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Shopping for wine
Box of Wine
Feb 03, 2021
How to get the best wines to suit you!
One of my major pet-peeves when I worked in wine shops was the customers who would come in with the intention of buying wine but had absolutely no plan.
It was my job to be as accessible as possible. To that end, I would greet as many potential customers as I could, try to make my shops less intimidating and, above all else, make a sale that would leave us both happy. I can’t stress the amount of times I made a recommendation based on a customer’s needs and have them pick a different bottle based on what I can only imagine was a gut feeling.
This was endlessly frustrating. Not all wines suit all people or all occasions. So, I’ve decided that my second post is to try help make the buying experience easier by providing the following list I go through before buying a bottle to try get the most out of my experience.
- Decide your budget but be flexible.
The staff, if they’re worth their salt, will give you options based on your needs. Don’t stick solely to the price-point that you had in mind. If something sounds right up your alley, it may be worth putting in an additional euro or two to get the most out of your wines.
- What’s the occasion?
Whether you’re having a party, giving a gift or it’s simply a Thursday night, there are a set of rules I live by.
When it comes to throwing a party the goal is to satisfy the majority. Medium-bodied, fruit forward reds such as Nero d’Avola or good Cotes du Rhone are the way to go to keep any party going.
If you’re giving a gift and you’re not sure what the recipient likes just remember that everything is a quick google away. Be safe and pick a well-known name. Try Saint-Emillion grand cru, Sancerre or Rioja Reserva.
What’s for dinner? I will be diving into the world of pairing wines in a future post but for the moment stick with the basics. Try to remember that the food you eat influences the wine you drink and pick accordingly.
- Where to go.
There are hundreds of independent wine shops in Ireland with dedicated and informed staff that would be delighted to help you find the right bottle for you, perhaps the easiest of which, of course would be boxofwine.ie ;)
- Seek help!
By now you have an idea of what you’re doing, now for the love of God talk to the person who knows their range better than anyone else. I never buy a bottle until I’ve talked to the person who works there. Every shop is different and there are weird and wonderful gems in all of them that are just a conversation away. Don’t be shy!
- Reap the rewards!
Follow the basic rules to drinking wines. Unless your red wine is very old let it breath and allow it to come up to room temp. Whites should be chilled not freezing. Give yourself the best chance to enjoy what you’ve bought.
Chief Wine Drinker
Box of Wine