Knowing how to choose the right wine involves taking into account several factors including taste preferences, occasion and food preferences. While the mixture of these factors is unique for each person, the tips below award-winning Central Otago boutique wine maker, Waitiri Creek will help you find the perfect bottle of wine for you.
The first step is learning what you like and dislike in wine. A good way to do this is to think of wine like you would food, there are certain tastes or flavours you like and others that you dislike. “Take notes along the way, such as you like about it, what it tastes like. Your favourites will soon start to shine through,” advises Alistair Ward, Founder & Owner at Waitiri Creek.
While you are taste testing also check out what the wine looks like and what it smells like. Visual elements, such as a murky wine, as well sour or acrid scents may indicate that a wine is oxidised and not of good quality.
Now that you have narrowed down the flavours you like in a wine, the next step is to consider how you will be drinking the wine. Will you be drinking this wine on its own, or do you want to pair it with your favourite food? If you want to drink the wine on its own, go for whites, fruity reds with less tannin. Remember that wine styles vary between different regions, winemakers and vintages.
“If you are going to pair it with food follow this rule that some red meats are best paired with red wines for example Waitiri Creek pinot noir while salads , pasta or poultry would match well with a fine Rose, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay” adds Alistair.
A key aspect in knowing how to choose wine is knowing how to read the label. The general rule of thumb is the more details, the better. First look for the region. A wine may be produced from grapes sourced from a range of vineyards in a region whereas a wine from a specific vineyard site may often indicate a higher quality as it was handpicked or bunch selected for example. The vintage year on the label is the year in which the grapes where picked.
By looking at the ABV (alcohol by volume), you can learn a bit about the wine. A wine's alcohol by volume is always listed as a percentage on the bottle. “Most white wines are generally lie in the 10-13% range whereas most red wines can be anywhere from 11%-14% ABV,” adds Alistair. In recent years there is a trend toward lower alcohol in wines.
Waitiri Creek wines have a great selection of wines that are available to purchase through select specialty wine retailers and through their website. Pick up a case or two here: https://www.waitiricreekwines.co.nz/shop-1
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