How to Choose a Great Bottle of Wine
May 24, 2024

How to Choose a Great Bottle of Wine

Navigating the world of wine can be challenging, no matter your experience level. Decoding labels often requires a grasp of multiple languages and wine jargon. Consequently, many people stick to familiar choices, missing out on a vast array of delightful wines. Here are nine common mistakes people make when buying wine and tips on how to avoid them to ensure you always select an outstanding bottle.

Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Last-Minute Purchases

We’ve all been there: rushing to pick up a bottle on the way to a dinner or party. This often leads to grabbing the first bottle you see, typically a mass-produced, supermarket-friendly option. While not necessarily bad, these wines rarely impress. Instead, take a few extra minutes to explore the aisles and side sections for hidden gems that will leave a lasting impression.

Not Asking Questions

In dedicated wine stores, asking questions can greatly enhance your buying experience. Inquire about popular or new wines and staff favorites. If a sommelier is available, seek their advice based on your preferences or meal plans. When buying online, read product descriptions and pairing suggestions, and don’t hesitate to reach out for recommendations via social media or the store’s website.

Ignoring Food Pairing

For a truly exceptional experience, consider the food you'll be eating or serving and select a wine that complements it. While we've previously discussed wine and food pairings in detail, the key is to match your wine with the dominant element of your dish. If you're uncertain about which wine to choose, opt for a sparkling wine. It's a crowd-pleaser that pairs well with various appetizers and can handle rich or oily foods like fried chicken.

Chasing Bargains

We’re not suggesting you always purchase the priciest bottle, but you should also avoid the cheapest options. While bargains can be tempting, they often lack complexity. A ₱100 bottle, for instance, isn’t likely to offer much depth or intrigue. Instead, aim for the mid-range, around ₱500-₱1,500, where you’ll typically find good quality wines that can pleasantly surprise you with their value.

Staying in Your Comfort Zone

It's easy to stick to familiar choices. However, exploring lesser-known wine regions and varieties can yield delightful surprises. Instead of repeatedly buying Chardonnay, consider trying Viognier. It offers a similar richness with a unique floral note. The same principle applies to regions. If you're hesitant to explore completely unfamiliar territory, start with specific appellations. For example, instead of a generic French wine, opt for a Burgundy. Wines from more defined regions typically undergo stricter quality control, ensuring a superior experience.

Judging by Labels

Attractive labels can be misleading. Always read the label for information about the wine’s characteristics rather than relying solely on its appearance.

Not Buying in Bulk

Consider buying a case to save money and time. Many places offer discounts for bulk purchases. For instance, offers up to 5% off when you buy 12 bottles, allowing you to mix and match. This way, you’ll always have a bottle on hand for last-minute events.

Accepting Bad Wine

If you open a bottle and it’s bad due to corkage, aging, or maderization, don’t hesitate to return it. Stores often have quality guarantees, like’s Wine Quality Guarantee, ensuring you receive a replacement if the wine is faulty.

By avoiding these mistakes and following these tips, you can confidently explore and enjoy a diverse selection of wines, ensuring you always find an amazing bottle.