Figure out your favorite summer wines, with these top tasting tips!
There are people who buy wine by the case, and there are others who shop and emerge from the store with wine they’re unsure about. Sure, summer is the time to try new refreshing wines, but sometimes it’s hard to narrow down the options while shopping at the grocery store, liquor store, or online. And how can you find something you’ll really, really enjoy over and over again?
Here are a few ideas to help you stop wondering about the wine, and start enjoying it — guaranteed.
MAKE A LIST OF THE TYPES OF DRINKS YOU LIKE
Are your favorite beverages in a can so you can take them anywhere? In a box you can share with friends? Are they bubbly? Are they flat? Is there a certain flavor you always gravitate towards?
Thinking about these qualities will make shopping a whole lot easier, especially if you’re in a rush. Or you can order them online and rely on reviews and the listed flavor profiles to find something that’s likely to be a good match. After all, nobody likes wasting money, and buying something you’re likely to enjoy will not only help you find a favorite summer wine, it will help you save some cash in the long run.
MAKE ROOM IN YOUR FRIDGE
We’ve all poured room-temperature wine over ice, but let’s face it … it’s just not as good as a properly chilled can, box, or bottle. Save a designated “wine” spot in the fridge to place bottles after shopping at the store. This will help you try a new white or rosé wine at its best flavor possible, preventing any bad taste due to temperature. And if you’re negotiating fridge space with a roommate, let them use the spot too, or “pay” for the space by letting them grab a free drink once a month.
HOST A WINE TASTING PARTY
Do you like a certain white or rosé wine, but always buy the same one out of fear nothing else will taste as good? Expand your horizons (without wasting money) by hosting a wine tasting party! Instruct everyone to bring their favorite can or bottle of a certain type of wine such as Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio — and then open up the table to “research.” This will get the conversation going and helps everyone learn something new about their summer wine preferences. Plus, it’s a party focused on wine. What could be more fun than that?
ASK FOR HELP AT THE WINE STORE
Next time you’re at the liquor store and an employee asks if you need help finding anything, say yes!
There’s no shame in asking a professional about their wine and there shouldn’t be any shame in giving them your budget. Show them a bottle you frequently buy, explain why you like it, and then tell them your price range. Wine professionals and store clerks love talking about wine, and they want you to be happy with your purchase so you return to buy more wine all summer long … even if it’s just $15.
WRITE IN A TASTING JOURNAL
If you really do like trying new summer wines to figure out exactly what you like, a tasting journal can help you remember what bottles you liked and the tasting notes that stuck out. This is also helpful for wines you don’t like. Were there three wines from the same country you didn’t care for? Were all your favorite wines sparkling, but you haven’t bought any in awhile? Take this journaling up a notch by writing the date at the top, so you can see if your taste preferences change over time.
VISIT A WINERY OR A WINE BAR
Wine flights are popular in the summer for a reason! Just like beer flights, wine flights are a good excuse to drink wine and try new wine on the patio. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a winery, this is a perfect opportunity to ask lots of questions (or quietly drink your wine and judge them for yourself) before buying. If you don’t live near a winery, see if you can find a bar in your area that specializes in vino. They may even do wine flights, or let you have a small pour before you commit to a glass.
SEEK OUT SAMPLES
Even the biggest liquor store chains have designated evenings where they offer customers a chance to sample the newest wines at the store. This is a great opportunity to try new wines and find a wine you like. And if the wine you liked the best is out of your price range, it’s a great excuse to drink good wine for free … and take a photo of the label so you remember to get it for a special occasion in the future.