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One of the most beloved beverages throughout human history, wine continues to enthral both connoisseurs and beginners today. However, there are thousands of wine grapes out there (not to mention labels!) so that even wine enthusiasts have a hard time understanding the drink.
That’s not to say that you should give up on finding your perfect bottle, though. Aside from obvious steps such as reading the label and tasting the product, we talked to an award-winning sommelier from My Wine Guy, who gave us five expert tips on how to pick the perfect bottle of wine.
When in doubt, go to a sommelier. Seriously, their whole job is to help you identify a wine that best fits your palate. If you are not at a restaurant with a dedicated sommelier, you can’t go wrong with a pick from the wine selection of an award-winning sommelier who knows their stuff. That way, you can avoid being deceived by misleading online reviews or even labels that overstate themselves.
The more you pay for a bottle, the more you’d enjoy it because it must be of a much higher calibre—right? Not exactly, because the range of wines out there is so broad there is not a “one-size-fits-all” flavour that will please everyone. Besides, many buy wine futures before they have ever sampled them for speculation purposes, driving up prices for reasons other than quality.
Wines from Burgundy or Napa Valley are delicious, but it’s going to weigh on your wallet as they are some of the most well-known wine regions in the world. Instead, take a step outside of your comfort zone. Go off the beaten path and try wines from regions you have not heard of before. It might take a few tries before you discover that underrated gem, but you are bound to get better value for price this way.
Wine is a delicate beverage where the slightest change in temperature, light, or even bottle orientation would negatively affect their quality. That’s why you should talk to your vendor to make sure the bottle has not changed hands too many times before arriving at your table. This guards against any bad transportation and storage methods along the way that you might have otherwise missed until your first sip.
If you are able to, read up on a wine before you try it. It will also help to take notes during your tasting, too. You don’t necessarily need to use wine lingo like length or tannin, but noting the wine’s sweetness and acidity, as well as how you felt about the drink, would help you hone your preferences and discover even better wines in the future.
So, are you still overwhelmed by all the labels and shops out there? Or perhaps you have a better grasp of what you want, but you’re still hunting for that one exquisite bottle. Well, that’s what My Wine Guy is for! Run by wine experts from France—including a French Sommelier of the Year—this wine subscription service imports gems unknown in the Hong Kong market and takes you on a wine discovery journey every month in their all-in-one wine subscription boxes (starting from $710 per month for three bottles).
With their expertise in sourcing hidden gems that are rare to find in Hong Kong, you are guaranteed to have a most memorable at-home tasting experience unlike any other. Working closely with award-winning sommelier Caroline Furstoss, founder of Sommeliers Particulier and an industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience under her belt, recommendations for selected labels are made by the Alsace-based expert.
Elected by her peers at Revue du Vin de France & Le Chef as France’s Sommelier of the Year in 2014, Furstoss has worked with Le Meridien in Dubai and the Shangri-La in Paris, as well as multiple Michelin-starred restaurants across France. Her own business, Sommeliers Particulier, advises clients on how to best create their wine cellars, so suffice it to say that Furstoss is an expert in her field.
In close collaboration with Furstoss, the folks at My Wine Guy have prepared their hallmark mystery wine box to share the joy of tasting with you. Furstoss sources bottles for these mystery boxes from lesser-known producers, styles, and regions, and provides thorough tasting notes and guides as well. The bottles themselves, though, are covered with black wrappers so that the names and vineyards are hidden until you’re ready to unwrap them after your blind tasting.
You can then fill out their guided survey to further build your palate in this singular hands-on experience. Whether you’re a wine lover or a newbie, the mystery wine box helps you develop your own tastes so that you can go straight to enjoying the wine without bothering with superficial details. Order a box today to see for yourself; kick back and let the pros do the rest!