How to choose a good bottle of wine?
When choosing a good bottle of wine there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration that go beyond the wine itself such as your preferences, your budget, occasion it is being chosen for and What food it will be paired with.
Your preferences (and of those you might be sharing it with)
Here you need to determine the type of wine preferred (White, red , Sparkling) levels of tannins, acidity, and alcohol content and complexity. Consulting the other parties before choosing the wine, might open up options that you had not thought about.
Here the jury is out as price is not necessarily fool proof guide to a good wine, however you are more likely to hit the mark if you are prepared to pay more for the wine than if you pay less. The advice here is to look for a rough guide on expected prices for a certain types of wine. For example, for a good Argentinian Malbec you are expected to pay around £15.00 – £20.00, a good Barolo around £20.00 - £25.00 and a Brunello Montalcino around £25.00- £30.00. Obviously these prices will vary substantially depending where you get it from and their vintages. Once you’ve identified a wine and brand, compare it across many outlets to get the best price.
Party, friends get together, romantic dinner? If it is a party, keep it simple: A good ice cold Prosecco will please most people, then a good mix of whites and reds should keep everybody else content. Stick with simple easy to drink wines. Keep the complex wines to more private affairs.
If it is a romantic dinner, the starting point is to find out what the other party enjoys then apply your newly gained knowledge to the wine choosing. If you are not confident about your level of knowledge, seek the help of specialized wine shops.
What food are you drinking the with with
Food pairing and how it can affect the wine drinking experience is a key factor in choosing the wine. Remember that you can spend a fortune on a genuinely good wine, but if the food you are pairing with is not the right one, it will spoil the whole experience and even black list the wine otherwise enjoyable in other circumstances. Wine pairing has been covered in some of our blogs such as Food Pairing Tips and When Food Pairing Goes Wrong . Here you should be able to get some guidance on wines and how to best pair them.