Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. — Benjamin Franklin
Wine is often associated with older or wealthier individuals. As seen in movies and TV, it is understandable for this stereotype to have developed. Ironically, now is actually the time in history where this stereotype is taking a turn. Of course, there are auctions for investors and overpriced bottles, but for an average person, now is an era for all! Wine is accessible for anyone (above the age of 21) at any price level. Especially with all of the new wines coming out every year, almost anyone can find something to enjoy.
There is certainly wine that is cheap and unappealing that follows the stereotype, but there are also some wines that are enjoyable and affordable. Wine companies and brands, just like breweries in America, are opening every year, which means one thing: more wine! It just takes patience to try and find one that is worth the price.
So, where does one find wine?
Now that you have walked into the wine aisle, it's time to pick out something! It is usually best not to pick based on the pretty label, but it is understandable if you do. (Some cultures even have large events where the selection was chosen based on the label, not the quality). Instead, it is best to choose based on the region. Here are just a few regions to look for when looking down the aisle:
- United States - California, Texas, Washington, Oregon
- Argentina - Malbec
- Italy - Chianti, Barolo, Brunello
- France - Bordeaux, Côtes de Rhône, Alsace
- South Africa
Germany - Gewürztraminer, Riesling
When it comes to which stores to buy from, most big-name grocery stores (i.e., Target, Trader Joes, Pavillions) have somewhat begun to put effort into their wine selections over the years as the market has grown. If you are more patient, local wine shops are the better bet, especially since there will be sometime there to help you with the process!
YouTube has also become a great community for sommeliers and beginners to post and view videos about all different topics of conversation. You can find videos ranging from which vineyards to visit, to which glasses to use. Many channels unrelated to wine like the Art of Manliness have also begun delving into the wine world. Although not a wine specific channel, guest sommeliers give tips and advice to amateurs. Spend some time on YouTube and other media sites if you wish to find some great resources!
Here's a fun video on different wine myths:
Here is also one of the first movies that got me interested in wine:
So, when should you drink your bottle?
It is best to drink wine whenever you feel it is appropriate. Many say that you must let your wine age, but many wines today are made to be drunk young. Most bottles in the US today are drunk within the first 24 hours and very few are kept in the wine fridge. It is best to buy wine for a specific occasion, whether that is a dinner party or an anniversary in 5 years. If you are a beginner, it is probably best to drink younger bottles, which are often (but not always) less expense. Plus, the more you can taste, the quicker you will find your favorite bottle.
At the end of the day, it is up to you how you decide what to drink. Finding wine takes years, and it requires patience and appreciation. Winemakers spend lifetimes trying to provide the best wine, so it's best to just walk through the process by sitting back and enjoying a gift from the grapevine.