Whether at the supermarket or the bottle-shop, it seems that we are constantly faced with the paradox of choice. Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself when you are choosing wine.
(1) What is the occasion?
There is a wine for every occasion. Below is are a few examples to consider
For example, if it is a celebration, have a bottle of sparkling wine ready and pop it open before the guests. Is it for a dinner tonight? You may want to make sure there is a bottle of wine for every course or just a white and a red to serve throughout the meal. Is it just for yourself so that you can relax and read a book? Any wine that pleases you is fine.
(2) What is the weather going to be like when you drink the wine?
You don’t want to be drinking a heavy full-bodied red wine on a hot day. Neither do you want to touch a cold bottle of white wine on a chilly and windy night. Know what is the weather going to be like before choosing a wine. If you know it is probably going to rain tonight, turn up the heat and have a glass of port. If the weather is nice and warm, sit out in the porch and have a chilled rosé
(3) What are your / your guests’ preferences?
When you buy a wine, you have to be happy to drink it. After all, it is your money. Think about the sort of wine you or your guests might drink. Here are some guidelines:
Red, White, Sparkling, sweet dessert?
High or low in alcohol?
In-your-face fruity or layered complexity?
Oaky or no oak?
(4) How many of you are drinking it?
That’s right. You may have figured out the perfect wine for the perfect occasion or meal but if there is not enough to go around, it does not matter. Most times, one bottle (750 ml) of wine could comfortably quench the thirst of five guzzling wine lovers. If your guests take smaller sips, one bottle could fit seven. For just small tasting portions around 30 ml), I have seen a bottle satisfy up to 30 people. Not everyone needs a lot to be happy.
(5) What is your budget?
You can’t drink if you can’t afford it. Figure out how much wine you need, then figure out if you can keep your expense within reasonable means. Unless the others are willing to chip in, you may have to lower your expectation and get a wine that is quaffable. If everybody is busy talking about other things instead of the gastronomic experience in front of them, then the quaffability factor is not so big a deal.