How do you choose a good bottle of wine?
- Know the basic wine terms
- Think about your taste preferences
- Learn about the different wine types
- Match the complexity of the wine with your meal
- Consider the occasion
When dining in a fancy restaurant, sommeliers can assist you in picking the best wine bottle when you don’t know which one to choose. By asking about your taste preferences, they can recommend a wine bottle that complements your meal perfectly. But what happens when you have to order wine online in the Philippines, and you’re browsing numerous pages of seemingly endless bottle choices? To help you out, this article discusses how to choose a good bottle of wine.
The key to choosing a good bottle of wine is to understand your taste preferences and some of the basic wine characteristics. Afterward, you can become more confident in selecting a delectable bottle that matches your meal perfectly. Read on!
Know The Basic Wine Terms
Choosing a “good” bottle of wine is completely subjective because everyone has unique taste preferences. You might describe the wine you like as acidic, spicy, sweet, tarty, or even bold. Of course, there are essential characteristics that define each wine variety, and understanding them better can help you narrow down your bottle choices better.
Below are basic wine terms you should know about:
- Acidity - Acidity refers to the tarty flavors that the wine leaves in the mouth. Wines with high acidity will be crispy, zesty, sour, or tarty, whereas low-acidity wines will taste smoother and rounder.
- Body - The “body” of a wine refers to how heavy or light it feels in the mouth. Is it light, medium, or full?
- Sweetness - Sweetness refers to the amount of residual sugar in the wine. Wine bottle labels often use the terms “sweet”, “semi-sweet”, or “dry” to serve as a guide for buyers.
- Dry - Dry doesn’t mean the wine leaves the mouth feeling dry. Instead, it means the wine is not sweet.
- Tannins - Tannins refer to the phenolic compounds in grape skins, seeds, and stems. Tannins can also come from the barrels used in wine aging. They provide texture to the wine, leaving the mouth dry when drinking. A wine with high tannins will be described as bitter and astringent, whereas low tannins will be described as delicate, fine-grained in texture, and pleasant.
- Finish - A wine’s finish refers to its aftertaste. It is the measure of taste that lingers in the mouth after drinking. As a rule of thumb, good wines have rich and long finishes.
- Alcohol By Volume (ABV) - Measured by percentage, ABV refers to the alcohol content of wine. Most wines contain 12% ABV.
Think About Your Taste Preferences
Depending on their characteristics, wine flavors can be versatile. This is why the definition of a good bottle of wine will differ from one person to another. To help you choose a bottle you will truly enjoy, think about your own taste preference.
After you understand the different wine terms, reflect on what you enjoy about wine. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, a “sweet” or “semi-sweet” wine might be for you. If you like sour and zesty tastes, chances are you will enjoy an acidic wine. It just might be that simple!
Learn About The Different Wine Types
The more you know more about the different wine types, the more distinct their flavors become to you. This is because you can describe exactly what you are tasting when taking a sip.
Here are the different wine types to serve as a guide:
- Red Wine - Red wines are made with dark-colored grape varieties and fermented along with grape skins. As a result, red wine is high in tannins, causing a dry mouthfeel after sipping. Notable types of red wine include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Pinot Noir.
- White Wine - White wines are made with white and dark-colored grape varieties. But unlike red wines, white wines are not fermented with grape skins. The grape skin is separated and only the juice is used, which results in lower tannins. Notable types of white wine include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Moscato.
- Rosé Wine - Rosé wines are known for their distinct blush pink color. The pretty hue is created from fermenting the dark-colored grape varieties with grape skins for a short period, typically ranging from a few hours only. Rosé is also low in tannins and a great choice for those who love light wine.
- Sparkling Wines - Sparkling wines are types of carbonated wines that are made from dark-colored and white grapes. The most notable example of sparkling wine is the celebratory drink, Champagne.
Match The Complexity Of The Wine With Your Meal
The overall goal of choosing a wine for a meal is to find a bottle that complements or contrasts its flavors. A good wine and food pair will definitely elevate your dining experience like never before. Here are a few rules of thumbs when it comes to pairing wine and food:
- Acidic food pairs well with acidic wine
- Salty food is the perfect pair for a sweet wine
- Fatty food pairs well with highly acidic or high ABV wines
- Go for sweet and light white wines for spicy food
- Choose sparkling wine for light food and cheeses
- Bitter/high tannin wine can be balanced by pairing it with sweet food
- Heavier food like red meats should be paired with red wine
- Lighter food like fish should be paired with white wine
Consider The Occasion
Are you choosing a bottle of wine for yourself to enjoy or are you sharing? Will you be eating dishes to match with it? Wines can be consumed for different occasions so it is a factor that should influence your decision.
If you want a no-fail bottle choice that will satisfy your friends or family, consider picking up a classic red and white wine. Since wine preferences are subjective, having one of each will satisfy a wide array of palates.
In this guide, we rounded up ways on how to choose a good bottle of wine. While the definition of a “good” bottle of wine is subjective, you can cut down your choices by understanding the drink’s characteristics more. Don’t be afraid to explore different wine varieties to further enhance your palate!
Looking for an online liquor store in the Philippines that sells delectable bottles of wine? Choose Clink! We categorized our wine selection so you can easily sort by region and type of wine. It’s easy to select a wine you like and find similar wines when you need to order a new bottle.
Click here to start shopping and get your favorite bottles delivered right to your doorstep.