The Chicago Tribune had an article on wine buying that I thought was worthy of slapping into our WineHacker category. We’re not big on the mystique of wine (I know, all wine bloggers say that but if you knew Kelly and I, you’d know we mean it!) Anyway, we have an appreciation for wine and its a hobby but the more guides to trying wine that we can find the better.
Additionally, if you don’t live in a “wine area” then these tips, while seeming obvious to some, are not entirely obvious to everyone. There not perfect but then again nothing relating to wine is perfect. Why do I say that? Because every single person’s body chemistry and make up is different. As different as fingerprints and DNA. That means that no two people will interpret sensations (like drinking wine) in the same way. Therefore, by definition, its impossible for there to be a “perfect” wine. What is perfect for me, by definition, will not be prefect for anyone else.
Off my soap box on that, here’s the Tribune list…
10 tips to being a better wine buyer
BY BILL DALEY
1. Comparison shop, but don’t let price be your only guide. Sometimes it pays to spend a little more if you get a store’s expert advice or an in-depth inventory that results in a perfect bottle for the occasion.
2. Consider second labels. Great wines can cost a fortune; less-great wines from the same house can offer plenty of taste for a lot less. Just pay attention to the overall vintage. Quality can vary markedly so you want second-labels from top vintage years; ask your wine seller for suggestions.
3. Knowledge is power, but did you realize it could be tasty, too? Take advantage of wine tastings conducted by wine shops. Some are pretty fancy with winemakers holding court at multicourse meals, but others may be no more than a card table crowded with bottles and small plastic cups. The key is to sip as many different wines as you can to figure out what you like and reduce the guesswork when it comes to buying a specific bottle.
4. Check if your wine shop offers a customer discount card. If so, sign up and start paring dollars off your bill.
5. If you really, really like a wine, consider buying a case or two. Most wine shops will give you a 10 percent discount on 12 bottles; some even do it for six bottles. Check around.
6. Don’t pour that half-empty bottle down the drain. Recork it and stow it in the refrigerator. The wine should be fine the next day. If you plan on holding the wine longer, consider buying some sort of wine preservation product. The goal of these products is to keep oxygen from getting to and spoiling the wine. Some preservation methods vacuum pump air out of the bottle; others place a protective layer of an inert gas atop the wine to protect it.