Basics On Selecting Wine
Basics On Selecting Wine

It's Saturday afternoon and you are preparing a dinner party for your business associates. The meal is taken care of; you are serving steak with potatoes, and chocolate mousse for dessert. The question is, what wine will you buy to perfectly complement the meal?

Selecting the right wine can be as simple as choosing a few favorite brands and sticking to them, or as complex as collecting verticals (different vintages from the same producer) of the world's greatest wines, or even buying wine futures (the right to buy a certain wine before it is actually made).

The selection all depends on the level of involvement and interest of the individual concerning wines. Many prefer to buy the same brand every time they go to the liquor store, while others prefer to try different brands everyday. So how do you buy the right wine? Here is a quick checklist to guide you in buying the best price/quality wine for any occasion. These guidelines are general tips targeted to help the average wine drinker.

Rule NO. 1 of buying wine is to trust your own taste, because no one knows your preferences better than you do. Make sure to taste the product before committing to it. The importance of this rule will be magnified as more expensive wines are chosen. A common mistake people make is buying wines which mainstream critics or friends refer to as their favorite. Trust your own palate and pick the wine you like to drink.

Buying good wine is part of a learning curve, and you're likely to learn as much from your buying mistakes, as from your triumphs. Therefore, diversify your purchases and expand your collection. Most people have a passion for particular brands and stick to them throughout their drinking lives. Nothing is wrong with this, except for the fact that they are missing out on many great wines that they will never have the pleasure of experiencing. Even if you are a conservative wine taster, try shopping around for different styles of wine, and watch your selection skills progressively develop into better wines for more affordable prices.

Experts can debate endlessly on whether the prices of wine really reflect their quality. There is no doubt in my mind that when someone wants to drink the best wine on the market, he will have to pay a premium price. It's like anything in life; if it's a quality product, it usually comes with a heftier price. Yet, as a general rule, it would be wise to shop around for good value. Make it a habit to go out of your way to find the wine that offers the best bang for your buck . Experts will generally say: Go out of your way to look for the best buys to get the most mileage out of your wine dollar.

Keep an eye on mid-priced wines. Fine wines are usually over-hyped, over-priced, and most of the time they do not deliver that extra quality. Keeping prices in perspective will allow you to pick otherwise ignored wines that lack the image of higher-priced wines, while these mid-priced bottles will often be of very good quality.

Once you try the wine and like it, consider buying it in cases. Many retailers will give you a 10% discount, or even a free bottle when buying a case. If someone is a regular wine drinker, buying it by the case will add up sizeable discounts for one year's worth.

Be alert of which wines have been popular in the last few years. Last year's superstar sellers could be this year's worst vintage, simply living off of its reputation. Here comes the importance of stockpiling the wines you like. For example, if one year makes for a rare pearl; make sure to by one or two cases, so that when the next year's selection comes along, you will have the appropriate reserves.

Finally, assemble your wines with rhyme and reason. Think about your needs before parting with your cash. Think of how many times a year guests are invited over, or how many times you are invited. Keep the expensive wines for more important occasions, and the less expensive wines for everyday use. Obviously, you will not be one hundred percent accurate on how many bottles you will need in a year, but at least you won't be unprepared when the time comes along.


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