How-to

Stop Whining about Wine: How to Just Pick One

By Kayla Kimmett

 

Stacks of wine bottles in a cellar

Stacks of wine bottles in a cellar
Photo By: Kayla Kimmett

When picking out a wine, a shopper should take into consideration the different aspects of a wine and the personal taste of the person who will be drinking the wine.

Some buyers choose a wine based on how appealing the bottle looks at first glance. Others pay more attention to what is inside the bottle. There are many different types of wine to choose from the color of the wine to where the wine came from. So how would a person go about choosing a wine and how could they choose a good wine if they are on a budget?

“It all depends on what the person is actually looking for in a wine,” said Dawn Cossou, wine expert at Daveco Liquors in Thornton. “If they don’t know what they want then it is just going through a process of what they are looking for.”

Picking by Price

Think about how much you want to spend. Would you like to spend a lot of money and go for the top shelf wine or would you like to keep it inexpensive? According to Stacy Slinkard, author of “Selecting Wines” on About.com, many wines in today’s market are considered good wines and they are not high in cost. Some wines are available for $15 and others are less. When visiting a liquor store and you don’t know what kind of wine you would like to purchase, but you do know you don’t want to spend over a certain amount, let the store associate know. They will be able to help you select a great tasting wine within your budget.

Preference

Whether you are buying for yourself or for someone as a gift, personal taste or occasion should always be taken into consideration. Would you or the person you are buying for prefer red or white wine? Preference in wine could be a spur of the moment type of thing.

According to Slinkard, if you or the person you are buying for is not used to heavy body wines, a Merlot or Pinot Noir is a good place to start because they are lighter wines that seem smooth when drinking. Talking with a local wine expert can help you decide what kind of wine to buy that you will actually enjoy.

There are many types of wine to experiment with; some are sweeter than others like a Riesling or a Muscat, which are both dessert wines. Some dryer white wines to look for are Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. Some dryer red wines to try are Merlots and Gamays. If you are looking for a wine that is more complex go with a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel.

Pairing your Wine Choice with Food

Another aspect you should take into consideration when buying wine is pairing it with the food you are eating or serving. Take into consideration what kind of meat will be with the meal, as well as vegetables, fruits and herbs. White wines usually pair well with light flavored foods while reds pair well with heartier foods.

“Red wines go well with beef,” said Cossou. “Whites go well with chicken, cheeses and hors d’oeuvres.”

When pairing wines with food, preference will always come into play no matter what so the wine will complement the food and the food will compliment the wine.

Domestic verse Import

Wine comes from all over the world. Some are domestic wines which mean they are made in the United States and other are imported from other countries. The region in which the wine comes from shouldn’t weigh too much on your decision but taking the region into consideration will never hurt.

Each region is characteristic to their grapes, depending on the climate and the process the wine goes through may make the wine have a characteristic taste to the region it was made in.

According to James Raiswell, author of the Ask Men web article “4 Steps: Choose Wine”, when the decision comes to choose a new-world wine verses an old-world wine you should go with an old-world wine. Regions like France, Germany and Italy have produced wine for many years and the winemakers have perfected their processes. New-world producers haven’t been around as long; the United States and Australia are among them and they still produce excellent wines.

If you are going to choose a wine by region, such as wines from Italy, look for a wine imported from Tuscany. If you are looking at a wine from the United States, look for wines from Napa Valley and Sonoma counties or wines from Oregon.

Try a Wine Tasting

Buying wine shouldn’t be a difficult decision to make, even if you are in a rush and buy off the shelf because the bottle has an attractive label. If you are in doubt and really want to get what you pay for, go to a wine tasting event. Many of them are offered at local liquor stores and wineries. Choosing a wine is all about how it tastes.

Cossou says if a customer has not had a lot of wine experience, they can attend wine tastings. She also said that wine tastings help them develop their palate and to try something new.

“Some people are surprised at wine tastings,” Cossou said . “They find something they like that they never thought they would.”

Wine tastings allow you to discover new wines as well as new taste preferences for yourself. They are also educational; telling you what kinds of grapes are used, where the wine is from and also the flaws of the wine. Going to a wine tasting is never a bad idea when trying to pick out a wine, plus most tastings are free.

Some of the time, the associates at liquor stores get recommendations from people who visit often, to try different wines. Cossou says a customer will say that a specific wine is very good and she will pass that recommendation along to a new wine customer to try. Recommendations are also something you want to get, either from wine experts, friends or store associates because they often lead to finding your new favorite wine.

If you are new to the wine industry and looking for something good to pour into your glasses, just remember always start looking for a wine within your price range. There are many wines in the world that will fit your price range as well as your preference. Don’t forget about your cuisine either; pair your wine and food right to get the most out of what flavor you chose.

 

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Kayla Kimmett

About Kayla Kimmett

Kayla Kimmett is a journalism student at Metropolitian State University of Denver.

4 Responses to “Stop Whining about Wine: How to Just Pick One”

  1. On March 18, 2014 at 1:26 PM Angel Foster responded with... #

    I am on the list for buying based on the initial look of the bottle – I am all about presentation.

  2. On March 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM Matthew Hofer responded with... #

    Great read

  3. Alisha Keppel
    On March 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM Alisha Keppel responded with... #

    I enjoy drinking wine, but all of the options can be overwhelming at times! This article helps to pick the right wine, depending on your specific needs.

  4. On April 8, 2014 at 1:13 PM Heather Pastorius responded with... #

    I love to drink wine its the main thing I have in common with my Mother. I would like to see maybe a recommendation of a place to sample some of the wines in order to be able to make the best possible taste decision. Though the types of wines and some brief descriptions about how they taste is very helpful.

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