreeable to you. Go into your local wine shop, and walk around the section dedicated to the type of wine you decided upon. The wine racks should have blurbs on them containing information on the wines. Pay attention to the wine shops handwritten notes more so than any “winery notes” provided by the wine producer (as these tend to be no more than marketing material).

Ask an employee of the store to assist you if there’s one available. Tell them the type of wine you’re looking for and anything else that is relevant. You can be relatively specific about flavors and tastes that you like or dislike. They’ll have a good understanding of wine, and can make a reasonable guess at what would be best suited for you based on your preferences. It’s quite possible that they’ll even offer you some samples to try out.

Take down the details of any recommendations that you don’t purchase, or of any other wines that take your interest. You can then look out for them the next time you dine out or do some internet research on them.

Finally, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a universally perfect wine. It has everything to do with what pleases you. No wine reviewer or shop owner is going to have your exact taste in wine. Just because the experts say a particular wine is great, doesnt necessarily mean that you’ll like it. Similarly, you may likes wines that no-one else seems to like.

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