Here’s How To Actually Pick A Decent Bottle If Yr Pretty Label Strategy Is Failing You

PEDESTRIAN.TV has teamed up with BWS to teach you how to find the best wine for your palette and not be tricked by pretty labels.

Picture this: You’re at your local bottle shop, gazing at the various wines you could bring to the occasion. You’ve barely drunk wine, or anything in fact and don’t know your pairs. Then, in the corner of your eye, you see a sparkle. That sparkle? Madonna’s Chardonnay – the perfect wine bottle to match the event. The label looks modern and clean and it’s reasonably priced. It has to be good, right?

But then, at the event, guests scowl at the thought of drinking your wine of choice and in the worst case, you might seriously offend your Italian friends.

Chilling. A nightmare that would have anyone wake in a frenzy of cold sweats.

Here are some tips to help you pick out a decent bottle if you’re tired of the pretty label misleading you to mediocrity.

Discover pairings

If you’ve been drinking wine for a while, you will most likely know which wine pairs with what. Whether that’s a chardonnay with seafood, a sparkling wine with pizza or an afternoon rosé with some fruit.

If you’ve been taking note of this for some time, you might already have a ride-or-die wine brand. But knowing what you like and how to find that from other wine brands will be helpful if you quickly need a bottle and you can’t find your preferred brand.

Although if you’re new to drinking wine, it’s so fine to experiment with these different flavour profiles, in this scenario, sticking with what’s popular and well-known is definitely the best idea.

Don’t let price be the decider

The wine-tasting community may seem elitist, and therefore some might think that the more expensive wines must be the best, but this is simply untrue.

The deciding factor of any drink you want to buy should start with the flavours and characteristics you prefer, as well as the occasion. There are plenty of affordable options out there that taste great and can rival more expensive wines on taste and quality.

Learn your palate

Remember when Emma D’Arcy sent the internet on fire by revealing their favourite drink of choice, Negroni sbagliato with prosecco? You might also remember the immediate reaction after everyone went out to drink it and discovered it was the worst thing since sparkling water and cereal.

That’s because they didn’t understand their palate or even what to expect from the cocktail.

If you’re new to wine though, it’s actually not that hard to find what you like. All it takes is a bit of research and consideration of what you like. Think about your favourite kind of comfort drink: if you’re a sweet palate with a bit of fizz, you’d love a flavoured sparkling wine like prosecco. Or if you love cherry flavours and camp, a pinot noir is also an excellent choice.

The same goes the other way. If you have flavours you don’t like, say really bitter flavours or the texture of a lukewarm cranberry juice, you can feel comfortable avoiding things like a heavy red wine or a negroni.

A wine’s age doesn’t indicate its quality

Finding this out can feel like such a betrayal.

Much like a kid in Neverland, most wines aren’t supposed to be aged. In fact, only one per cent of wine really qualifies under the “tastes better aged” category.

That doesn’t mean your wine is expired or you can’t drink it if it’s been in your pantry for two years, it just means that there is no difference in drinking that wine had it been bought the same day you finally open it.

So don’t get fooled by the allure of a sultry red wine that’s been stored for five years. Odds are it’ll taste the exact same either way.

Read the label properly

The label is like a Tinder profile and must be examined with extreme care, before deciding if that’s the one.

Look for the amount of information the label has listed — if there’s plenty of specific information like what region it’s come from, the valley and the grapes? Well, then it has nothing to hide!

If you’ve still got questions about pairings and want more of a visualiser, here is an excellent beginner’s guide if you’re eager to learn more about picking the right bottle.

Or if you’re keen to do some research and suss out the many great liquor options out there, BWS has an extensive catalogue of wines available online. Take the time to read through the reviews and suss out those diff brands if you’re feeling a bit experimental.