How do I select the best choice of wine?

I am a sales manager. I also love food and drinks, particularly wine. I really do not know what to look out for in wine so I can make my choice. It looks as though I love all, but I still have preferences. I need to know what I'm looking for in wine.

  Topic Food and Drink Subtopic Wine Tags drink wine food health best
1 Years 2 Answers 1.2k views

Ronke Olajide

Knowledge Areas : Organizing, Cleaning, Remote Work, Choosing a Career, Job Interviews, Wine, Baking, Healthy Eating, Algebra, Teenagers, Sleeping and Sleep Issues

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Answers ( 2 )

 
  1. Andy Bartalone 135 Community Answer

    Ronke,

     

    The best piece of advice I was ever given about wine is try many grapes to figure out what you like. Drink what you like.

    There are books you can read, but personal experience will always be better than anything you read.

     

    The answer to your question can have many parts.  The occasion for drinking the wine can be an indicator for what you should be looking for in your selection;

     

    Is this a personal or business setting?

    Will we be drinking more than one wine?

    Will the wines we drink need to be decanted or to  let breathe to get the best flavor and texture at time of consumption?

    Will there be food involved?

    Is there a question of cost?

    What are my personal preferences in style, grape and texture?

     

     

    There are also several follow on questions to each of the above.

     

    I hope this helps you and if you have more specific questions, don't hesitate to ask them.

     

     

    UTC 2021-07-22 11:37 AM 0 Comments
  2. The only way to learn about how to select wine is to drink it, and preferably quite a bit of it. The good news is that there is no "best" choice, just the one you like best. So there is no right or wrong answer. The important thing is to try a lot of wines, and learn which types you tend to enjoy. Once you know more about what kinds of wine you like best, you'll be able to get much better at selecting ones for any occasion. Chances are you'll like different wines with different kinds of food, and you'll learn more about how to pair them by trying them as well. 

     

    Wine is a HUGE subject area, and it's impossible to learn all about it at one time. There are people who have devoted their entire lives to learning about wines, and they still don't know all there is to know. It's sort of like science, or music, or any other subject area. You have to study it enough to learn the amount you need for your purposes. But you'll never know all of it. 

     

    Because it's so hard to learn a lot about wine quickly (and without getting completely drunk), here are some good ways to accelerate your learning process more quickly:

     

    1. Learn the basic things to look for. Wine experts often use complicated and fancy words to describe wine. But really, the basics of tasting are pretty simple. There are about five things you'll always be considering in a wine. Beyond those things, it's all just about finding good ways to describe the things you're tasting so you can communicate them to other people. Aside from those few basic terms, you can make up your own, and there are no wrong ones. The basics you'll want to learn and pay attention to are:

    - Acidity. This is how sour or tart the wine is. Acidity can be good because it can help cut through fatty foods, and make the wine seem bright and fresh, or even juicy. Some people prefer higher acidity than others, and it can also depend on what you're eating with it. 

    - Sweetness/Dryness. This is literally related to how much natural sugar the wine has in it. And contrary to many opinions, sweetness is not necessarily something to be avoided. There are great sweet wines and great dry wines. People also often mistake a fruity or floral taste for sweetness, even when there is no sugar present. So you'll want to learn to separate those things, and learn how to taste sweetness separately from fruit flavors. You can have a totally dry wine that is still fruity. 

    - Tannin. How tannic a wine is relates to how drying it feels on your tongue. It's not quite like bitterness, but some (mostly red) wines feel like they're drying out your mouth when you drink them. This is very different from the wine term "dry" which is the opposite of sweetness. This is literal feeling of dryness in your mouth. And it's the same thing that makes your mouth feel dry or rough after eating a grape with the skin on. While this sounds negative, it's actually a good quality that makes a wine pleasant to drink for longer, and adds complexity.  

    - Alcohol. Some wines are stronger than others, and some taste more of alcohol than others. Again, this isn't bad or good, just a difference among wines. Wine can be anywhere from about 5% alcohol up to over 20%, so there's quite a wide range (even though many end up between 11% and 14%). But the level of alcohol doesn't just affect how drunk you get, it also affects the taste of the wine. Generally, wines with higher alcohol tend to taste bolder, bigger, and more oily. Wines with lower alcohol tend to taste lighter in body and fresher, since the other subtle flavors come through more. 

