Ever wondered how to pick out the best red wine, the ultimate rosé or crisp white wine? There is so much choice of wine, good red wines, good white, wine by the case, it can be easy to get lost and just stick to what you know.
At Eat Travel Live we are all about trying new things, so we asked Alain Gousse, the sommelier of My VitiBox, to step in and show us his top tips for choosing the ultimate bottle of wine.
Don’t miss our guide to the best wine tasting holidays!
Know your vintage
A wine’s vintage tells you which year the grapes were picked. Weather conditions can vary a lot from one year to another leading to significant differences in wine quality. In France, the top 3 best vintages over the past ten years are 2005, 2009, 2010, so stick with them for now.
Pay attention to the alcohol
If you choose a wine over 14% alcohol you might start to notice an unpleasant alcohol disequilibrium. This means you will start to lose the subtle aromas of the wine you’ve bought. So check the content and make sure you get the most from your ultimate bottle of wine.
Which apple are you?
Grape varieties – like apple varieties – have very different characteristics in terms of acidity, sweetness, bitterness, aromas etc…
If you prefer very acidic apples, like a Granny Smith, you’re likely to enjoy Riesling, Sauvignon or Chenin wines; while if you prefer Gala or Golden apples with lower acidity, you’re likely to prefer Chardonnay, Viognier or Gewurztraminer wines.
Bottled at the Estate
Try and look out for the sentence “Bottled at the Estate” on the label. This indicates that the winemaker controlled the production of his wine from beginning to end. It’s usually a sign of good quality even though it’s not a guarantee.
What’s for dinner
Choose the wine depending on what you plan to cook. For example, a roast beef requires a light and supple wine like a Gamay from Beaujolais, while a steak would be better matched with a strong and tannic Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux.
Don’t go below £7
On every bottle of wine remember that you have to pay a £2.17 duty tax and 20% VAT. So if you are paying £5 for a bottle of wine, there is probably not more than £1 spent on the grape. It is possible to get a few cracking wines for around £8-£10 so you don’t have to splash the cash too much!
Adopt a bottle
The best supermarket deals often occur when there is only one bottle left of a wine. The store manager won’t have the space for it on their shelves and will want to get rid of it as soon as possible. As a result, there is usually a significant discount and you get the ultimate bottle of wine.
Alain Gousse, the sommelier of My VitiBox – a start-up offering wine subscriptions in the UK – shares with you his top 7 tips to pick a good bottle of wine! myvitibox.co.uk