The 5 golden rules to finding a good bottle of wine
The wine world doesn’t make it easy for us. There are thousands of grapes and regions, unpronounceable names and so much etiquette it makes tea with the Queen seem like a Friday night in front of the telly.
But really there are only a handful of things you need to know to find great wine. We asked our friends at Naked Wines, home of the Silversurfers Wine Club, for the lowdown. Find out more about the wine club and get £75 off your first case here
Prepare to say goodbye to bad wine forever…
1. Hit the sweet spot
We love a bargain as much as anyone, but in wine this could be dangerous territory. Why? Well, take the average £5 bottle. The wine inside is worth just 37p! The rest of your cash is eaten up by costs like tax and shipping.
The wine in a £10 bottle is worth £2.76 – over seven times more. That’s why we recommend hitting the sweet spot: the £8-12 range that gets you bang for your buck.
2. Don’t spend your way out of trouble
You want to impress with real quality, but you’re stuck for ideas in the wine aisle. Spending a little extra seems like a pretty safe bet, or better – a get-out-of-jail-free card.
But beware: pay over £30 a bottle and you might just be shelling out for reputation, branding and prestige. The sweet spot range is enough to get you a wine made with quality grapes and skill, so don’t feel the pressure to splurge.
And just in case you need any more convincing, consider this: in thousands of blind tastings, typical wine drinkers liked expensive wines less than more affordable options. So there’s really no need to spend your way out of trouble!
3. Go off the beaten track
Our brains are hard-wired to like the familiar, so it’s no wonder we fall back on the grapes, regions and brands that we know.
But, and this is probably our favourite wine hack of the them all, if you are prepared to look beyond the big names, you can get delicious, interesting wines and great value.
After all, grapes grown across the river from the ‘official’ region still grow in the same weather and the same soil as their celebrity neighbours. They’ll just cost a lot less.
Don’t know where to look? Don’t worry: there are thousands of real customer reviews for nearly every wine out there.
4. Don’t be blinded by bling
‘£5 supermarket wine wins world’s best wine award!’ Those headlines flash up from time to time, but tread carefully. Winning gold doesn’t always mean a wine bagged the top spot. In reality, hundreds (or even thousands!) of wines get awarded gold at the same time.
Trust your taste buds instead. If you like the sound of a wine, go for it, even if it’s not dripping in gold. But make sure you buy from a good wine seller. Any worth their salt will give you a refund on anything you don’t absolutely love.
5. Look for the winemaker’s name
If you’ve ever picked a bottle of wine because you knew it would look good on your table, you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone does this.
Trouble is, clever marketers know it. They entice us with bells and whistles – double-glazed bottles, wooden boxes, the works – and charge us extra for the privilege, even though they don’t make the wine taste any better.
Try looking for the winemaker’s name on the bottle instead. If someone is willing to put their name to it, it’s going to be decent.
So there you have it; five quick wine hacks. But we’ve saved the ultimate hack until last: to get great wine every time, try the Silversurfers Wine Club, powered by Naked Wines.
Naked focus on the two things that matter: great grapes and great winemaking. They fund world-class independent winemakers upfront, so they can put the very best of both in every glass – and nothing else.
In return, you get delicious, handcrafted wines at insider prices – up to a third off every time – plus a whole host of amazing perks.
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