    - Body. Sometimes also referred to in terms of weight. This is how thick or viscous the wine is in your mouth. Again, there is no right answer, and sometimes you'll feel in the mood for a light-bodied wine, and other times you'll feel more like something heavier. Often this will relate to what you're eating, since full-bodied wines often go better with heavier or heartier food (like bold red wines with fatty red meat), and lighter wines may go better with lighter food. But it can also relate to other things, like the weather, since heavy wines may feel like too much on a hot day, and you'd rather have something light and refreshing. 

     

    1a. Develop a vocabulary. Apart from those five qualities, any words you want to use to describe what you are tasting are fine. But it's important to start finding ways to describe what you like, and also what you're tasting when you try a wine, so you can get good at communicating with people about what you want. Sometimes wine will remind you of other foods or drinks you've had, like cherries or other berries, or even tea or herbs. But I've also heard some wine drinkers describe a wine as tasting like an inflatable pool toy or a campfire, or like petrol, and they meant it as a compliment. There's nothing wrong with using the words that something reminds you of, even if they don't seem like wine terms. Again, there are no wrong answers. 

     

    2. Go to wine tastings. Wine tastings aren't stuffy or for experts only. They can be really fun. And almost any city or town has somewhere that does them. Many restaurants, schools, wine stores, and even clubs have wine tastings. Go to them. The main reason they're so good is you get to try multiple wines next to each other and can start to see what qualities you prefer. Another reason they're great is they're usually led by someone who knows more than you and is probably eager to teach the attendees a little bit about the wines. And they cost a lot less than buying a bottle of everything you try there. 

     

    3. Find a wine bar or restaurant with a knowledgable staff. It's important to learn from people who know more than you, so just like with the wine tastings, having a good bartender, wine director, sommelier, or even server tell you about their wines can teach you things. And the more they get to know you, the more they'll be able to help you figure out which wines you like best. 

     

    4. Pay attention to the grape varietals and winemaking regions of all the wines you try. Sure, specific makers can be important, and some are much better than others, but it's important to learn about the general categories of wine that exist first, and determine the really general aspects of what you prefer. Once you know the basic qualities of the different grapes used to make wines, it will be easier to predict whether you'll like a wine or not. But don't make any assumptions until you've tried a number of different examples. People often close their minds to a particular style, grape, or region based on one example they didn't like. 

     

    5. Throw wine dinners or parties with your friends. Wine should be fun. And it's great with different foods. So why not have a tasting party or dinner with your friends. You can provide the food and they all bring different wines. Or you can have everyone bring a dish and a wine. There are many ways to do this. But it's a great way to try a bunch of different wines with foods, and then talk about them with your friends. Talk about which your favorites were and whether they changed as you ate or as they sat in the glass. Try all the wines by themelves first. Then try them all with each of the things you're eating to see what goes with what. You'll be surprised at how different they taste depending on what you eat with them. 

     

    6. Read a few wine books. There are many great books out there that can teach you the basics of wine. It's no substitute for actually trying wines, but it can give you the background to better understand the differences. 

     

    7. When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask the server or sommelier. No one is expected to know everything about wine. And no one knows the wines on a menu better than the people who work there. There is no shame in asking people and talking about the wines they sell. That's what they are there for. Even the most seasoned wine experts I know will always ask the server or wine staff about their offerings. You don't get any points for pretending to be an expert. Part of the fun is discovering new things, and the best way to do that is to ask the people that serve them. You wouldn't hesitate to ask them about a pasta or fish dish on the menu even if you'd had pasta or fish before. So you definitely shouldn't be afraid to ask about wines. 

     

    8. Find a great wine store near you. Just as you want to ask the servers in restaurants for their recommendations, you should also ask the people at wine stores for their suggestions and to help you find good things. Once you establish a relationship with the people at your favorite store, they'll get even better at knowing what you like, and recommending great things for you to try. And tell them which things you liked and which you didn't, so they can adjust their recommendations accordingly. 

     

    Wine is a big world, and it's impossible to know all the things. But it's a lot of fun to start learning about it, and the more you learn and try, the better you'll get at picking wines. So keep trying wines whenever you can. It's the only good way to learn about them. It's also something you can always keep learning and exploring, and it should bring you fun and not stress. 

    UTC 2021-07-30 09:59 AM 0 Comments

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