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How to Choose a Wine

There are wines for every palate and a variety to suit all pocketbooks. Whatever your preference - red or white, domestic or imported, bubbly or smooth - there are several easy rules to apply when choosing a wine.

Insist on Quality for Price: Quality of wine is always a factor of price. If you can find a comparable wine for less, you have found a better wine. Only snobs insist on the most expensive bottle on the shelf. True wine appreciation understands value and cost.

Read the Label - Front and Back: Wine labels are important, read them. A sloppy label is the sure sign of a poor wine. Check the wine label. If it contains mistakes - spelling errors or a poorly produced picture then the odds are pretty good that the wine is not worth it. If the company can't take the time and didn't make the effort to get the label correct they probably didn't have the necessary patience to get the wine right either. A high quality label with good quality paper are normally good signs for wine. A company is probably not going to invest in special artwork and design for a wine which is not of quality. The back of the label is an important tool for kashrut and halachic purposes.

Check the color of the wine: Hold the bottle up, look for clearness and clarity. If, on examination, the wine looks cloudy, put the bottle down and go elsewhere. A white wine's color should be clear, as it gets older it will yellow but still remain clear. A red wine's color, even though bottled in dark glass, should be also look clear. So hold the bottle up to the light and check carefully. Don't be fooled if you are told that the wine is merely aged, age does not cloud up a bottle, poor wine and poor storage do.

When in doubt, ask: A good wine store will offer good advice. Ask someone who knows. If you're in a reputable store, the proprietor should offer advice and guidance. In the supermarket, be nosy, ask others eyeing the wine shelves for their opinion and experience.

Trust Your Own Taste: Wine is for enjoyment, not just ritual. If you enjoy red wine with fish or white wine with beef, indulge yourself. Wine is a treat, a pleasant accompaniment to your meal, a festive way to celebrate. Break the rules. Enjoy yourself - in moderation.


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