Today, I want to prevent you buying wine that you don’t enjoy.
Being disappointed with a wine purchase is a pretty common feeling for beginners, but there’s good news.
Buying bad wine is completely avoidable.
Here are 4 tips that will help you enjoy your next wine purchase. They almost guarantee that you’ll start buying more wine you love.
#1 – Dedicate Yourself To A Particular Wine Region
The wine world is massive, and that makes it difficult for beginners to understand.
So, instead of going wide, my suggestion is to go deep into one wine region.
When you focus your wine drinking on a particular region, you start to understand its wines better.
Comparing similar wines will help you notice and understand subtle differences.For example, drink Côte du Rhone for a couple months. These wines are delicious and not very expensive, plus nearly every wine beginner (and expert) enjoys them. Once you get an understanding of Côte du Rhone’s wines, move on to the next region.
You’ll have context for everything you drink. And context is everything when it comes to wine learning.
#2 – Drink Other Wines With Other People
Sharing wine is the secret of wine geeks. We schedule our lives around getting together and exchanging sips from everyone’s bottle.
This helps share the cost of drinking wine and responsibility of buying the perfect bottle.
If you want to maximize drinking other people’s wine, you and your wine drinking friends should focus on a particular region (Tip #1) or grape variety.
It’s mostly fun, but it’s a bit educational.
#3 – Try The Wine Before You Buy
This might seem obvious, but wine tastings are wonderful opportunities to learn about wine.
But here’s the trick: Go to wine tastings with the intent to find something you want to buy.
If you know you’re going to buy wine, you’ll have a budget and style in mind.
You’ll taste with curiosity, and you’ll probably ask good questions like:
- What food would you pair this wine with?
- Does this producer make other wines?
- Is this similar or different to other wines from this region?
Go to great wine shops and wine-focused restaurants. Frequent the ones you really love. Be friendly, generous and become a regular.
Who knows, they might give you an extra pour!
#4 – Outsource Your Wine Buying To Someone Else
At a restaurant, the Sommelier’s mission is to make you happy with your wine and your decision to purchase it. The same goes for the staff at great wine shops.
These wine professionals are getting paid to help you!
So, leverage their expertise.
Ask questions, and let them show you the perfect bottle.
Nearly all restaurants and outstanding wine shops will offer a version of a satisfaction guarantee. Just ask before finishing the bottle.
This Week’s Free-Run Juice
*free-run juice is a wine term for the grape juice that comes from their own weight prior to pressing. These are weekly tidbits that came out from my own wine reading.
Fermenting on Frasier
Niles and Frasier go tongue-to-tongue for the title of Cork Master. This scene of snooty wine clubs is alarmingly accurate, although far more inclusive than most.
Fun bonus fact, it turns out Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce are very into wine. David Hyde Pierce even released audio wine tours of Napa and Sonoma.
NBA Jammy Wine
Klay Thompson has entered the wine game. The NBA has no shortage of players who love wine. Lebron didn’t just inspire a generation of basketball players, but he’s converting the league into wine drinkers.
If you want more hoops and vino, check out this long form piece on Gregg Popovich who loves wine and Michelin start restaurants.
Will Work For Ridge Wine
The iconic Ridge label was created for a barter. In exchange for $495 of wine, Jim Robertson offered his design services.
Ridge did a complete label breakdown on their blog, and the opening history it worth your time.
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