How to Choose a Good Wine
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Looking for a bottle of fine wine? Well, this is certainly not an easy task knowing that there are so many names, brands, and types of wine on the market. The things can be even more confusing if you don't know much about wine. Luckily, there are certain tips you can use to find the perfect bottle of wine that matches all your senses and needs.
Once powered with wine knowledge from this article, feel free to browse our wines or this popular premium wines store and choose yor wine by type, price, varietal, expert ratings, country, region or winery.
A Simple Guide to Choose Your Perfect Bottle of Wine
- Follow Your Senses
First and foremost you need to know what kind of taste you like or dislike when starting your wine-searching journey. For instance, do you prefer white or red wine, or both? Knowing what your taste buds like better will do a great help to make the right choice.
- Know the Wine Basics
Sweetness. This depends on the residual sugar levels present in the wine after fermentation. Residual sugar is the level of grape sugars that are not converted into alcohol during the process of fermentation. So, there are sweet, semi-dry and dry wine types. Sweet wines usually have a higher concentration of residual sugar, while dry wines have no sugar at all. Sweetness is usually the first thing we notice during wine degustation, and the sweetness tolerance is individual. However, if you notice a mild tingling sensation since the very first touch of the grape liquid then it is the right thing!
Acidity. The sharpness of the wine comes from the acids which are the fundamental wine constituents, along with sugar, alcohol and tannins. They play a key role in wine production, structure and longevity. High acidity wines have tart and zesty taste, and are considered light-bodied and effervescent. Low-acidity wines have rounder and richer taste.
Tannin. Tannins are phenolic compounds found in the grapes skin and they add bitterness, balance, structure of the wine, and improve its longevity. Classified as astringents, they cause a drying effect in the mouth, but do not confuse this with a dry wine, the meaning is totally different. So, if you feel your tongue dry after the first sip, along with a persisting bitter taste, it means that the wine is high in tannins.
Alcohol. This is certainly the most important thing about wines. Alcohol content has the greatest influence on wine`s characteristics, body and classification. ABV (alcohol by volume) is the standard metric used to determine the alcohol content in an alcoholic beverage. So, the average alcohol content in wines varies from 11%-13% (ABV), but you can also find wines with 5.5% or 20% ABV.
Body. This is the most general wine characteristic. Body depends on numerous factors, including grape variety and combination, producing country or region, alcohol content and many more. In simple terms, wines can have light body, full body or medium. This criterion determines how light or heavy the wine tastes in your mouth. Normally, red wine has a fuller body, while white wine has a lighter body. A short test to determine the wine body: if the taste of wine stays in your mouth for over 30 seconds, it is definitely a full-bodied wine.
- Think of the Flavors You Love
Citrus Flavor Lovers. There is a perfect selection for people who enjoy citrus flavors and it is called Chardonnay. The origin and climate create a variety of flavors, ranging from light and zesty orange, pineapple and grapefruit flavors to rich vanilla and coconut flavors. Medium-full bodied white wine with medium acidity. If you are looking for a lighter white wine, then you should try Sauvignon Blanc, it is rich in citrus flavors but has a higher level of acidity.
Red Fruit Lovers. People who love red fruit flavors will probably like Pinot Noir as well. It is lighter than other red wines and offers a variety of fruity notes, including raspberries, cherries, and strawberries. In some bottles you can also find mild earthy and herby notes, depending on the origin country. It contains fewer levels of tannins and higher acidity levels.
Black Fruit Lovers. If you are a fan of lack fruit flavors, then Tempranillo could be the best choice for you. It has a rich fruity taste of black cherries and plums, with earthy aroma and gentle finish. Medium to full-bodied. Cabernet Sauvignon , the most popular red wine in the world, is also an excellent choice for a rich, full-bodied, with high acidity and tannins.
Coffee Lovers. If you enjoy drinking coffee, then you will probably like heavyweight wines with peppery and spicy notes combined with fruit flavors and acidity, so feel free to try Syrah. Another great alternative to Syrah is Pinotage , full-bodied with light to medium tannins and intense flavors.
- The Occasion Also Matters
This is another important factor to have in mind when choosing your wine. If you are planning some celebration, or special event, then you should go with a classic bottle of white or red wine depending on the food that will be served with. If you are buying wine for your own pleasure and do not plan to combine it with food, you should choose a bottle of light white (Sauvignon Blanc) , rose wines (Mirabeau Classic Provence Rose), or opt for a light-bodied red wine (Grenache).
- Read The Label
Make sure to read the label carefully, especially the back of the label where you can learn what's inside the bottle. Do not focus on the label`s looks, instead, look for information about the origin and content of the wine. There are certain regions in the world that have been producing wine for centuries, so make sure you choose a wine from well-known producing countries. But most importantly, search for the basic wine characteristics (sweetness, acidity, alcohol etc.) mentioned above in order to find your perfect bottle of wine. Often, the labels offer a description of the aromas found in the wine, so it will be much easier to choose your perfect match.