A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Wine

May 21, 2019

You don’t have to be an expert connoisseur to discuss and enjoy the mysterious bottled grape juice we call wine. Then again, a bit of knowledge goes a long way in improving your experience, especially when it comes to food and wine pairings. Certain wines are natural partners to certain foods and when combined, they enhance each other’s flavour. If you know a little more about wine, you can make better decisions when purchasing a bottle at the supermarket or ordering a glass at a restaurant. This way you won’t have to go through the costly process of trial and error when figuring out which wine best suits your taste buds.  

A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Wine - Rachel Nicole UK Blogger

Terms You Should Know 

While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you can judge a wine by what’s written on the label. 

Varietal refers to the type of grape used for that wine. The name of the wine usually comes from the name of the grape. Shiraz grapes, for instance, are used to make Shiraz wine. There are a few exceptions, though. For example, Meritage wine comes from a specific blend of grapes, not a Meritage grape.  

Appellation refers to the region where the grapes have been produced. ABV refers to the alcohol percentage, which is usually between 12% and 16% for normal wines. Port and sherry can go upwards of 20% while sweet wines can be as low as 5%. Vintage refers to the year the grapes were harvested, but not necessarily when the wine was produced.  

A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Wine - Rachel Nicole UK Blogger

Food Combinations 

Generally, the more complex a wine is, the wider the range of foods that will compliment it. Merlots and cabernets work better with rich dishes, while simple wines are better suited as an aperitif.  Off-dry wines are best for spicy dishes, while tannic reds such as cabernet sauvignon are a good pairing with red meat and other rich, fatty foods. Fruity wines such as pinot grigio are good for lighter foods such as grilled fish.  

Fine Wine Investment 

While most cheaper wines are meant for immediate consumption, fine wines tend to not only get better with time but also significantly increase in value over time, which makes fine wine investment worthwhile. Secure and proper keeping of your valuable wines is important and Octavian Vaults offers the perfect storage facility for fine wine investment. Temperatures and humidity levels are kept at optimal levels and there are no UV rays as the facility is underground, ensuring that your wine will mature to its best. The entire site is fenced off and features CCTV with security guards for maximum safety. 

A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Wine - Rachel Nicole UK Blogger

How Much to Spend 

At the end of the day, this is completely up to you. Most people claim that the sweet spot for wine is around £15, but if you find something cheaper or more expensive that you enjoy the taste of, don’t let anyone try to sway your opinion because the taste is highly subjective. 


If you want to learn more about wine and the wide variety of flavours, head to a wine tasting or two and see what you like. Always remember that your taste preferences are what matters most.  


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Any items marked with an (*) have been gifted from a company, PR sample or paid for with a gift voucher. All opinions are my own and honest. Do not use content/photographs without my permission or credit.


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