Good grapes: Tips for choosing wine
There are better ways to select a wine than simply picking the one with a cute animal on the label. If you’re looking to stock your home or bring the right bottle to a dinner party, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Go by numbers
Wine experts like Wine Spectator rank wines on a 100-point system. While your tastes may differ, bottles ranked 90 or above are a good bet.
Think beyond Italy, France and California. Newer wine regions across the globe offer excellent wines, often at friendlier prices. Consider Chilean cabernet sauvignon, Australian shiraz, sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or red wines from Argentina.
Keep a record
Use a wine journal or wine software to record bottles you loved and hated. Use these notes to guide you on your next wine-buying trip.
Seek professional help
Wine stores or specialty grocers with a good selection will have a wine expert on staff to help you find interesting bottles and share useful knowledge in the process.
Heat and light are your two major troublemakers when storing wine. Here are a few simple ways to store your wine at home.
- Most wine sellers recommend keeping your bottles in a cool place, like a basement, where the temperature is between 45 and 60 degrees. Wine can be safely stored up to nearly 70 degrees, but this will cause the contents of the bottles to mature faster.
- Avoid attics, garages or rooms where the temperature can fluctuate.
- Keep bottles horizontal. This allows the wine to keep the cork moistened, so it doesn’t dry up and let air into the bottle.
- Simple wood or metal racks, especially stackable ones, help keep your bottles from rolling around.
GateHouse News Service