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Finding Your Wine Style

Posted January 11th, 2010 | 0 Comments

"What type of wine do you like?" This is likely the first question you'll be asked at any wine retailer but what if you're looking for something new, something different than your usual? This particular question is far too general and it may be difficult for you to communicate just what you are looking for. This Detailed Wine Search is a uselful tool to get you started but beyond that, there a few more things to consider while assessing your own tastes.


Discovering your palate is simply a matter of tasting a variety of wines and deciding what you like and don't like. There is no wine that is one-size-fits-all because every one has different tastes. Making note of your preferences will significantly improve your selection and experience of wine. As you taste wine, write down your impressions and look for patterns in your preferences. Wines have four basic components: taste, tannins, alcohol and acidity. Tastes can range from fruit, leather, spices, nutty, vanilla, or some combination of the above - what are your favorites? Do you prefer strong or subtle tannins, alcohol, and acidity? Do you like sweeter or dry wine? Answering these questions will generate a better understanding of what you like.


Finding your taste for wine is an ever evolving process as our senses change from time to time. Given our uniqueness there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a wine that you like. In the end it's really up to your taste buds to decide.


Below is a quick quiz from Food and Wine Magazine to help further familiarize yourself with finding your wine style:


1. Which do you drink?



Go for richer, more full-bodied wine—California Chardonnay, for instance.


You like lighter-style wines, such as an Italian Pinot Grigio.


2. Which do you prefer?


You like things with high acidity—for whites, that means varieties like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling.


You prefer sweeter, riper flavors, try an Australian Chardonnay.


3. Which would you rather have on a steak?


Try spicy Old World reds, like a  Montagnac Syrah.


You want a lush, smooth California Merlot.


4. Which sounds more appealing?


You're a fan of earthy, funky umami flavors. Drink a Chilean Pinot Noir from the Old World.


You love fruit. New World reds are your thing: Australian Shiraz.


For a more detailed quiz on finding your wine personality, click here to take a 20 question quiz from Food and Wine.



(References: Food and Wine, Cellar Notes. Photo Credit: Stacy Brady)

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