The biggest complaint about wine I hear is “I always drink the same stuff”. Which isn’t really a complaint, right? As they say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. But I disagree. With a plethora of wine choices available to the consumer today, it’s a shame that most people stay in their comfort zone. Now, I’m not saying that you ALWAYS have to try something new. Sometimes you just want to come home after a long day at work, put on your pajamas, and enjoy your fav Napa Cab and not have anyone yell at you. I’m not here to yell at you:)
I do know that for a lot of people, there are times when #1 you find yourself wondering where to go to pick up a good bottle of wine. Or #2 you find yourself at the grocery store in the wine section staring at rows and rows of bottles and not knowing which damn one to take home.
Solution to Problem #1
Find a good local wine shop. This will MAJORLY change your wine-drinking habits and in a GOOD way. Most of us get stuck in a wine rut at the beginning of our wine drinking careers. It’s easy to do. When you find a good wine shop, you allow yourself the space to try something new. How, you ask? By talking to the people who work there. They are your best “wine” friends. People who work at wine shops are usually not pretentious, want to sell you a bottle you like, and are not influenced in what they can sell you (which can’t be said for big box wine retailers). My thoughts on big box wine retailers to come in a future post!
Solution to Problem #2
Try a varietal you’ve never tasted or a region/country you’ve never tried. Instead of going to the store and going for the 5 grapes that I find most Americans drink (cab, merlot, pinot, chardonnay, and sauv blanc), TRY SOMETHING NEW. Those wines are all GREAT, don’t get me wrong, but they are just the TIP of the iceberg. Maybe look at a different varietal you have never tried (i.e. gewurztraminer, chenin blanc, carmenere, or pinotage) Look at the wine regions or countries you see represented on the shelves. Did you know that Italy has over 2,000 indigenous varietals. It’s insane. Instead of going for the usual suspects (i.e. anything from California, France, or Spain), maybe try something from: Chile, Portugal, or even South Africa. Once you get a few new bottles under your belt, you can start to hone in on what you really like, even if you don’t know why you like it. The fact that you are trying new things is a start. Focus on expanding your palette and the rest will come!
SOMMspirations says to try ALL wines put in front of you! What have you got to lose? Remember, wines change AND you change. You might have had a crappy malbec once and wrote that grape off for life. Or you always hated earthy, rustic wines, but now might find that you enjoy them! You’ll build on what you know you like or don’t like. Also, there’s really no such thing as good or bad wine (unless, of course, the wine has a fault and is undrinkable). Future post to come on wine faults! Like I said in my initial post: live hard, love hard, and eat and drink unabashedly!
Please share your SOMMSpirations with me: Anything new that you tried and that you loved? Hated? Your favorite wine shop you want to give props to? Comment below and let’s start the convo!