Five Wine Tips for Beginners


Wine should be simple. Here are some tips on finding great bottles on a budget, and how to kickstart your education when it comes to drinking well.

  1.  Invest in decent stemware.  Look for glasses with medium-sized bowls, which are versatile enough for all wines, and thin rims, which always make the wine taste better. Hand washing will keep them looking their best, but if the stems are dishwasher safe, use only the top rack.
  2.  Get these must-have wine tools. Keep gel-filled wine sleeves in your freezer to quickly chill or keep bottles cool. Find a comfortable wine opener, whether it’s a small waiter’s friend or an easy-to-use lever-style corkscrew. Finally, get some non-drip pourers to eliminate spillage concerns.
  3.  Select house wines to keep on hand. Sauvignon Blanc and lightly-oaked Chardonnay are versatile whites, while Merlot and Rioja are food-friendly choices for reds. House wines should not be expensive—you should feel as comfortable opening a bottle for Tuesday night takeout as for company on Saturday night.
  4.  Keep your wine comfortable. The worst place to store wine is on top of the refrigerator, where heat and vibrations can wreak havoc. If space allows, put a rack in a room without direct sunlight. If your new abode is too tiny, store wine in the coolest and darkest part of your apartment—a closet.
  5.  Keep experimenting. Tasting is the key to learning about wine. So continue to try new ones, in addition to sticking with tried and true favorites. Enjoy your wine studies!