Choosing wine is the first step to creating a perfect dinner at home. But with a variety of grape varieties, regions, and price points to explore, it can be challenging to narrow down your options. Wines are judged by their taste, texture, and aroma, but many other factors when evaluating quality – from wine-making techniques and bottle comfortability to label design and brand consistency. Over time experts have managed to isolate the following features that you should be cognizant of when looking for a bottle of wine.
When choosing a high-quality wine, look beyond the label and consider the reputation of the winemaker and vineyard. For instance, a well-known producer such as the Martell Cognac in Singapore has a portfolio of wines branded “Martell” that match different occasions, tastes, and styles. Browse your local wine store’s selection or search online for specific producers whose wines you enjoy – don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from other wine lovers or the knowledgeable staff at your local store! A reputable producer will also have brand consistency; you should be able to recognize their labels and style from bottle to bottle.
The vineyard age is another vital aspect to consider when buying a bottle of wine. You don’t necessarily want to buy wines from ancient vines to get a vintage year that falls within your preferred drinking timeframe. Instead, you should be looking for wines from younger vineyards with lower yields and secondary (or tertiary) fermentation. Young and unadulterated grape juice will provide a harmonious drink for the entire meal – without the heavy, sweet body common in older wines.
Like it or not, wine bottles aren’t all created equal. The most comfortable bottle – be it a true wine or cask wine – will be one with a larger lower body than your traditional burgundy bottle. That helps keep reds from becoming too warm during serving and helps white wines maintain their chill. Additionally, consider purchasing a wine corking machine (or borrowing one from your local restaurant supply store) to ensure that you correctly open the bottle. The structure of the cork is essential, especially for aged wines: a higher quality, the undamaged cork will help maintain the integrity of an older bottle and ensure that none of the precious contents is lost in transit to your glass.
In addition to size, shape matters for bottles of wine. A round shape will keep a wine’s temperature better than a long, slender bottle. Consistent temperatures are essential for both fruity wines and smokey reds – you don’t want your riesling to warm up too much when it’s next to your grilled bratwurst! The shape of the wine bottle can also help you determine what you might pair with the contents based on taste and texture. For example, if you enjoy a bold red wine with hearty, spicy seasonings like steak or lamb, look for a robustly shaped bottle to ensure that the flavors match well.
A vine to Glass Year
The age of the wine you’re consuming is also an essential factor when choosing quality wines. While you may enjoy a young wine more than an older vintage, all other factors being equal, the younger vintage will be higher in quality. You’ll want to stick with wines from the current or previous year for the highest quality – this is mainly due to seasonal variation in grapes and lower yields from vines. If you’re not sure about a particular vintage, try ordering a tasting flight or ask for help from your local wine merchant.
High-quality wine is a complicated and demanding thing to achieve, with many factors that produce high-quality wine. A lot goes into it: a potpourri of grapes, the best methods of fermentation and distillation, the perfect temperature at which it was aged. When choosing a high-quality wine, every wine lover can consider the Vineyard Age, Bottle Comfort, Bottle Shape, and Vine to Glass Year.