How to choose wine
With 79 wine regions in Australia (not to mention overseas), hundreds of wineries and thousands of fantastic wines, it is no wonder that people are left scratching their heads when it comes to having the knowledge and confidence to choose great wines.
The absolute starting point is to seek to enjoy the experience of choosing, drinking and sharing wine. Wine is about pleasure. The most important criteria in choosing and enjoying wine is "if you like it". If you really like a wine, don′t be swayed by others views on this wine and similarly if you don′t like a wine, don′t worry if others do like it. Taste in wine is very personal thing - which is why there are so many different options for you to explore on the market.
A great approach is to experiment! Try different varieties, wine regions, price points and vintages. A great idea is to keep notes as you go about which ones you do and don′t like - if you do this it is highly likely that you will see some patterns start to emerge which is your palate steering you in the right direction (for you).
When you want to try a new wine sometimes it′s great to be able to understand what you should be looking out for and to know what is considered a "good wine".There are several key Australian judging competitions a year, look out for state wine shows (run by the Agricultural Societies) such as the Royal Melbourne Show, the Sydney International Top 100 show and the Winestate magazine show.Essentially wines are judged on the colour (3 points), the nose (7 points) and the taste (10 points) and awarded bronze, silver or gold medals in their specific category.Some key judges to look out for include some renowned wine experts, look out for James Halliday, Huon Hooke or Toni Patterson, 3 of Australia′s finest wine experts.
Some things to keep in mind when choosing wine
Once you′ve developed an idea of the type of wines you like, there are other considerations that can come into play to help you in choosing wines. Some of these things include:
- Type of occasion - is it a casual, special or formal occasion and what type of wine would be appropriate. A bottle of French Champagne may be appropriate for a special event while a bottle of cheap and cheerful Australian sparkling wine is perfect for a picnic.
- Who are the people you are sharing the wine with - do you know their likes, preferences and dislikes? Sometimes it is good to ask.
- What will you be eating? Check out our food matching section for great hints and tips.
- Weather, temperature and time of day all can come into play. A Riesling is a great complement for lunch on a hot summers day while a full bodied Shiraz is perfect for sitting in front of the fire during the colder winter months.
Getting help from wine experts
Wine Reviews can be a great source of information. There are two types of reviews. The first is by Wine Experts who are not only fantastic experts but often also judges in Australia′s Wine Competitions. Some key judges to look out for include some renowned wine experts, include James Halliday, Huon Hooke or Toni Patterson, 3 of Australia′s finest wine experts. The second type of reviews that can help you choose wine is reviews by other members of The Wine Society. The Wine Society has hundreds of Member Reviews by people just like you - who are keen to share their likes, dislikes and discoveries with other members.
Another way to increase your knowledge is to do a wine education course. The Wine Society Wine Education Courses have been tailored to suit the needs of different people with differing levels of knowledge. The vast majority of attendees are genuine, down to earth people who like wine and want to find out a bit more about it.