Many wine drinkers are overwhelmed by the numbers of wines available and the recommendations from professional sources. How can you make the best decision?
You walk into your local wine store, supermarket, World Market, Costco, etc., and are faced with row upon row of wines. Wine magazines offer hundreds of suggestions with ratings that sometimes seem mysterious. Wine merchants make certain that their favorite wines are stocked. The 18 year old bagger at your local grocery store will not be able to make an informed recommendation.
The first thing to remember is that wine is to drink! While you may want to have a few special bottles in your collection, donít worry about hording wine. Most wines sold in the US are designed to be drunk now.
You need to discover what you like to drink. Keep a wine log in which you can make notes about wineries, grapes, vintages, etc. You may like Pinot Grigio, but not Pinot Gris from the Alsace. Do you like the Aaku Chardonnay, but not the yellow tail? Why? Do you prefer white burgundy to Chardonnay? Where did you buy the bottle? If you find that one supermarket consistently has poor wine it may not be stored properly.
If you subscribe to a wine magazine be aware of who is writing the reviews. Many magazines have writers who specialize in particular wines. The reviews are often signed or initialed (with a list of the authors in the magazine). Do you tend to agree or disagree with a reviewer over and over again? Make note of the reviewer. These may be wines that you want to try or avoid depending upon your taste.