How I Choose Wine

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Other than, you know, having my baby with me, the best part about no longer being pregnant is finally getting to drink wine again. I missed it more than I thought, and having it back in my life is a joy. But, where once a casual night out would mean a good few glasses of wine, I’m a little bit more restricted now. It’s not all that sensible to be hungover when having to get up multiple times in the night and having to entertain a baby all day, so for now it’s quality not quantity that’s driving my wine choices (which is probably for the best).  I’m a relative newbie to the world of wine, and I certainly don’t know half of what there is to know about wine, but here’s how I’m choosing which wines are making the cut right now… 

Get to Know Your Grapes

In my experience, learning about wine is very much a trial and error situation. But, over time, I’ve got to know which grape varieties I like best and which I’m happy to pass over. I’m not generally a Sauvignon Blanc drinker, but give me a Pinot Grigio any day. I like a Rioja of any colour, and when it comes to red I’m all about the Pinot Noir. I’ve recently discovered Viognier, so I’ve been on the lookout for more of that. If I stick to the varieties that I know I like, I don’t tend to be disappointed. 

Look for an Offer 

Whilst I am not drinking all that much wine at the moment, I am also on maternity leave so I can’t be too baller when it comes to spending my money. I’m happy to pay a little bit extra for a bottle that I like, but there are so many offers on wine at any given time that there’s usually no need to stump up the big bucks for something drinkable. Sometimes that means just taking a chance on what’s on offer when I pop across the road to the little Sainsbury’s there, or it may involve a bit more forward planning and checking out the best wine offers online on some of our favourites so we can pop into the appropriate supermarket or place an order. 

Read the Signs 

In supermarkets, there are often little notes on the tickets for each wine that tell you about the flavour and which foods pair well with that particular bottle. The Pinot Noir we picked up from Aldi on Sunday said it was good with lamb, which is exactly what we were having for lunch so that was that sorted! If you don’t know what you fancy but you know what you’re eating, that’s a good place to start. 

Take Recommendations 

There are plenty of people who know more about wine than me, so I’m happy to take a recommendation – whether it’s from your friendly neighbourhood sommelier or a friend. If you like what they recommend, make a note and you’ll know for next time. There are a lot of good bars in Leeds that have more unusual wine lists and are happy to make a recommendation for you – try Ham & Friends and downstairs at Pintura for starters! 

When In Doubt, Go For Fizz 

You really can’t go wrong with a bottle of Prosecco. If you’re really not sure what else to buy, especially if you’re heading to a friend’s house or a party, then fizz will always go down a treat! 

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