We all went through this: a restaurant, a wine list, a complete misunderstanding of names and a waiter patiently waiting for your order. We timidly choose the second cheapest wine and breathe out. And then the waiter returns and offers you to taste the drink you chose.
There is nothing shameful in the fact that you are not a wine expert, but sometimes you may want to impress the person who understands something in the drink of the gods.
Using the advice of wine pros, we will tell you how not to get faced in the salad when choosing a wine.
If you don’t see any familiar name in the list of wine, do not panic: there is a solution! In good restaurants wines are grouped by types, without all these descriptions like “light floral note”. Feel free to ask the recommendations of a waiter or sommelier, based on your standard preferences (light dry, saturated spicy, etc.)
For those who want to dive deeper into the subject there are excellent applications called Vivino and Plonk that let you scan or find specific wine and show you its description and ratings.
If the issue is in price, start from the amount of money that you are ready to spend, and add 10% to it. The wine can be a little more expensive, but at the same time it will much better. It’s all about fixed costs (transportation, duty, etc.), which will be the same for all positions.
You should agree! This is an opportunity to take a look at how the bottle is closed. It’s not about the pieces of cork floating in the bottle, not at all. It’s about trichloroanisole – a compound that can be found in 5% of wines, closed by a cork. This chemical compound spoils the wine, leaving the smell of moldy wet cardboard. It’s not about wine snobbery. You should look at the color of the wine and make sure that it is bright and not muddy.
Don’t worry if you see crystals at the bottom of the glass, which look similar to small pieces of glass: this is a safe distinguishing feature of organic wines that do not go through a hundred rounds of filtration.
Next: swirl the wine in a glass to saturate it with oxygen and give the fragrance some life. Smell it. If the cork was defected, the wine will have a smell of mold. This can also happen to bottles, closed with a threaded cap, but much less often. Your wine should not smell like rotten eggs or nail polish removal.
Now taste the drink. Run the wine around the mouth to let all taste buds feel the flavor. If you feel weird shades of taste, do not hesitate to ask the waiter. If you just did not like the wine … well, you will be lucky next time.
No doubt, taste preference is a very individual matter. But if you don’t consider yourself a connoisseur, follow the choice of grassroots. Talking about red wines, it is worth to choose Merlot or Burgundy. When it comes to white one, Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay are very popular. With pink, the choice is more complicated – here you should pay attention to a pale pink shade.