Monday, April 13, 2009

Tips for the New Wine Shopper

One of the things people most often ask me is how to buy wine. This blog is dedicated to helping you become not only comfortable, but truly enjoy the process!

Shop consistently.

Meaning, choose a wine shop and do the majority of your shopping there. When deciding on your shop take into consideration that every wine shop is different. Whether it be selection, focus, or pricing structure you need to figure out what will fit your needs. Look for a store that offers knowledgeable staff who is interested in helping you. That way you can trust their recommendations more closely when choosing something new.

Have a plan

This will limit your potential frustration and aid in keeping you from getting bogged down by the numerous regions, varietals, prices, etc. I recommend setting out armed with a price point, style, and potential pairing. Try to narrow down what you are looking for and don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions.

Price does not equal quality

While there are certainly wines out there that deserve an expensive price tag, cost doesn’t necessarily translate into quality! Wines today are increasingly priced according to start-up costs of the winery. If you are working within a budget focus on regions that are lesser known or well-established such as Spain, South America, or Lalande-de-Pomerol.

Buy discounted wine
Many wine shops offer a 10% discount on wine sold by the case, mixed or not. Look for any close-out specials or wines on sale. Just because it's discounted doesn’t mean it's bad! One of the best ways to track sales and close-outs is by signing up for on the shop's email list; you may be surprised at how much you can save.

Be willing to experiment and have fun.

It’s not a test and it’s ok if you don’t love every bottle you take home. It’s about the journey… enjoying! It’s just a matter of time before you happen upon a new favorite wine or region and that is a priceless discovery!

Happy shopping!

Jacqueline Thain