Australians love a good drop. At last count, we knock back around 460 million litres of it a year, which pretty much guarantees that at some point in the next year,you'll find yourself staring at racks in Dan Murphy's with analysis paralysis
There's plenty of tricks that bottle shops use to get you to choose a certain wine, too. Placement on shelves, gold label stickers, massive discounts, fancy names for wine that really should belong in a cask and not in a bottle. Luckily, you're smart and discerning and you read this blog, so you will not be fooled by such trickery.
Find a good bottle of wine is EASY. Just follow the rules of the smart wine buyer:
1. Choose the right shop.
Going to a well curated local wine shop will increase your chance of finding a fantastic wine. How?
They have the added benefit of stocking the wines from more artisan wine makers that don't, or can't produce the volume of wine that the big chains need. Plus, you're supporting your local economy, so you'll have a warm glow that lasts beyond the bottle of Shiraz.
2. Talk to the staff.
So often this can be then fast track to satisfaction. People working in a wine shop are almost always genuinely excited about what's surrounding them. Nothing would make their day better then talking about the differences between the Barossa and Margaret River and why you should match Riesling with your Oysters.
3. Don't get hung up on price.
Wine might be the greatest physical expression of the old adage, "you get what you pay for". We all want that amazing bottle for under $20, and they do exist, albeit very rarely. Take it from an insider, there is a chasm in quality between $20 and $25. Sacrifice 1 coffee a week and put that $5 towards a slightly higher priced bottle and you'll see exactly what I mean. Be brave and tip over the edge into $30 and you'll really be in business.
4. Plan ahead.
Give yourself some time to browse. A snap decision made on the spot could lead to regret later. It's always better to have a few minutes to browse the shop, talk with the staff and consider the occasion properly.
It is dinner? If so, what's the cuisine? Do you know what matches with that?
Sauvignon Blanc doesn't go with everything. There is a big difference between the right wine for a pool party lunch with friends and one for an romantic dinner for two.
5. Why play it safe?
photo credit: Wine Republic