How Discount Wine Is Lying To You

• Imaginary Discounts – It’s very common for commercial producers to have inflated suggested retail prices for their brand and then, through various types of wholesale discounting, offer wines for substantially less. This looks fantastic to us buyers, because we see a wine that we imagine typically retails for about £10.99 at £5.99. What you might not realize is the non-discounted bottle next to it for the same price might actually be of the exact same quality. What to do about it: Try not to get swayed by big markdowns and focus on other information on the bottle: • Front labels can be enticing, but check out the full package before you purchase. Read back labels for more information about a wine. Sometimes there are some clues about the wine like fruits, flavours, the aging process, importers and region. Keep an eye out for any stamps of approval like awards or reviews—all signs of a good wine. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

What vintage is it? – If you do some homework and know your years and some favourite regions, you’ll know if climate and weather conditions produced a perfectly ripe harvest—and good wines. Extreme heat or cold or too much rain can take a toll on the quality of some grapes. Do some research before you buy, particularly if you’re trying a new region, and don’t be fooled by age. Sometimes, older vintages are sold at bin end prices, which is why they’re cheaper. Many wines under £10 are intended to be enjoyed young. In general you can drink whites one to two years and reds two to three years after bottling. Higher-end wines have more staying power and can last three to 10 years or more.”

Who is the producer? – Is it a well-known, respected producer or a mysterious label that doesn’t even mention a winery?

• Embrace What You Really Like – If you purchase the wine again, chances are you like it. When you find one you like, stick to it. It’s simple, but be mindful of the grapes varietals in the wines you prefer. If you like Pinot Noir from Oregon, you just might also enjoy a Burgundy from France. Then again, a Syrah from the Rhône region may be slightly different from a South African or Australian Shiraz. Explore the world of wine. “Taste is subjective, which means the best wine is the one you like. Take time to try new varietals from regions all around the world and find your own personal style.”

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