Characteristics to consider when choosing a good bottle of wine
Every gathering of friends, family, celebrations or more intimate moments is often accompanied by a glass of good wine. But, are you the one who usually chooses the wine on these occasions? Or do you leave the selection to someone else? Below, you can find some characteristics to assess quality and choose the right wine for that special moment.
Balance: this is characterized by having a harmonious aroma, flavour, and color. Any of them can stand out, but if they are all perceived to the same degree, you are in the presence of a great wine. The more uniform the perception, the more balanced the wine will be.
Color: In a quality wine, the color should be clear, brilliant and crystalline.
Smell: The smell should be clean and the more complex, the better. They are characteristic aromas of many fruits, flowers and spices.
Taste: The taste of good wines varies depending on the grape, winemaking process, ageing… In red wines, for example, they often leave hints of fruits, oak, vanilla, and even tobacco. To fully perceive it, you should take a sip and, before swallowing, let the wine circulate throughout your mouth.
Body: its ability to fill the taster's mouth, envelop their olfactory sensations, and leave a lingering aftertaste on the palate.
This is what you should typically consider, but if you want to become a wine expert, we can delve further into the characteristics.
How to choose a bottle of wine from the wine expert point. Find your own wine preferences.
Red, white or rosé
The first decision you have to make in choosing a wine is whether you want a red, white or rosé as well as sparkling or still wine. This has more to do with external factors than with the wine itself. You can consider the meal you're going to have it with. Take a look at the label; some wines come with pairing tips that can be helpful. The second factor to consider is the weather. When it's warmer, we often crave lighter, fresher wines like whites or sparkling rosés. Finally, don't forget the personal preferences of the drinkers. Regardless of the previous points, if you know someone doesn't really enjoy a specific type of wine, it's better to choose something different.
Type of grape and Vintage
A good bottle of wine also spills the beans about the types of grapes used to make it. These little guys determine the wine's taste and texture. There are lots of grape varieties out there. You need to consider characteristics such as grape variety, its place of origin due to the climatic conditions and the soil in which they grow, or the production region.
Lastly, you might stumble upon some info about the year, known as the vintage. This is the year the grapes were picked, and it gives you the scoop on the weather when they were ripening, whether it was a good year or not, and that affects the wine's quality.
The first piece of advice is to consult a wine guide to learn about the oenological differences between wine regions around the world. This will clarify your most basic questions. Food in a region can totally mess with how they make wine. You know, what people eat there can affect the kind of wine they produce and drink. It's like a partnership between the grub and the grape juice. So, like, in Italy, where they're all about pasta and tomato sauce, they make wines higher acidity. In the case of Spain, it's more usual make bold, strong red wines to go with the meat. Sometimes, they even put local stuff in the wine-making, like herbs or fruits, to give it a regional twist. It's all about culture too, because some places have wine as part of their everyday meals.
Also we consider the food to choose the right wine. Wine pairing is the practice of harmoniously combining food and beverages to enhance the flavours of each. Although it's not always necessary for it to be an approximation as we are accustomed to seeing, contrast also exists.
The difference is that in approximation pairing, the goal is to highlight and complement similar flavours between the wine and the food. For example, if you have a red wine with fruity notes and soft tannins, you might pair it with a roasted meat dish with a red berry sauce. Both share the fruity note, and the soft wine complements the meat. And when we talk about the contrast pairing, the aim is to emphasize the differences between the wine and the food. For example, a highly acidic and crisp white wine could contrast with a fatty fish dish, such as salmon. The contrast between the wine's acidity and the fish's fat can create an interesting experience in your mouth. Here, the key is the balance and contrast of flavours.
Both approaches have their advantages and can be effective depending on your personal preferences and the type of food and wine you are pairing.
Buy in a specialized wine shop
Specialized stores often have knowledgeable staff who are well-versed in the specific products they sell. This means you can receive expert advice and recommendations tailored to your needs. Also they focus on quality, so you're more likely to find high-quality products that are carefully curated for their niche.
Many specialized stores carry unique or hard-to-find items that you might not find in larger, more generalized stores.
Read reviews or seek recommendations about wine preferences
Wine reviews or recommendations from trusted sources, such as wine critics, sommeliers, or experienced friends, can offer guidance in selecting a well-regarded bottle. However, remember that personal taste can vary, so don't be afraid to trust your own palate and take risks.
The most reliable way to find a good wine is to ask a sommelier, whether in a specialized store, by reading their articles on wines, or at the same restaurant where you're going to dine and enjoy your bottle of wine.
Price of the wine
Considering the price when choosing wine is about being mindful of your budget, finding the best value for your money, and aligning your wine selection with the occasion and your preferences. It's an integral part of the wine selection process to ensure a satisfying and affordable wine experience.
Taking your tasting and wine notes
Everything you learn about wine before choosing, as well as the notes you take when tasting your wines, will be important in increasing your knowledge and reviewing your learnings for your next selection. A good choice is Moleskine's Wine Journal.
Use apps that help you learn more about world of wine and choose wine in a right way
There are apps, like the well-known Vivino and Wine Searcher, which are considered two of the best for discovering and learning about wine through their labels, making comparisons, and can totally help you to choose the perfect wine.
But if you're looking for a more comprehensive app that takes you on a complete journey into the world of wine, that would be Second Winery.
Second Winery is a new and revolutionary wine education app that allows you to receive a monthly kit at your home with a selection of three wines. You can taste them, learn about them, take notes, share your opinions, and see those of other users. It's a comprehensive and fun way to delve into the world of wine and become a wine pro in a different and affordable way.
This is possible because we believe in making wine accessible to everyone, and the platform covers every aspect of the wine journey. Through our groundbreaking initiative, we've harnessed the potential of an open digital platform, blending cutting-edge 3D and AI technologies to create an immersive and captivating experience.
Thought Second Winery, you can explore lifelike 3D replicas of famous wineries, dive into the intricacies of winemaking, and unlock the secrets of wine tasting.