How to Select Wine

Many people feel overwhelmed when perusing the wine store shelves. You don’t need to know the most recent great vintage or the hottest wine regions to shop with confidence. Follow these simple guidelines for wine selection success.

Go with what you like. If you had a Riesling you loved but can’t recall the name, chances are there are other Rieslings out there that will speak to your taste buds. Start trying to different labels from different regions in the grape varietal that you enjoy best. You’re bound to learn more about your tastes this way. Or if you tasted several wines you liked on a recent trip to wine country, start seeking out wines from your favorite wine makers or just from that region specifically. You’re bound to find common characteristics in wines from the same area.

Branch out. You know what you like, but there is a whole world of wine outside of your favorite Chardonnay and your next new favorite is just waiting to be discovered. Pick a varietal you’ve never tried before to see what it’s all about. Here’s a hint, pay attention to the shape of the bottle. Chardonnay is found in a wide-bottom bottle with a long slender neck. If you see other whites in this shape bottle, they may have some of those rich characteristics you love about Chardonnay. Riesling comes in a slender bottle with a long neck and you may find a Gewurztraminer in a similar bottle that knocks your socks off.  Sauvignon Blanc is usually found in a straight bottle with a short neck and square shoulders and you may find a crisp Pinot Grigio in a matching bottle that is a nice alternative to the Sauvignon Blanc you typically drink. The same characteristics apply to red wines, so don’t be afraid to gamble.

Ask for help. This is truly your best resource for selecting the right bottle. Any reputable wine retailer will have a knowledgeable staff that can help decipher what will suit your palate. They should ask you questions about what you like to drink and what you like about your favorite wines, so be prepared to share. Developing a relationship with a trusted wine shop will ensure that you get the best advice for your palate.