Wine. It’s delicious, fun, and it’s confusing. Sometimes you’re either sticking to the wine you’ve been drinking for years or throwing random darts at the wall and hoping whatever you choose is good. These days, in particular, when you can’t engage the services of the wine seller or enjoy wine tastings, how are you supposed to know what to buy?
As it turns out, while it may seem harder than ever to learn about wine, the Covid crisis has actually led to some pretty amazing advances in wine education for every day wine consumers. As the crisis has stretched on, the wine industry has embraced the virtual world to spread the word about their wines and encourage buyers to try something new. So, how can you get in on the fun and find your next favorite wine?
1. Join a virtual wine tasting. There are virtual wine tastings occurring almost every day on Instagram and Facebook. One of the easiest ways to find them is to search #VirtualWineTasting or go to the pages of your favorite local retailer and see if they have any coming up.
2. Check out wine apps. Get some suggestions and keep track of what you might like. Vivino is a great app to get started.
3. Check out your local paper (print or online). Browse the weekly wine review. Not only are you supporting local journalism and free press, you’ll learn about new wines each week. They often have great articles about the industry and fun pieces on pairing wine with food.
4. Look for online wine classes. Wine school used to be reserved for the serious oenophiles but now that it’s gone virtual, people of all levels of wine interest are jumping on board the education train.
5. Buy and try. You’ll only learn what you like by trying new wines – so don’t be afraid. Focus on wines that have a great quality price ratio (QPR). These are wines that are delicious and available at an even more delicious price. Look for rated wines (89+ points) around the $9–$14 range, and grab some to take home and try. Look them up online before you try them. The knowledge you gain will add to your drinking pleasure.
6. Have fun. This isn’t your master’s degree. The worst thing that could happen is you hate the wine and know not to buy it again. Otherwise the chance for fun and finding some new favorite wines is pretty high.