Choosing a wine can be daunting, but the one thing we have in our favor is that wine, like most things in life, is subjective. So rule number one from us to you is, drink what you like regardless of what anybody says. We like the San Francisco 49ers but we suspect not all of you do, and with the seasons they’ve been having we are questioning our own loyalty to the team. Anyway, this is about wine not sports, let’s get back on track.
We know people that choose their wines based on the look of the label, the style of the bottle, the price, what country or region it is from, whether it is red or white, awards or scores the wine has received, and most commonly we see people choosing wines based on what they are used to seeing or are comfortable with. There really isn’t anything wrong with any of these tactics except maybe the last one; we strongly urge everyone to try everything…at least once.
The best way to pick a wine that you like is to do the following, drink…A LOT. You really need the first hand experience of tasting several wines of each varietal in order to learn what your specific palate likes, and doesn’t like. You may be someone that likes higher acid in a wine, or maybe someone who prefers a lot of tannin in the wine. Do you like big fruit bombs or something showing little fruit? How about a wine with a lot of oak in it, or maybe you’ll think it tastes too woody? These are just a few terms you’ll run in to, but other things you’ll learn about from tasting to find your preference is residual sugar, flat wine, dryness of a wine, complexity, bitterness, how important the nose or aroma of a wine is to properly tasting it, balance, structure, and chewiness; even a wine that will be called “hot” because you taste the alcohol so strongly.
So as silly as it sounds, we encourage drinking (responsibly), but we also encourage drinking wines blindly to truly feel your way through all the characteristics and nuances…plus it’s just kind of fun to drink wines that are wrapped in a brown paper bag. We also recommend that you do blind tasting parties so you can sit around with a group and discuss the wines, another fantastic way to learn! Plus, you’ll get to see just how different everyone’s palette is.
We may try to write a future article and use normal everyday words to define and describe some of the “wine words” used above and others not mentioned here. Shoot us an email or comment if you have any questions that we could help you out with. Wine is not daunting; it is laughter, friendship, romance, fun, celebrating, and so much more. So dive in (with a big straw) and start drinking!! Cheers!!
- Picks for best wines with Thanksgiving meals: Wine Buys of the Week (cleveland.com)
- How to Taste Wine with Confidence (winepeeps.com)
- Thanksgiving: No More Whine About the Wine (blogcritics.org)