For most people, simply enjoying a wine with food is easier than going through the process of selecting an appropriate and inexpensive wine for the occasion. I personally have a habit of buying any wine I find that looks good based on the label and price. I even ship them to my friends not knowing that they’re bad. Oh golly. Shame. Shame. Shame. *Cue GOT Septa’s bell chime*
Because of this, I prepared a quick wine buying guide for people like me who occasionally serve a glass of wine with a meal (or even if you’re a first-time drinker) and need something right without burning a hole in your pockets.
The color of the wine should match the color of the meal. If you want a wine that will match your meal, then your first consideration should be the color of the wine in respect to the color of the meal. If you’re serving pork, seafood, poultry or pasta with a light-colored sauce, then select a white wine. If you’re enjoying venison, beef, or pasta with a tomato sauce then choose red wine. Don’t know where to get one? You can easily search via Advintage and buy red wine online for your next dinner. This is a great way to choose if you’re new to wine as it lessens your possible choices.
Complex wines can be very hit or miss. The thing is, there are hundreds and thousands of wines in the market right now and their complexity can baffle young initiates like us. Varieties can vary hugely in taste from bottle to bottle because of the grapes, so if you’re only starting out, it’s a good idea to avoid buying out of whim until you can examine them on your own.
So what should I buy? If you’ve decided to buy a red wine, start with Pinot Noir or Merlot, or a Riesling if you want a dessert wine. If you want a white wine, choose a Chardonnay or a Pinot Blanc. These choices are typically consistent regardless of the bottle, which means one Pinot Noir is not that different from another brand. This lessens the amount of information you need to go about brands and vintages.
The Power of Asking. Here’s a fact: We’re often too afraid to ask about LITERALLY anything. Here’s another fact: If it’s wine and you have to choose the perfect one for an occasion (date night, family dinner, celebration, etc.), you cannot afford to make mistakes – so ask! If you’re going to a liquor store today, you have all the rights to ask. Visit a retailer and tell them that you want a $15 or less bottle of one or the two varieties you want. With that specifics, any retailer worth his salt (err, wine) should be able to point you towards the right wine.
And that’s all, folks. Purchasing the right one may be daunting at first, but once you get a hang of it, it’ll feel as natural as picking up your favorite snack. Have fun hunting!