What do you look for in a wine?

Okay, so last time we talked about “how do you choose wine?”. I was sitting here thinking, “Hmmm, I have this wine now that I’ve chosen for whatever reason and now what? What makes it interesting to me? Why do I like it or not like it? Why does it make me want to go back for another sip?

Well, like many things having to do with wine, it depends. It does for me anyway. You see, I have a different purpose for almost any wine I open up. Some wines are great with food. Others wouldn’t work well at all with food. A few I save for a hot day, and a few for a cold and rainy night. Of course, these are all my opinions – like everyone else that writes about wine. Whether you like a wine or not is all about your opinion.

So here’s my top three things I look for in a wine:

1. I like the way it smells

Wine comes in many types (of course). To me, some smell good and some don’t. Period. Why does it matter? Well, I don’t want to drink anything when I don’t like how it smells. Sure, I’ve been surprised a few times because wine doesn’t always taste like it smells. In fact, a lot of times it can fool you. Say you smell raspberries in the wine, but the in your mouth the wine tastes of blackberries. Not uncommon at all. But I like the way raspberries (and blackberries) smell. So, it’s okay if I smell something different from what I taste – as long as they are all things I enjoy.

2. I like the way it tastes (and feels)

Wine is supposed to taste good to you. If you open a bottle and it doesn’t taste good, don’t drink it. Not because it’s bad or it can harm you, but because you don’t like it. But do me one favor: Let the wine sit in your glass for 10, 20 or even 30 minutes, then come back and taste it again. Your mind may be changed because the wine has. Just try it.

Almost as important as taste is how the wine feels in my mouth. It can range from extremely light to very heavy, from tart to sweet, but everywhere along the scale I must like how it feels. Wine is sensual and sensual things should feel good. I’ll bet most of you haven’t ever thought about how the wine feels in your mouth, but you will now.

3. Excellent Value

Wow, there’s a word. Everyone is looking for a great value these days. Some of you are out there looking for deals, but I like to use the word value. Value to me represents a bottle of wine that tastes, smells and feels like it costs more than it did. This is no easy task for the winery, but the wines are out there. And in large quantities. It feels so good when we sit down and consume a bottle that we purchased for $20, but seems like it was worth double. That is a good day.

So, there they are. Like I said, they may be different for yours, but hopefully I’m getting you to think about these things if you haven’t before.

One other note: Wine, like many other alcohols, is an acquired taste and it make take a few times of trying for you to realized you like something (or don’t like something). So, keep an open mind when trying new wines.


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