We are all new to wine at some point. Some might have been lucky enough to try wine at home with good parental guidance - most start their wine journey some time in their 20's with friends. Ever been to a supermarket and browsed the endless racks of special offers? We know 3 for a tenner has moved on - but £9.99 down to £5.99 is everywhere. Don't be tempted! If you want to find out about wine - go to your nearest off-license with knowledgeable, helpful staff.
Most off-licenses have wines to taste - don't be shy - try them! Look for an off-license that stocks a range of wine from all over the world. When you're just starting out, you don't want someone educating you about only one country - or worse still - one region. You need to explore before you narrow down what you like. Most off-licenses' 'cheap' wine will be better than the bargains found in the large supermarkets. A smaller retailer will have better quality control over their wines, as they probably try them regularly. We look for smaller vineyards, whose production is too small for the large supermarkets. These smaller, family owned and run vineyards are able to oversee their wine at all points of the process - from growing right through to drinking the wine.
It is shown that most 'New to wine' drinkers prefer Fruit forward wines - be that White, Red or Pink Wine. But don't assume that you are the same as most - try the wines, compare and make notes. Fruit forward wine is probably self descriptive, if you find you like this type of wine - ask to try others in your local shop. Herbaceous would describe wines more savory & flinty in flavour. I like warm climate fruit forward reds and cool climate herbaceous whites - just to mix it up!
A great way to discover what you like, is to organise a tasting evening with a group of friends. Pick one type of wine - perhaps Sauvignon Blanc, then buy three different ones. Ask your wine merchant to help you chose - get one from France, one from New Zealand and one from Chile. Make sure you have three glasses for each friend - that way you can taste each wine, keeping the first wine to go back to. Once you have tasted all three wines - keep going back. Remember to Look, Swirl, Smell then Taste the wine. Your sense of smell followed by taste, build to complete the flavour of each wine to each individual tasting. A good tip, is to have an A4 sheet of paper, draw three circles on it - one for each glass, keep your wine in place and make notes. Have fun comparing what you think it tastes like - sometimes someone else's description helps you remember and say, what you like.
What if you don't like any of them? Well.....it's back to the wine merchants and try again! Perhaps Red wine next time!
Our Wine Warehouse is Open for Sales & Tastings Saturday's 10am to 1pm.