The best wine is the one you enjoy drinking. This is the case regardless of how much it costs or how many points a magazine gives it. However, there is a big world of wine out there and there are some better than others.
The more you understand the wine, the better you are able to enjoy it. There is something to be said for having some knowledge under your belt even though the bottom line is that you should just drink wines that you enjoy.
The first order of business is learning how to spot a good wine, to begin with. In this article, we will go over how to know if a wine is good or not.
1 – Read the label
The front label of the wine will give you some of the basics, but the back label is the one to really pay attention to. For example, the front label will tell you where the wine is from like France, Italy, or even in the case of Dune Wines, Morocco. In some cases, you will also see what the varietal is but that depends on the rules of labeling wines depending on the country.
In France and Italy, the type of wine is usually named after the area that it’s from so you have to dig in to see what the varietal is, ie Merlot, San Giovese, etc. It’s on the back of the label where you will generally see this information and then some.
The backside of the label is where you will get some of the tasting notes. Here you will read if it’s fruit-forward or tannic. You may even get some pairing recommendations that can help you pick a wine based on your menu.
2 – Do a little homework
Take some time and read up a bit on some wine topics to understand what it is that you’re looking for. I don’t mean really minute details that only a wine snob could love. The things to look for are what certain varietals are known for so you can find your preference. For instance, Chianti is made from San Giovese grapes which are usually full bodied and earthy.
If you like fruity wines then you have to dig in and find the types of wines that are. For instance, a cabernet sauvignon is typically going to be very full-bodied and have a lot of fruity notes like raspberry.
Also, look for certain years that were good for the varietals that you’ve deduced are going to work for you. This will make it easier to pick the right one and not be disappointed that it doesn’t match your tastes. A bad wine year can make a typically full-bodied varietal light and flabby.
3 – Go for a tasting
Many wine shops offer tastings so you can go and have somebody help you through the process of finding a good wine. You can figure out your taste for wine by trying a few side by side.
Usually, these tastings follow a theme like highlighting wines from a particular area, or a certain varietal from different areas. This is the best way to zero in on a good wine without risking buying a dud.