If choosing a bottle of wine is an intimidating experience, ask yourself these questions next time you buy a bottle of wine, says Wim Truter, chief winemaker at KWV Wines:
1. What’s your preferred colour?
Even for the more seasoned wine drinker, buying wine can be daunting. You find yourself staring blankly at row upon row of bottles, often afraid to ask the questions that really need answering. You are struggling to decide between white and red, but it’s just a matter of preference.
It may be a hot, humid day and so white wine would work best, or it’s a cold, wintry night, which calls for a bottle of red. Trust your instincts and remember, it’s all about personal choice.
Once you have decided on colour, read the label for extra information, as this may help you make your decision. Front labels will show you the necessary information such as winery name, grape variety and origin, as well as the vintage – the year in which the grapes were harvested.
The back label is where you will find the exciting nuggets of information such as sensory characteristics, winery history and sometimes food pairings.
2. What do your taste buds say?
So now that your colour choice is sorted, take a deep breath and think about what you usually drink and the flavours you enjoy, and look for these taste notes in your wine. Then why not ask someone at the store for help; are you looking for something crisp and citrusy, something sweet or something full-bodied and spicy?
From here you should be directed to a wine varietal, and then all that is left for you to do is to think about the occasion.
3. What’s the occasion?
Is it a night in with a series accompanied by a glass, or are you looking to buy wine as a gift, for a special occasion or for a dinner party? Once you know your price range, a lot of the wine-buying pressure is off. Speak to someone in the store and ask them to help you by recommending a wine within your budget. This fun part will allow you the opportunity to explore new wines, so simply enjoy!
The great thing about wine is that the wide variety of choice means that you can experiment with flavours until you find the one (or the few) that is right for you.