What makes wine a winner for you? Actually, the only and the best critic of the wine in your glass is you. What really matters when you are judging a wine? Flavor, affordable, findable, fitting, winemaker, region? These are several factors that come into play when we decide we like a wine or not. With an open mind, read about these and evaluate the wines you are drinking. Ultimately, would you buy it again?
Most importantly – Did you enjoy it? Yes or no? It is just that simple.
If the answer is no, then the rest of the questions do not matter.
If the answer is yes, then without thinking too much … why? What was it that appealed to you?
Was it mouth feel? Was it flavor? What was it about the flavor? Take a moment to put it into words. This can be challenging but it will help you remember why you liked about this particular wine.
It does not matter what a wine tastes like if you can’t afford it. Many of the highly acclaimed wines that critics love aren’t things most of us can drink on a regular basis. Yes, we can afford finer things for special occasions; however, most of us are saving for the future and can’t afford more expensive wines regularly.
Whatever your budget level, typically we all have a regular priced/everyday wine that we drink regularly and another higher price point for special occasions. Some of us even have a lower price point that we use for cooking. Once you establish your budgetary price points, you know how to look for good wines within your price points.
Good news! There are excellent wines in all price points available in most American markets. Particularly on the West Coast, consumers are blessed with a plethora of wines from quality California and Oregon wineries.
Easy to find?
Having so many good wines available to consumers from wineries all around the world can make good wine easy to find. This is not the case across the United States or the world. However, this is changing for consumers.
Can you find the wines you like within your normal routine or close to it? If you have to go out of your way to get the wine, you won’t enjoy it often. Is it easily available in your market?
When you are standing in front of a store shelf, can you find your favorite wines? While I know stores like to rearrange their products every now and then, it can be hard to find and it helps if you can easily identify your favorite wines.
One option of getting your favorite wines is to belong to your favorite winery’s wine club. CKJY Exports encourages folks to belong to their favorite winery’s wine club because they are guaranteed to get their favorite wines, get the latest winery news, etc.
Fit the occasion or meal?
White or red? Rose or sparkling? Fruity? Balanced? Types of questions to ask yourself.
Through the centuries, wine has been accepted as a part of our celebrations. Certain meals and wines are classic pairings.
Briefly commonly paired wines with meals –
Red wine with hearty beef or lamb meals
White wine with fish or chicken meals
Sparkling wine stands alone for toasts
However, these aren’t commandments or laws. What do you enjoy together? Make your own list meals and wines you like paired together. That will help you remember when you go wine shopping again.
Different wines of different price points fit different occasions also. Special occasions are usually celebrated with pricier wine selections. This is added pressure to pick the “right wine” for the right occasion. So, it is helpful to remember what you thought of a bottle later when you are standing in front of the wine rack at the store again.
Winery or Winemaker? Region or Latitude? Other factors come into play?
Once you establish a taste profile, you can try new wines and decide quickly whether or not a wine “fits” your preferred list. Winemakers have signature flavors that carry over from wine to wine and vintage to vintage. When you move beyond the mass produced and mass marketed wines, you will learn to recognize a winemaker’s signature taste.
Regions of the world have certain soils that give the grapes a distinct flavor. Once you learn the flavors you like, then you can go on an adventure. Latitudes influence the sweetness of the grapes and are known for certain distinct flavors. Germany grows white grapes very well and creates excellent white wines for example. If you like the German white wines, you may enjoy Canadian whites also. If you enjoy the fruity wines of Italy, you may enjoy California wines also.
Would You Buy That Wine Again?
If the answer to that is YES! Then, you have found a good wine.
What next? You want to remember this good wine, right? Here are some tips to help you do that.
Suggestion – Create a Wine Diary Listing
Create a wine diary to help yourself when you are shopping. It does not need to be something fancy, just jot down your thoughts. Something as simple as writing down the names and vintages of the wines you enjoyed on the inside cover of your favorite cookbook can be helpful. Snap a photo of the favorites when you plan a special occasion meal prior to shopping.
Jot a list on the side of the fridge of everyday favorites. Then as you go about your everyday life, you will be reminded of your favorites and make them easier to find when you do your everyday marketing.
Find an app for your phone to store this information in! That way you will always have it with you as you shop.
Create Your Own “Top 10” List
Once you take time to think through your wine choices, make your favorites list and ENJOY!
Want more wine info? You may enjoy on how to serve wine well you may also find helpful – How to Serve Wine to Your Guests Well
Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our “retired” USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life’s path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.