I hear it all the time from people – “I’m just not sure I like wine; it seems bitter.” The wine-snobs of the world would turn away with complete disregard to these comments as most of them have forgot the world in which they started their wine-journey.
The reality is that the wine industry at large has done itself a great disservice by catering to their wine-snob customers who act as if their crap doesn’t stink. I find this attitude nausiating and it really is turning folks away from enjoying wine. Many people simply don’t know where to start – they’re like kids, we need to help them learn how to crawl before they can walk and to that I offer the following advice on how to get started off on the right foot:
1. Ignore all wine ratings you see on the store shelves
Many stores display “talkers” – you’ve seen them – little placcards right below bottles of wine which brag “this wine got a 95pts in Wine Speculator”. First off, who the hell cares and secondly what is that suppost to mean to the average customer? I’ll tell you, it means nothing – ignore it. If a wine intrigues you, buy it!
2. Pay little attention to price!
There are incredible values right now in wine thanks in part to competitive wine regions around the world. Places like Argentina, South Africa and the Pacific Northwest are really churning out incredble wine values. I’ve outlined a few of them in my blog in fact. Does this mean expensive wines aren’t worth it? Not at all, but then again, I’ve had many cheap wines which weren’t worth their asking price either.
3. Get some good wine glasses
I find it to be an insult to my intelligence whenever I walk into a wine tasting and they’re using little glasses which are barely big enough to get your nose into and look more like a Port glass. While you don’t need to rush out and spring for Reidel’s, there are many “knock-offs” available at places like Costco which come very close to the big brands, offer a lot of good volume inside the glass and really can change the way a wine tastes.
4. Drink your wine at a proper tempurature
Many folks in the wine industry will tell you to drink whites at temps between 45F-50F degrees and that’s generally a good rule of thumb. Red wines almost always should be served at “room tempurature” – this phrase is really misguided by today’s standards because at the time “room temp” was coined back in France, they didn’t have heated homes which meant the average “room temp” was around 65F degrees. I always “eye ball” these temps – before I serve a Red, I’ll put it in the fridge for about 20-30min to let it drop down to around 65F or so and for whites, it’s easy to just put it in the fridge the night before.
5. Trust your Palette!
As you buy wine, your palette will mature and you’ll want to embrace it, coddle it and treat it like your best friend. Forget the wine-snobs out there and the biased wine reviewers who have their own self-serving interests over your own. Only you can taste wine the way you can, there are no rules, there are no absolutes, you either like a particular wine or you don’t and that’s okay!