How to Select a Good Wine
While “good wine” is subjective and everyone has their own preferences, there are a few tips and tricks for how to select a good wine that suits your tastes and pairs wonderfully with the occasion you intend it for.
The Components of Good Wine
All wine, no matter the quality, has various characteristics that can help guide you towards choosing a bottle you know you’ll enjoy.
- Sweetness: Wine labels often include terms such as “sweet,” “semi-sweet,” “semi-dry,” and “dry.” Dry wine does not taste sweet at all.
- Acidity: Wines that have a higher acidity content taste tart, compared to low-acidity wines that taste richer and rounder.
- Tannin: Found in grape skins, tannins are naturally present in the winemaking process and with aging. They add bitterness to wine and are more abundant in red wine.
- Body: The body of a wine refers to how light or heavy it feels in your mouth. Wines are often labeled as being light, medium, or full bodied, with red wine typically being fuller bodied than white wine.
- Alcohol: The higher the alcohol percentage in a glass of wine, the warmer it will feel in the back of your throat.
Proper Wine and Food Pairing
Even if you know how to select a good wine, it’s important to know how to properly pair wine with food to showcase and complement the flavors.
- White wine typically pairs best with lighter dishes, such as chicken, fish, and vegetarian
- Red wine goes well with richer, heavier dishes with beef, lamb, and rich cheeses
- Acidic foods need acidic wine to complement the taste profile
- Salty foods pairs well with sweeter wine
- Fatty foods work well with bitter, highly acidic, or higher alcohol wines
- Foods and wines from the same region often make great pairs
Tips for Selecting a Good Wine
Here are some basic tips for how to select a good wine, no matter what:
- When in doubt, choose a rose – rose is very versatile and works well with many flavors
- Consider the occasion – Are you hoping to please a crowd, or do you want to pair the wine with a specific meal?
- A sparkling wine is always a good idea for celebrations
- Go for second-label – “second label” wines are made with less-than optimal grapes but usually with the same process as “first label” wines, providing great taste at a great price
- Consider your taste preferences – do you tend to like lighter, fresher tastes? Or more bold and rich flavors?
Find Your Go-To Wine Shop
To help make the wine shopping experience less overwhelming, find your go-to wine shop that consistently provides great options anytime. For many of our customers, Chip’s Liquor is just that kind of shop. We source the best, most unique, and highest rated wines, spirits, and beer from around the globe, acting as a one-stop-shop for beverage connoisseurs with the convenience of online shopping.