Wine expert, Angela Aiello shares her best tips for buying the perfect bottle of wine.

It’s no secret that the best part about wine is uncorking and enjoying. But before you pour, there are literally thousands of varieties to choose from. Here are some tips for buying the perfect bottle every time.

1 Know Your Style
Get to know your preferences and the style of wine you enjoy. This can change according to your mood, the time of year and the reasons for your purchase. Your style should be a combination of the body of the wine you crave – light-, medium- or full-bodied – and another descriptor, such as aromatic, fruity, fresh, firm or smooth. I recommend joining a wine club or starting your own with friends to taste and build your wine knowledge, then buying based on preference rather than price or label.

2 Explore different Grapes
Learn the differences between grape varieties, as well as New and Old-World wines. New-World wines are typically labelled with their grape variety, such as Riesling, ChardonnayShiraz or Cabernet. Old-World wines are labelled with the region they’re made in (Burgundy or Chianti, for example). Wineries, restaurants and specialty wine shops are fantastic places to taste and discover a new favourite. If you find something you like, record its name, the varietal and the region it’s from.

3 Discover the World
Choose a country and visit it! In Canada, we’re lucky to be able to purchase wines from all over the world. Once you find a grape variety, see how it tastes from different parts of the globe. Don’t be afraid to ask store staff to help you make a selection based on your preferences.

Pair wine and food
Looking for something to enjoy at a dinner party? Pair wine with the
weight of the food: Consider if your food is light, medium or heavy and select a similar wine.

5 Buy in bulk
If you really love a wine and it’s available from a winery that delivers, have a case shipped straight to you (or try a mixed box for fun). It’s efficient and you’ll be happy to have a great house wine on hand if guests stop by rather than having to run out at the last minute.

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