Learn to choose your wine at the store - a simple beginner’s guide

in life •  3 years ago 

Welcome back to the one and only wine guide guys!


In the midst of my birthday (yes I am 30 today), I decided that I have to choose some good wine for my dinner;

You know the drill, right?

  • If you are buying a bottle of wine that you are taking to a friend’s house - 5$ is fine;

  • If you taking out a girl out on a date (you know that kind of girl, who isn’t too picky) then a bottle under 10$ is ok;

  • If you are hosting a diner in your house than you raise the bar to 25$;

  • Then there is the worst case scenario, dinner at the house of her parents… 50$ and over guys…

Well this set of rules is written to make you smile, and I hope you do, because wine and its price don’t always go hand in hand.

"Bad wine is never worth good water"
(JAMES LEMOINE DENMAN, Pure Wine and How to Know It)

How often have we bought a bottle of wine with a fancy label and got disappointed…

Well, long story short…

How to pick a bottle of wine in a store?


I guess here you expect me to write down a list of rules…. Well sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not as simple as that (although a list does follow).

Let us pick up on what was already said in the previous posts and then move on to some rules that will help you to pick the PERFECT bottle of wine :

"Wine is a passport to the world"
(THOM ELKJER, Adventures in Wine)

  • Remember – wine likes to be appreciated. So if you planning to buy it and throw it on the back seat of the car for 3 days do you need a very expensive bottle of wine?

  • The fact that wine likes to be appreciated means that you cannot buy a good bottle of wine… wait for it… Unless you know what wine you like!

  • I am not saying you have to know how to pick your favorite year of harvest, that is silly, but understanding what wine you like, sweet / dry, what country and what grape type will help.

  • Think of what are you going to have with your wine; is it going to be served with a meal?
    If so, what food are you having?
    Is it going to be drunk by itself?

  • Now stop for a moment and imagine yourself in a big wine shop, with shelves and shelves of wine to be picked from. THINK
    "Am I going to have dinner?" Then most probably pick red
    "Am I going to have a romantic night in with sea food?" Light white is the way forward
    Before you think of anything else, decide on the color, then the country (pick one you know you will like), then think of the sugar level, now you are ready for the hardest part…

  • Now you probably concentrated your pick on a few bottles.
    First advice from here - DO NOT ASK FOR HELP FROM THE SELLERS (they probably have no idea, and even if they do, they have certain wines they need to sell first)

  • Second advice – look at the bottles that attract your attention most, read their labels!
    Most will state whether it’s a table wine (we don’t want that) or it comes from a geographically protected region (we want that).
    If you find the words “reserva” (or something similar) on the bottle, that’s good!
    Most will state what taste / aroma they have – does it attract you?
    Some even say what food they will match…

  • Third advice – I have already mentioned this before, but here I am to do it again!
    Prior of going to the shop, download the app “vivino” – all you have to do, is register for free and then when you concentrate your pick, simply take a photo of the bottle label (you will need your internet connection turned on), and Voila! It should match you up.
    Search for wines with a score higher then 3.5 – 3.7
    Look for more information here (its free)

  • Fourth advice – When you stop your pick on two – three bottles, pick the… cheapest one out of the three (if you can buy 2 – then do it)
    Why? Well, why not? Why should you pick the more expensive one?


After you buy your wine, don’t walk around with it, store it as per labels advice and don’t be disappointed if its not the perfect pick.

If at this point you are lucky enough to have had bought 2 bottles, don’t make yourself drink the one you don’t like, open the second one!

"The pleasure in any wine is subjective: we each bring something to
what is there in the glass and interpret the result differently"
THOM ELKJER, Adventures in Wine

Though if you have followed the rules, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Each time you try a wine, remember whether you like the taste or not and most importantly remember the grape type, so you can skip or pick it next time!

Enjoy your wine and drink responsibly guys!


Image Credit - 1 ; 2 ; 3 ; 4

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Special Birthday-Song from me to you @serejandmyself

Have a GREAT day!!!

wooooohoooooooooooooo ))))))))))

Thanks FYR!!!!!!!!!

I like your $ guidelines.. After getting off work years back (bartending, learning my wines) I would go to Albertson's and get a frozen dinner and a bottle of wine. I knew I beginning to have a problem when I'd see "$4.99 frozen lasagna" vs "$7.99 wine" on my receipt!

LOL that sounds familiar )))

Happy birthday :)


Ahhh, a post about wine, you know my weaknesses @serejandmyself!

Only the best for you =)

Good article. Remember "Sideways?" That movie did for wine what "Jaws" did for sharks, and "Cocktail" did for bartenders :)

True that! I was a full-time bartender at the time and I remember printing out an article showing the Pinot Noir (the varietal which the main characer loved most) sales went up over 25% in the U.S. before that movie made it to DVD!

Oh yeah "cocktail" was my favourite movie for a long time

Great post with great humor. :) I follow all of your suggestions when choosing wine and hardly am I disappointed.

Thank you for taking the time to format and deliver this piece to our community!

Great to hear that it works man! Enjoy the wine!

These are all the considerations that go on in my head before I even get to the wine store. Except that sometimes I spoil myself to a bottle of the good stuff when all I have planned is video games or writing. Sinful, really.

Hmmmm wine and video games.... havent tried that one out

tl;dr go for the cheapest :))

You know us the Slavic bunch )

Thanks for guide. I think I can use this information in the future, but usually prefer to drink beer :) Upvote!

Im sure you will enjoy the wine not less than you do the beer! Thanks!

Happy birthday, @serejandmyself! Wish you endless inspiration and a lot of free time for creation!

Many thanks for the wishes!!!

Great post! The pictures are hilarious!

Reminds me of good old times when I was drinking a lot of wine;)

Merci Katya! Glad you like this one

Great post! And happy birthday! I also plan to write about wineries we visited.

Good idea! And thank you

This is a good one.

And Happy Birthday, man! Keep going!

Thank you guys!