How to choose the right wine

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You might have your boss coming round for dinner and need to impress or you might be looking forward to a few glasses (or bottles!) of wine with your closest friends. Either way, you need to select your chosen tipple but with so many wines out there, where do you start? This weeks Q Wines subscriber email will help you to make the right choice, especially buying wines online when your taste buds and sense of smell are left to the imagination.

Although we don’t like to be pigeon holed, we believe there are 3 groups of wine lovers:

  • Those who are passionate about wine, open minded, still at that wonderful stage of discovery and are happy to taste something new at every opportunity.
  • Those who enjoy wine, have sampled enough to know what they like and are happy to stick with what they know and love.
  • Those with the knowledge, years of experience with different styles and varieties. Likes to try what’s new on the market but have their favourites stored for those special occasions.

If you fall into the first group, we recommend you start with white wines of lighter styles (ie no oak aging) such as a delicate Chenin Blanc and then move to more expressive styles like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling, build your pallet slowly. Once you have a good grasp of the lighter styles, move on to some richer varieties with some oak maturing like Chardonnay or Viognier. The same rule applies to reds, start with lighter styles like Pinot Noirs and move to more robust varieties. Don’t forget to read the wine makers description, they are there to help so use them to your advantage. Once you have mastered this, choose a style of wine you enjoyed most, whether it be the grape or style and take it a step further, try similar wines by different vineyards and refine your likes and dislikes.IMAGE FROM SHUTTERSTOCK

Those of you gravitating towards the middle group, stick to your favourite style, why change? Instead try to expand on what you know by trying different producers, you might be surprised by the outcome. Browse different vintages, the key aspect of what you like will remain the same, flavour, acidity, sweetness and dryness but you will notice tiny differences which will help to refine the favourites list. Also, look out for wine tastings featuring your favourite styles. Attending will give you the rare opportunity to try many wines that would have cost you a small fortune to try in the privacy of your own home.

If you are in that last group, say no more! You know what you are looking for, all you need to do is browse the internet, searching your favourite wines with the desired vintage. We can recommend ‘Google Shopping’ (why isn’t everyone using it?), the product database is extensive and allows you to compare a number of online suppliers at the same time so if you haven’t done it already, give it a go! Jargon Busters ‘Younger’ means fresher for white and reds ‘Older’ means rounder and smoother for reds ‘Tannin’ is the ‘fury’ texture found only in red wines, it is a component of the grapes skin ‘Oaked’ for whites means richer and rounder ‘Oaked’ for reds means fuller with more tannins We wish you all the best on your journey of tasting, whether it be at the beginning or nearing the end. Happy tasting!