5 tips for becoming a less boring wine drinker
A word of warning before you consider going down this treacherous path…
There is no cure for the wine bug.
The good news is, however, that you absolutely don’t need to spend a fortune or invest in a mountain of wine books to learn about wine.
You do need to keep trying new things and be willing to step outside of your comfort zone from time to time.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be feverishly discussing decanter shapes before you know it…
1. Avoid supermarket plonk
You’re in the supermarket, staring blankly at the wine aisle, trying to work out how on earth you can pick a decently priced bottle that doesn’t taste like rat poison. You spot a Rioja you had last week — it was drinkable — nowhere near as bad as that horrific Chianti over there. Christ, that was something. What if the next bottle you pick out is even worse?! No, play it safe, grab the one you know won’t make you gag.
Yep — we’ve all been there. I suggest you find a good wine shop and ask a knowledgeable human for some advice. With any luck your next Chianti will taste like it came from a vineyard in Tuscany rather than a rusty wood chipper.
2. Befriend a charming sommelier
Gone are the days when the word ‘sommelier’ conjured up images of insufferable wine snobs in waistcoats. They still exist of course, but more often than not sommeliers are just friendly folk with a discerning palate and a genuine desire to share their love of fermented grape juice with others. Ripping people off or blindly recommending the most expensive wine on the list is not part of the job description.
So sidle up to a friendly looking somm and beg for her help with that woefully untrained palate of yours.
3. When in doubt, Google
These days people refuse to sample new toilet paper brands without consulting online reviews — so why should wine be any different?
If you’re having second thoughts, look the bottle up on Cellartracker and DAVE LIKES THIS WINE will tell you, well, that he likes this wine. He might also give you a helpful tasting note. Thanks Dave.
4. Find a good ‘by the glass’ list
If you find yourself in a bar that offers little more than Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon by the glass, I would suggest you leave and never come back. The only thing worse than an overpriced wine list is an unimaginative one. More and more wine bars are starting to do off the beaten track wines by the glass, which means there is no excuse for sticking to your usual boring glass of Malbec.
5. Throw a PARTAAAY
The more the merrier (both people and bottles of course). This is undoubtedly one of the cheapest ways to try new wines. Plus, you get to share the experience with other humans — which is kind of the whole point of this wine thing in the first place.
So go on, be DARING. You might have to reach for the mouthwash on a few occasions, but that’s part of the adventure.