Most people aren’t exactly wine aficionados. Having a well rounded knowledge of wine seems to be relegated to the glitz of Hollywood’s finest and the residents of Beverly Hills. However, even the most casual wine drinker can feel more confidant when walking into a liquor store. You don’t have to be up on every brand name or grape species to make good choices when you’d otherwise be in the dark. With just a few pointers, you’ll be able to choose a wine that matches your expectations without breaking the bank.
Large liquor stores can be incredibly daunting. An abundance of rums, vodkas and wines can make anyone confused and overwhelmed. One way to help find a good wine is to ask the merchants. Unfortunately, staff can often be just as knowledgeable about wine as you are. They probably won’t know many details of the full selection available, but they will know about the most popular wines. If you’re unsure about what selection will best match your needs, you can ask about which wines are the highest selling. This way you’re more likely to get a quality wine at a price you can afford.
Wines come from a variety of regional locales and countries, featuring labels written in languages such as French, German and Italian. Becoming more familiar with labels can help you identify a wine you’d like. If you enjoy wines that are sweet as opposed to dry, ask the staff on hand about the meanings of particular labels to choose the right one. If staff members don’t seem to be very knowledgeable of the labels, you can always do a quick internet search to find key words like “trocken”, which means dry in German.
Every wine bottle will have a label that includes various information specific to the wine. The alcohol content, brand, region and vintage are all attributes you can find on the wine bottle. The type of wine will also be labeled, which depends on the amount of alcohol in the wine. As you become more familiar with wines, you’ll learn which type best suits your tastes.
When in doubt, realize that expert opinions on wine ultimately don’t matter. Even if you read a hundred wine reviews, the top rated wines may still not be the best for you. It’s your own personal tastes that matter, so don’t let other opinions necessarily dictate your own. If you think a purported quality wine tastes bad, don’t sweat it and try another one.
So if you find yourself in a large liquor store filled to the brim with wines you’re unfamiliar with, don’t hesitate to just try one out for the sake of it. Even with the advice of staff and experts, you’ll never know until you try, and hopefully your wine experiences will be joyous and festive.