So with that in mind, here are some thoughts for enjoying wine even more in the next year.
- Drink More
I don’t mean to suggest having five or six glasses with dinner instead of one or two. But if you’ve got a lot of wine ageing in your cellar, only occasionally enjoying a bottle, well…why buy wine if it’s only going to sit around?
It is totally understandable that you might not want to pull out a $50 or $100 bottle just for an evening with take-out food. But, hey, you cooked from scratch? That $10 Chardonnay might make an awfully nice complement to the meal.
Also don’t overlook the BYO opportunity – many restaurants will open your bottle for you for a small corkage fee. (Don’t forget to call ahead!)
- Remember that the Sommelier is Your Friend
If you do buy off the wine list, remember that a good sommelier wants to guide you to a wine you’ll enjoy, at the price you want to pay, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Not sure what to do? Point to a wine you’re considering (this will give the sommelier an idea of your budget), describe what you usually enjoy drinking, and ask if s/he has any other suggestions. Pay attention to the response (if it includes a quality like “earthy” that you don’t like, say so) and don’t hesitate to ask additional questions. After a little back and forth, the odds are you’ll like what you pick.
- Buy What You Like
Scores, prestige labels and high prices are all well and good, but if you don’t like the wine, then none of that is relevant.
- But Try New Things
There is a woman who hates white wine, but comes to my classes and gamely tries them anyway. This isn’t to suggest you torture yourself – she happily does it for her wine education – but that you should be open to something new, be it a grape, region or wine style. You may be surprised at what you discover – my student even found a white wine she loves. (Well, okay, tolerates, but…success!)