Shopping Tips for Wines

Shopping Tips for Wines

Wine. It intoxicates, it exhilarates. It feels good down the throat and even better when combined with the right kinds of food. It's hard to go wrong with wine appreciating. The only measure for the level of taste is your tongue. One man's Bordeaux is another man's Champagne. There is no right or wrong, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Yes, wine does get batter with age. But sometimes, it too can go rank (spitting is advised at this point). So your consideration when picking up a bottle is the taste. Fruity and light means a young white. Rick, oak flavors means a slightly aged deep red. It doesn't mean that if you pay more, the wine will necessarily be better.

Shopping for wine can be quite a challenge, as there is often an immense range to choose from. Sometimes a little planning will be in your favor. Just knowing the type or style of a wine you want will make your buying decision that much easier.

Building up some knowledge of the various wine merchants, in your area and on the internet, can be very advantageous. Each merchant tends to have a particular strong point. One may be extremely good on Bordeaux for example, or specialize in Italian wines, and they will be happy to pass on their experience to you - the customer. Remember too, that some knowledge of which producers are making particularly good wine, or which regions offer good value, put you in a much more secure position.


There was a time when you could almost tell at an instant where a wine came from, just by looking at the shape of the bottle. This still holds true for some of the more traditional regions, such as Alsace or Bordeaux, but a glance or two around the shelves of your local supplier will also reveal the influence of design teams keen to catch the eye with bottle shapes that stand out from the crowd.

The Label

A wine label provides an excellent opportunity to send a message and pass on information to a potential customer.

In Europe, a place name may suffice. Chablis, Sancerre and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are all examples of French wines that can easily sell due to the fact that the name is recognized. In the 'New World' however, varietal labeling is the norm, as an increasing amount of wine is sold on the back of the name of the grape variety. The world's most popular grape, Chardonnay, could be perceived as a wine style, such is the influence carried by its name alone. The fact that most white Burgundy is made from Chardonnay is left for those of us who care to find out.

Depending on the wine, and in some cases the region, the name of the producer can be extremely important. You may wish to take note of the vintage. This is particularly important where grapes are grown in marginal climates. Each label will also indicate the percentage of alcohol by volume, which can range from 7-15 percent.

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