This blog aims to make wine a little more approachable. Amateur winemaker, Ryan O'Donnell talks about winemaking techniques, tasting experiments, events, gadgets and more. This is Ryan's exploration of all things wine.
Category: Novice Tip
The clock's counting down good riddance to 2006, and a crowd of thirsty revelers encircles you, the designated popper of the cork. But how will you free the bubbly from its bottle to greet the new year? Wired News has your answer.
When you're gazing at endless rows of wine and you have no clue what to buy, here some generalized tips that can help weed out the crap and allow you to make an educated guess:
1) Don't buy any wine that has dust on it. Chances are there is a reason it hasn't moved. It is either a horrible wine or its a terrible value.
2) If you only see a couple bottles of a particular wine left on the shelf, it may be worth trying. This could be an indication that people are buying it up like crazy and you just happened to walk in at the right time.
3) Read the back label for helpful flavor guides. Smart wineries include descriptions and food pairings. Those that don't have any indicators are anyone's guess as to how it will taste.
Hopefully these easy-to-remember tips will help those in need. Be smart. Use common sense. Don't blindly buy another bottle of vino without making at LEAST an educated guess. Cheers!
Until airlines employ sommeliers, customers are forced to drink some shitty wine out of plastic cups. Take the initiative and pack your own next time!
"Splits" are those tiny, personal sized bottles. Less than half-bottles, they usually serve a glass or two – perfect for your in-flight fix.
With security confiscating everything from razors and nail clippers, carrying a corkscrew to open your split will probably get you more than you bargain for. And don't expect your flight crew to open it for you. Corkage fees don’t exist in the friendly skies. Screwcap enclosures are ideal.
As for stemware – leave the Riedels at home. Anything glass won't work and stems are out of the question – too hard to pack. There's nothing wrong with the plastic cups on the plane but for those that just can't bear the idea, there is hope. Boddum makes Pavina Double Wall Thermal Glass Collection, a version of the Reidel Os but theirs are made of plastic and are much cheaper.Pack some chocolates and/or cheeses and you got yourself a mile-high party. Just remember to bring an extra split in case you get lucky enough to sit next to a cutie worth sparking a conversation with!
You'd like a glass of wine but have never heard of any of the wines listed – what do you do? This is a great opportunity to try new wines. Be open-minded and enjoy the exploration.
Hopefully, the list will be a little more descriptive than just listing the varietal. Use the knowledge you do have and deduct wines you know you won't like. Look for recognizable regions. Go with the Australia Shiraz over the German Merlot. Or the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc versus the California one. Some regions are just better known for certain varietals.
Also note the price. Don’t go with the cheapest or the most expensive either. Find a middle ground. These are usually better values. The cheapest and most expensive are generally overpriced for the quality.
Once you try the new wine, take a mental note of what it is and whether you enjoy it. This is the most tactical way to trying new wines and discovering ones you like – either through chance or by deduction.Happy wine tasting!!
Have you ever made wine from grapes of kits?