Whether you’re trying to impress your date or bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner party, buying a bottle of wine can be overwhelming and intimidating! With thousands of bottles to choose from, we’re here to offer you some tips on buying a decent but affordable bottle of wine.
Look at the regions
If you’re going to learn any tip from this article, let it be that certain regions generally produce better quality wines than other regions. Countries like Spain, Chile and Portugal produce tons of different wines, but don’t have the same level of prestige as countries like Italy, France and USA.
If you’re allergic to sulfites…
Aim for wines made with organic grapes, they have more rigorous production requirements. Opt for wines from Europe, organic US wines, or US wines made with organically grown grapes. These wines have less sulfites added during production so you won’t suffer from that awful wine headache afterwards!
Price does not equate to better
Buying the priciest bottle of wine in the store does not mean you’ll have the best tasting wine for your meal. Instead, pick a wine that matches the meal. There’s no point in choosing an expensive white if nothing at dinner pairs well with it! The general rule of thumb is that full-bodied, heavier wines pair best with heavier meals such as steaks while light wines taste better with lighter meals. This goes for the progression of meals too – you don’t want to start off with a heavy red at the beginning of the night. Ease into it slowly with a light wine, and slowly progress to the heavy read by the entree.
So while pairing a Pinot Noir with halibut violates the age-old rule of “red with red meats and whites with seafood” but it does follow the “light with light” rule.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
As a simple rule to remember. Chances are an Italian wine will taste better with a fully Italian meal. This goes for going out to eat at a restaurant as well: if you’re dining at a French restaurant, get something from France. If you’re having Italian food, try a red or white wine from there. Wherever you go, try the wine that fits the place.
Don’t be shy
If you’re still overwhelmed buying a bottle of wine, don’t be afraid to ask someone. Tell them exactly what meal you’re trying to pair the wine with or what occasion its for. Chances are they’ll know exactly what to offer you.
Tip: Decant it!
If you bring home a bottle of red, we recommend that you let it air out. Even a cheap bottle of red wine will taste better! Why? As the wine is slowly poured from the bottle to the decanter it takes in oxygen to help open up aromas and flavours. Full-bodied, heavier wines benefit most from this – wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends.