Choosing good wine

It is not true to say that the only good wine you can buy comes at a price.  There is plenty of vino about that you can buy that is not vintage or expensive. A lot of time and effort goes into marketing these products, so fancy or enticing labels as many of us are well aware is not necessary a clue to a great tasting wine. So when you are not an expert, what should you do to narrow down the amount of choice that is available?

Get acquainted
If you have never done it before, a wine tasting course is a great idea. You can do a simple course over a couple of hours in an afternoon or evening, (even make it a social event with friends) which will provide you with a good general introduction and understanding about wines.  There are also day courses, and of course, for the more enthusiastic amongst you, longer courses spanning a few weeks, like The Christie’s Wine Course. You should be able to find wine tasting courses in your city. Shop around, there are always lots of deals on offer from the course provider or discount service providers. You can grab yourself a deal for a little as £50 or less for the simple for the simple wine tasting courses that can be done in a couple of hours or so in an afternoon or evening.

If you are in a restaurant, of course you can sample a few wines, to get a quick general idea of what you think you might like to buy a quick taste or sniff. However, if time is of the essence (maybe you have a hot date coming round for dinner that night) and just want some clues as to what to look out for when buying, where should you start?

A good idea would be to read online reviews. There are plenty who have lots to say about wine, and there are many reliable sources to be found on the internet. Wine is a sensory experience. Think about what you think you would like based on your personal preferences or tastes, and try and marry this information with what you read. Based on this you can make a judgment as to what to buy.

That said, to really discover what is a good wine to you, you will then need to experiment and try out different wines. Based on what you have read, make your choices on wines to check out. Learn about and try wines from the regions. Use your senses, smell and taste the wine, a note how you feel after drinking it. Does the taste linger? When you find something you like, keep a note of it for future reference in case you need to buy it again. Eventually, you will discover what types of wine you prefer based on different things like region or year of production.

It should not be assumed that older wine is better. Many wines priced at the lower end of the market, for example, those under £12.00 are intended to be enjoyed as young wines. For these types of wines in general, white wines can be drank two years after bottling and red wines, three years.

Screw cap or cork
Well, there was a time when screw capped wines was associated only those buyers, interested in buying cheap, and wanting to get drunk quick. Any reputable wine reseller or restaurant would not even consider stocking such wine. However, times have changed. So don’t be put off by screw caps. These have grown in popularity, largely because of corks failing to do their job. Corks are supposed to keep wine in and air out, but sometimes they fail in this process letting air in. As a result, chemicals produced, taint the wine, giving it a bad taste. Although, it is nice and traditional to have a bottle of wine with a cork in it, a lot of wine makers are getting bold and turning to screw caps. The reason is simple, these caps do not break apart or crumble and most importantly, do not let air in and taint wine. Some wine makers are even using corks on their expensive range of wines.

We thought it would be a nice idea to provide you with some general information about wine regions. We thought this video on the 10 best wine travel destinations for 2013, by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, was a great insight, providing you with some useful and interesting information.


10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2013

Drink sensibly and healthily.


The Man UK Team

One thought on “Choosing good wine…

  1. keep open wines resealed well or pour them out. It’s amazing how many wineries we have visited where we taste oxidized wines. Because we tend to visit early in the day (before the crowds), we are often poured yesterday’s wines and they’ve simply been recorked and stood up in the tasting room overnight (or maybe longer). Remember: Those wines are your advertising and marketing; you don’t want to serve bad ones. We visited a charming little winery once — anonymously, of course — and tasted some wines, poured by the owner, that were clearly tired. When we called later to ask questions for a column and mentioned that we’d been there, the owner said, “Why didn’t you tell me who you were? I would have opened fresh bottles.” Does that make any sense to you?

Leave a Reply to Marcelino R. Harmon Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>