It is hard to think of France and not think of wine, so I want to explore some aspects of wines (mostly French). Drinking wine can be as complicated….or simple as you want to make it.
1 – If you Like the Way a Certain Wine Tastes, That Wine is Right for you.
Try not to be intimidated by all the marketing and wine hype, for it is really simple: all that matters is that you like it.
You can however, spend much time exploring the world of wine, and I will try to help a bit with that journey.
2 – Wine is Merely a Pleasurable Adult Beverage
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Although it can and is often enjoyed alone (by itself), it’s real pleasure is as part of what’s known as “the pleasures of the table”.
This is a concept that seems quite obvious and straightforward today:
“The pleasures of the table are a reflective sensation which is born from the various circumstances of place, time, things, and people who make up the surroundings of the meal.”
No big deal, really, except that it was written in 1825 by the French writer and gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
3 – Find a Good/Reputable Wine Merchant in Your Area
Don’t be afraid to ask your wine merchant questions.
They already have most of the knowledge you are looking for, and it is beneficial to both you and them to get involved.
Because the wine business is very customer service oriented, ask friends where they buy wine, and try browsing around different stores.
You will probably have feelings about the different stores, so just go with you gut feelings as a starting point.
Don’t be shy about your lack of experience. If you are trying to find wines for a specific meal/event, let them know what you are serving and ask for a recommendation.
If you are just interested in exploring wines, you could ask for examples of wine(s) that are good examples of particular types of grapes (this is an important concept to eventually learn).
Or examples of wines from different regions.
4 – Good Wine Doesn’t Have to be Terribly Expensive
Hower good wines at a lower price shops (like grocery stores) can be harder to find (which is where your local merchant comes in).
A good starting point would be to ask your wine merchant for interesting wines in a certain price range.
Almost all good wine stores have weekly tastings, and this is a perfect place to taste a variety of wines, usually wines at a lower/ middle price point, in a casual setting. There is no obligation to buy.
Magazines, such as The Wine Spectator are also really good sources for learning about wines.
5 – Take a Picture of the Label
Now that we all have phones that take pictures, when you taste a wine you like (at a friend’s party, restaurant, or at a wine tasting…), just take a picture of the label.
You can then go and ask your merchant whether he carries that wine, or if he can recommend something similar…
There are even apps out there that will tell you about that particular wine!
So you see, drinking wine is really as complicated or as easy as you want to make it. There is no wrong answer, at the end, it all boils down to a matter of taste.
If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy my articles about French Burgundy Wines.