Monday, September 2, 2013

Rant: Post-Labor Day Wine Advice

With today as Labor Day, it is seen by many people as a signal of the end of summer, despite the fact that the official end is not until September 22. Labor Day also presages changes in the wine world, beyond the fact it is harvest season, and consumers need to pay attention. There are opportunities now that they should take advantage of, to learn more about wine, to experience different wines, and to enjoy plenty of delicious wines.

First, far too many wine stores stop stocking Rosé wines after Labor Day, though the situation improves each year. All those delicious pink wines you have been savoring all summer? Well, there is absolutely no reason you should stop drinking them just because fall is coming. Rosé should be enjoyed year-round, especially as it is excellent with food. More and more wine lovers are coming to this realization, which will spur wine stores to carry more Rosé all the time. We need to get over the misconception that certain wines should only be enjoyed seasonally. All wines are appropriate year-round, and so I hope you keep drinking Rosé through autumn, winter and spring.   

Second, after Labor Day, wine stores will begin stocking up on new wines as their busiest season is about to begin. This will also mean that many of those wine stores will start holding large wine tasting events, where you may be able to taste many different wines, sometimes as many as 100 wines. Most of these events will be free, providing you a perfect opportunity to experience many wines which you may not have tasted before. The best way to learn about wine is to taste it so you should attend these events to expand your horizons, to delve into a wealth of diversity.

You might be tempted at these events to taste only those wines which you already know and love, or which are similar to those wines. However, don't do that! Instead, experiment and take chances, tasting new wines of which you might never have heard about  Expand your palate and broaden your horizons by tasting lots of different wines, especially considering that these tastings are free and you thus have nothing to lose. You might find a new favorite wine, or even several new favorites.

At these events, with so many wines, you will want to remember those wines which you most enjoyed. Take notes of those wines so you can recall them later, so you can find them again. If you don't want to take notes, use your cell phone to take a photo of the wine label. You can then take that picture to a wine store and they can see if they carry that wine. With a tasting of 25 or 50 wines, it can be difficult to remember your favorites merely by memory. Memorializing your favorites in notes or a picture will be very helpful when you seek your new favorite weeks later.

Third, with all of the holidays coming up, you might be hosting parties for your family and friends. You might then need a selection of wine for these celebrations. Price is usually a significant factor in your decision as to which wines to purchase. Remember that many wine stores provide a discount, commonly 10%-20%, if you purchase a case of wine, and sometimes a discount for as little as six wines. Instead of buying just the cheapest wine at a shop, ask the staff at that store for their recommendations for the best value wines. They might be able to suggest wines you might not have considered, wines which offer excellent value as well as taste. For example, Portuguese wines can offer great value, especially for wines under $10, but many consumers don't realize that fact.

What post-Labor Day wine advice do you have for consumers?

1 comment:

Corey Glenn said...

Nice tips, Richard! Wines can taste differently to different people, depending on our personal taste and preferences. If you're going wine hunting, one tip I can give is to go out and taste as much wine as you can, just so you can have a wider range of options to choose from. You'll have a better chance of buying the wine that best fits your taste that way.