How to Choose a Wine When You Know Nothing About Wine

A very common question I get is how to choose a wine when there are so many options. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly unending varietals, vintages, and difficult to pronounce names. Over the years, I’ve attempted to demystify wine culture with Wine Library TV (I think I did a pretty good job) and I will now offer some tips on how to make the process a little easier for you.

But first, let me state that there are two wine purchasing behaviors that crush my soul. The first is buying wine based on how pretty the label is. The second behavior that crushes my soul is buying wine just because the shelf talker (the little sign on the shelf that describes the wine) says “90 points” on it and then some wine expert’s name after it. I’ll admit, if you ever visit Wine Library, we put up these shelf talkers all the time. Why? Because it sells wine. But I’d be lying if I thought that was the best and only way to choose wine.

1. Create a Relationship With Your Local Wine Expert

2. Be a Practitioner: Taste and Try Everything

Tasting wine doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Here’s the thing, a higher price does not always equal a higher quality wine. Depending on where you live, there are often local wine tastings and events (Check out localwinevents.com). If you’re budget conscious, I can easily recommend great bottles of wine at $12–15 for every day of the year. Need some help? Tweet me (@garyvee).

If you’re worried you’re going to try something you don’t like, remember that this is really no different than the advice I give about social media platforms. Just like you have to be a practitioner to understand if a platform works for your brand, you have to try new wines to understand what works for your palate. Don’t be a headline or shelf-talker reader. There is massive value in trying something and creating context for yourself. So, build a relationship with your closest wine expert and try everything you can!

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Family first! But after that, businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of #DailyVee & The #AskGaryVee Show. A dude who loves The Hustle @Winelibrary & the @NYJets

Family first! But after that, businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of #DailyVee & The #AskGaryVee Show. A dude who loves The Hustle @Winelibrary & the @NYJets