As a wine enthusiast you will sooner or later come across the question of how to improve the quality of wines you have access to. Good information will take you a long way, and knowing which varietals, regions and vintage considerations your palate has an affinity for will take you light-years ahead of any neophyte. Once you reach a certain level however, you need to be ready to face the next barrier – price.
On a different note, a matter that is rarely discussed is the topic of health. We know on a rational level that wine is an alcoholic beverage, with the potential to be enjoyed or abused. However this is often reduced to background noise by flamboyant marketing, romantic imagery and ambiguous health claims.
This article will show you the way to bridge the gap between these two issues.
Somehow the notion that you need to drink a lot of wine to increase your knowledge has become fashionable. This is likely due to popular wine publications and blogs that have expressed similar statements. Some people are stretching the relevance of such views that they use it to justify stocking up large quantities of inexpensive wines.
The alcoholic who claims it is good for their health.
The egotist who boasts about expanding their knowledge.
The miser who refuses to spend more than $5 per bottle.
Everyone wants to increase their experience without breaking the budget, but the believe that you have to taste a greater quantity of wines is misplaced. Due to this the quality of the wine experience will suffer due to a limited budget.
First of all, as a wine enthusiast it is your duty to maintain your health so that you may be able to enjoy good wines well into your later years. Drinking copious amounts of inexpensive wines is not going to help in that regard.
It would be far more constructive to practice drinking in moderation and, when the occasion arises, to break the fast with something special, something of real quality. At the lower end of the price spectrum there are simply things you will never come across – extended ageing, new oak usage, special harvest selection and experimental batches are part of the cost of production and it is inevitable for these to be passed onto the consumer to a certain extent.
Some people may argue that there is no guarantee that the expensive bottle will be more enjoyable – they would be correct. However this is also an exercise in astute selection; if you are a true wine enthusiast, have confidence in your knowledge and experience, and make every choice count.
It is easy to dismiss one dud bottle in a case of $10 wines. Forgoing the case and buying a $100+ bottle will cause you to be less blasé about your options. You are now, quite literally, putting your money where your mouth is.
And there is no rule saying you have to finish your premium wine in one sitting – with the proper techniques of wine preservation in mind you can enjoy the same wine over many days, glass by precious glass – just be sure not to pour to the brim each time.
So if you are truly sincere about expanding your wine knowledge and hope to improve the quality of wines you enjoy, pull back. Two sips of wine are not necessarily more delicious than one. Drink less, but drink better.
Read more: Thinking Sober – Empty Your Cup