4 tips to tell if a wine is "good" and should you care?
I've been going back and forth about writing an article like this. My big thing with She Sips is about making wine more accessible to people. Part of that is knowing what YOU like. Not a white wine fan? GREAT! Don't like Zinfandel? THAT'S COOL TOO! The thing about wine is that it's like a Korean Spa. The more you experience it, the more comfortable you will be with it and know what you prefer. SO, take this list with a grain of salt. It's my list of what helps me and probably not the list you would get from a sommelier.
1. Look at the BACK of the label. Dude, I am the first one to be drawn to some great graphic design, but the goods are really on the back. Look for the varietal (the grape used), notes about the aging process, region, fruits, and flavors. Also look for awards or ratings. All of these things will give you some hints as to how that baby is gonna taste.
2. The smell. 80% of taste is actually smell! I know it seems cliché, but swirl that glass and put your nose in it before you take a drink! Does it smell like fruit? Like pepper? Like a wet dog? That first whiff should give you a good indication of the wine's flavor peaks.
3. Balance. You know when you take a drink wine and all you can taste is alcohol? Or when it tastes like syrup? That is NOT balanced. Wine should be smooth and seamless. Yes, some wines can have greater acidity or higher tannic ranges, but they work in tandem with the other flavors to make a great product.
4. How you feel the next day. Ok ok, I know this one sounds silly, but for me, this is a big factor. I like wine. I hate a hangover. Cheap wine will do it to me every time. Now I don't want to come across as a giant snob here, but I think the $10 line is my threshold for hangover wine. Nothing ruins a magical night with friends more than wanting to die the next morning.