These 4 wine buying tips will ensure that you’re appreciated, whether it’s a group of casual wine drinkers or the seasoned wine expert. They are versatile enough to use on a hot date or for buying bulk wine for a wedding. The idea behind these tips for buying wine is simple: when it comes to enjoying wine, it’s all about experience. If you get the experience right than the wine will follow (unless it’s awful swill )
When dining out: convey the illusion of preparedness
If you’re a planner, pick out the wine before you get there and ask for it to be delivered when you are seated as soon as you arrive. If you come in last minute, you can still accomplish this gesture discreetly by loitering in the bathroom with the wine list. What matters is that when you and your guests are seated you have the first bottle of the night already on it’s way. It saves valuable time, your wine will be appreciated, and you will look like a boss.
When buying a gift: labels matters
Fortunately for us, people are fickle. The look of something is still an indication of quality and importance. There are many great wines that come in small packages, but those are not the ones you should buy as a gift. Save those for yourself and share them with your close pals. Gifts are meant to be appreciated in the moment that you hand them over. With every wine gift I look for “Oh Wow! This looks fancy!” not “Thanks. What is this?” (aka Can you tell me why I should care?) You still have to select a good wine, but remember presentation and some superficial traits matter.
When buying wine in bulk for a party: use the 75% rule
I don’t care if it’s 100° F outside, 75% of American wine drinkers at parties ask for red wine. Do your wine buying budget a favor and think realistically about your attendees: are you buying wine for the Lil’ Ol’ Lady Buttery Chardonnay Club or are you sourcing wine for your best buddy’s wedding? And remember not all red wines are created equal, so think about the environment, menu, and time of day. Is the event outdoors? Lean more towards lighter red wines for outdoor parties like pinot noir and merlot. Is it in the middle of winter? Bold wines will warm up your soul.
When handed the wine list: do as the Romans do
I’m sitting in a restaurant gawking at a 25 page wine list. Catherine is leaning over me, a ticking clock reminding me that a wine buying decision needs to be made. I’m usually very creative with my wine choices, but sitting there in a French restaurant staring at a wine list that is about 85% French wines it’s obvious, I need to order something from France. I did. And it was goddamn perfect. So take it from me: If you’re in a French restaurant, get something from France. If you’re having Italian food, try a red wine from d’Abruzzo or from Montefalco. Where ever you go, try the wine that fits the place.
If you go to Cheesecake Factory, I have no recommendations, because they do “everything.”
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