Picking out a bottle of wine at the store can often be daunting, overwhelming, and sometimes even intimidating. It’s not uncommon to pick the easy way out and choose the perfect bottle based on the label’s appeal. But the common saying of “don’t judge a book by its cover” should also apply in this situation.
Pretty labels, attractive pricing and sale tags should not come into the thought process behind buying a bottle of wine. But without those, how do you know what bottle to buy?
Using an app such as Vivino can help pick the perfect bottle of wine at the store or even in a restaurant. It has information on pairings and millions of reviews on almost all the wines in the world. It’s the perfect handbook to get you through the trip.
How to Pick the Best Wine Pairing
If the meal is planned, choosing the wine can be both easier and harder, depending on your knowledge. Basic pairing rules suggest red meats alongside full-bodied red wines such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. Whereas lighter proteins such as fish and chicken often go better with white wine. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and it’s not to say that white wine won’t go with red meat, and red wine won’t go with chicken. But if you’re looking for a fundamental guide there’s your answer.
However, if you want to take it a step further, use the Vivino app and adjust the “pairing” search filters to discover the perfect wines to pair with beef, pasta and other main meals. It even offers pairings for hard cheeses and sweet desserts, making it the ultimate guide to choose your food and wine pairing.
Picking a Wine You’ll Enjoy
Unless you’re brand new to wine, this won’t be the first wine you’ve ever tried. So think about what flavors and characteristics you generally like. For example, do you like your white wines light-bodied, round, or bold? Dry or sweet? Soft or acidic? Do you like your red wines smooth or tannic? With a hint of acidity or with full acidity? Earthy and light or hearty and bold?
If you’re unsure, find wines you already like within the Vivino app and it will show you where those wines land on the tasting scales. Then when you’re looking to try a new wine, simply adjust the tasting filters in the browse section to find new wines that have similar features. So, for example, if oaky, fruity, or earthy notes appeal to you, adjust for those attributes in a new search and narrow down your wine choices from there.
Read the Wine Label
Try to ignore the appeal of the front label and take a moment to read what’s on the back. Often, the back label will explain the tasting notes and the region’s characteristics.
Another thing to note is to not stress over the age of the wine. Some wines are made to age, and others aren’t. So, just because a wine is from an older vintage does not mean that it’s going to be a higher quality wine.
Try Something New
Using Vivino allows you to scan, rate, review, and keep track of the wines you’ve had the pleasure of tasting. But instead of going to the store and picking out the same wine again, try something similar but different. For example, if you enjoy an old-world Sauvignon Blanc, try one from New Zealand and see if you like that. If you drank a Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try a Zinfandel from the same region next time.
Read the Reviews on Vivino
Following the above information will help to pick out a beautiful wine fit for whatever occasion may be on the table. But if you’re still not trusting the process, or your judgment, look to someone who’s had it before. Scanning a wine label in the app (or simply searching the name) will bring up the profile of that particular bottle showcasing unbiased reviews from the world’s largest community of wine drinkers as well as its average rating, the average price and a summary of the taste characteristics. Get a taste – pun intended – of the wine you’re about to try by reading what the other drinkers thought of it.
Standing in the wine aisle just got a lot easier with a pocketful of characteristics, ratings and reviews of each wine on display using the Vivino app.
And when you happen to be watching SOMM TV, and like the look of the wine you’re watching? Scan the bottle on the screen and purchase it from right within the app.
Diana Cavill is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator for the team at SOMM and has a strong passion for writing, wine and travel which she has been lucky enough to combine within this job.