It’s weird to think that people can be intimidated by fermented grape juice. But I was after I visited my relatives during college. I heard them describe wine tasting like a tennis ball or a leather shoe, and they used terms like tannins, body, and vintages. The good news is you don’t need to know any of the terminology or taste notes to start enjoying wine. Below are a few practical tips to help you get started.
1. Figure Out Your Palate
Do a self inventory of what you like to drink and why. How do you take your coffee? Black, or sweet with cream, sugar, cinnamon? Do you drink milk? Whole, 2%, skim? Do you like subtle or strong flavors? If you are able to nail down a few descriptors of things you like to drink, it will help the people at the wine shop recommend a bottle you are more likely to enjoy.
2. Know How Much To Spend
Set your budget before going to the store. The price range I’ve seen suggested a lot for someone starting out, and what I follow for the most part is $9 - $15. At this price range you can sometimes even find wines that rank and taste better than $40 bottles. If you go below this price range the quality of the wine goes down significantly.
3. Download Vivino
Download the app Vivino. It’s a free wine app that logs every wine you try. What I love about this app is it creates a taste profile just for you! All you do is take a picture of the bottles label, review it, and it’s added to your taste profile. The taste profile is a pie chart based off what you drink broken down by region and grape style. You can also use the app to help you buy wine. Take pictures of labels while in stores to check a wines rating and reviews from other users before you buy. Overall this app is great for both beginners and pros. Once you get your taste profile established wine shops can give you better recommendations.
Let me know if you try any of the tips, or if you have suggestions for someone just starting out!