Choosing a great bottle of wine for whatever reason can be a challenging experience. Here are five tips to hopefully make it easier for you.
1. Figure out why you want the wine.
Is it a special occasion like a graduation or for a special date? If so, you may want to pay more for a bottle. If you are getting wine for dinner, you will want to pair the wine with your meal.
A bottle of white wine goes well with fish or fowl or vegetable meals, whereas red goes better with the heavier meats. There are even dessert wines such as Moscato, which is a sweeter white. But of course, you can pick the kind of wine you think you would like, regardless of the meal.
2. Go to a wine/liquor store that features wine tastings.
Many stores have weekly wine tastings for a featured wine, and you can go and have a taste or two. If you like it, usually the wine is on sale at a reduced price.
Also, the same stores may have wine tastings featuring several wines. These tastings are fun, as you get a wine glass as you come in, then walk around and try several wines (usually just a small sample of each).
Also, even if you don't want to buy a bottle of wine right there, you can note the wine's name to get it another time. These tastings usually feature cheese and appetizers, so you don't get sloshed from drinking too much.
3. Read the wine bottle label.
Some wines don't tell you anything on a label, except the wine's name and the kind. Hopefully, the wine you are interested in will have details like the aroma (coffee, tobacco, chocolate, etc.), where the grapes are from (California, France, Chile, etc.), and the age of the wine.
Some wine stores help show you if the wine is ready to drink now or should be stored for a year or more. If buying a more expensive bottle, it's best to get an older wine if you want to drink it right away. Still, in general, age isn't that important (especially for white wines).
4. Don't shy away from wines on sale.
For that matter, don't shy away from wines in a box or with a screw-on cap.
Wines on sale are usually marked down in price because they've been on the shelf a while, not because they are rotten or spoiled.
5. Use your smartphone for further information.
There are apps you can get for your phone to help you pick a wine. The Wine Spectator, a wine magazine that's been around for over 40 years, has one to help you out in selecting wines.
You can also do a Google search on a wine or a type of wine you aren't sure about, and the search may even help you make sure the price is suitable for your wine.
So hopefully, these tips can help guide you in selecting a great bottle of wine, whatever the next occasion is for you.