How to Choose a Good Wine in 5 minutes?

So you want to bring out the classier side of yourself and have decided to purchase a little rich red to complement your dinner, or maybe you just found a really good RedMart coupon so you know you can splurge on some alcohol. Whatever the reason, I’m pretty sure that once you have started the process, you realize it is actually harder than you anticipated. Yes, I’m talking about choosing a wine online.

Just like perfumes and fragrances, wines can be a bit of a hit and miss. It can come in a fancy packaging, it can have a really amazing description of it’s taste, “warm and velvety with rich raspberry tones to complement the floral bouquet”. I don’t know how that would translate into an actual flavour, but it sounds pretty impressive. However, unless you know your wines extremely well, you have a 50/50 chance of purchasing a bottle of overpriced swill that you will gag down in an effort to get your money’s worth.

If you still want to take the risk and buy a bottle online, here are some good-to-know tips that will get you through the online wine list and clicking the checkout button all within five minutes, with the guarantee of a decent bottle ordered and no time wasted contemplating if you prefer “hints of cherry” or “maple undertones”.

Firstly, find out what you are going to have your wine with (assuming you are drinking it with a meal). Do a quick search online and you will find countless of sites quoting the same pairings for the booze: light wines go with lighter dishes and dark wines with richer meals. So if you are having fish, vegetables, chicken and light sauces, go for a white. If you are having a whole hog tomato-marinara meal complete with a mound of pasta, or strong red meats, red is what you need. If you are having a dessert, grab a sweet dessert wine to pair with the meal. This is just for those who can’t judge the decency of a wine online, stick to these rules and you’re good.

Know what you’re going to eat it with? Good. Next is to figure out where it’s from. Wines produced by countries that have been making the drink for centuries is a good bet for you to get quality wine. Italy, France, Spain and Germany; these are the regions where wine-making was borne from. A good guide to follow can be found on AskMen.com where they suggest wines from Oregon and California for American wines, from Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy (yup, these are names used synonymously with the drink so it has to be good) for France, Chianti from Tuscany and Shiraz from Australia.

They say wine gets better with age, but how old should you go? The more recent the year, the more cheaper the bottle, or so it may seem. But even if 2012 does not enter your vocabulary as a “vintage” product, the wine’s taste can depend on many factors such as weather, crop quality and other things. So don’t stress out too much about how old the wine is and pick one. If it’s being sold commercially, it’s ready to be consumed.

Now that you have got the basics, you are just a few clicks away from enjoying a good glass of wine. Good luck!

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