In this episode the Prepared Idiot takes you through how to tackle the giant grocery store isle of wine. As a novice wine drinker myself I always felt overwhelmed by the thought of buying a good wine or a bad wine. Have you ever wondered about the difference between an 80 dollar bottle of wine and a 3 dollar bottle of wine? Here are a few things to prepare you so that you won’t look like an Idiot the next time you buy a bottle of wine.
Start by experimenting to find out what time of varietal you like best. A varietal is the type of grape and the blend used to make the wine. Some examples you might have seen would be Merlot, Cabernet and others. If that already put you on tilt you can start with a blended wine. These are often just labeled table wine or red/white wine. That is just a mix of wines that wine maker blends together and this is a great place for the novice to start.
The next thing to consider is in general, the smaller more focused the growing area the better the wine tends to be. If a bottle says it’s grown in California that means that the wines fruit can come from anywhere in the state. If it is labeled to a specific growing region that means that the grapes only come from that area and tend to be of a higher quality. Once you find the varietal that you like you can then try different growing regions to further find the perfect bottle of wine for you.
But the perfect bottle of wine doesn’t always come in a bottle. Some of the best wine comes in boxes! That’s right, box wine is a great way to keep and store wine. The plastic bag in the box keeps the oxygen from getting to the wine until you are ready to pour. So don’t look down on those who are drinking from a box it is not just for the trailer park set. Also just because the bottle has a screw top is not a commentary as to the quality of wine in the bottle. In a lot of ways the only reason that many wines in the U.S. still have corks is that most American’s still will only buy wines with the traditional pop top.
Wine is one of those things that is meant to be personal. You don’t need an expensive wine to have a great wine experience. If you find a wine that is 4 dollars and you like it buy cases of it and enjoy it. Just not all at once! You can store the extra in the bottom of your bedroom closet if you don’t have a wine cellar or a wine refrigerator.
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