Women's Tips

Eight ridiculous mistakes when choosing wine


Wine is a noble drink, the gods and great conquerors drank it. We drink it and we, ordinary people. But in order to truly enjoy the taste, it is important to know how to choose wines, what to pay attention to. It is not necessary to be an expert, but some points need to be known.


So, everyone knows that wines are the most diverse. There are several classifications.

In composition, there are only two large groups:

  • Varietal or mono-decanted wines. They are made from a single grape variety. Sometimes you can learn about the variety from the name of the wine, and sometimes it is indicated on the package (in most cases).
  • Blended wines (assembled) consist of several varieties. As a rule, such drinks have a complex multifaceted taste, which should be revealed gradually. The price of such wines is slightly higher than monoseptic.
  • You can also highlight: white wine, red or pink. Color depends on what kind of grape was used for cooking. For example, red wine is obtained from black grapes, white - from white. And for the manufacture of rosé wines using both varieties or black, but subject to a certain fermentation technology.

Also for the basis of the classification, you can take the method of cooking. There are the following types:

  • Wines of natural fermentation. They mature independently, that is, without adding any additional components that could speed up the process. Fermentation is usually provided by natural bacteria (they are contained on the surface of the harvested grapes, so it does not need to be washed), which in this case play the role of yeast. The strength and taste of the drink will depend on the qualities of the raw materials used, as well as on the conditions and time of exposure.
  • Fortified wines (liqueur, strong and sweet). Alcohol-containing ingredients (such as ethyl alcohol) are added during the manufacturing process. Sugar is also added in most cases.

According to the carbon dioxide content of the wine can be divided into two large groups:

  • The so-called "quiet" wines that do not contain carbon dioxide.
  • In the process of cooking sparkling wines are saturated with carbon dioxide with various technologies. For example, some manufacturers do this using the most common and classic method of double fermentation. Others use the method of single fermentation in a bottle or secondary fermentation in metal tanks. Carbon dioxide may also be artificially introduced.

The classification can be based on the degree of exposure of the drink:

  • Ordinary wines do not imply a long exposure. As a rule, the age of such beverages ranges from 3 months to 1 year.
  • Vintage wines have a minimum aging time of 1.5 years. At the same time, each particular wine is characterized by its own special and unique technology. To make a wine called vintage, it must pass a special commission.
  • Collectible wines are the same vintage ones. But after bottling the drink still has to stand for a while. The average age is 15 years, but there are more “old” drinks, the age of which can vary from 20 to 40 years and even more.

The sugar content of wine is divided into:

  • Dry wines. They contain only 4-6 grams of sugar per liter. Dry wine has a sour tart taste. But the calorie content is minimal.
  • Semi-dry wines. The sugar content in them can range from 6 to 12 grams.
  • Semisweet sugar wines contain about 12-45 grams per liter.
  • And finally, sweet wines (for example, dessert wines, vermouths, liqueurs and fortified wines).

These sommeliers believe that such a drink should be either dry or sweet.

What exactly is better to choose? It all depends on the purpose of the wine and on your personal preferences.

Good wine costs fabulous money.

On the market there is a large number of different wines for every taste and budget. To consider that only expensive drinks can boast of good quality is a delusion.

Each major producer has several lines of wines, among which there are budget options. This category includes, as a rule, light young wines in the price segment of about 500 rubles. Tip: buy budget wines from Chile and South Africa. French and Italian wines with this price may not meet your expectations.

Monosortovye wines best

Yes, monosortovye wines are good, but it is far from absolute and synonymous with the ideal. There are wine regions in which several grape varieties are mixed to prepare a noble drink. Blends help to achieve a harmonious taste, and are not synonymous with second-class drink. The sweet taste of one variety will help balance the sourness of another, and bright shades will complement neutrality.

What are we going to eat?

The choice of wine will certainly depend on the snack. As a rule, red wines are perfectly combined with red or dark meat, and white wines are suitable for fish, white meat, as well as seafood.

Light wines are combined with light dishes, hot snacks are better to drink with sweet drinks. But the rules are there to break them. So if you are used to drinking shrimps with red wine, then there is nothing wrong with that.

The most ideal packaging is a glass bottle. It is better that it be made of dark glass, since the light for such a noble drink is destructive.

As for cork, it can be made of plastic or cork. And some bottles have metal screw caps. This option is also valid.

Carefully read the label, as it should contain all the information about the wine. Firstly, a variety of grapes should certainly be written (although this is not always an indicator of quality), the year of its harvest. Secondly, indicate the region in which the grapes were harvested. Thirdly, there should be data on the duration of exposure. And, of course, there must be all the data about the manufacturer and importer: the names of companies, addresses and phone numbers.

The composition of high-quality wine usually includes grapes, sometimes alcohol and sugar. But cheaper wines will contain preservatives. The composition must be indicated on the label.

Where does the wine come from?

Geography is important, but you don’t argue about taste. Some people prefer to drink only French wine, others choose Italian, and still others enjoy the Crimean wine.

This drink is made in many regions of the world: in France, in Italy, Spain, Argentina, in Chile, Australia. But the CIS countries are trying to revive their wine-making traditions.

Where can one buy?

Today, wine is quite available in large supermarkets. There are expensive wines, and more budget. But it is best to go to a specialty store. There is more choice, and sellers are more experienced (recommendations are not superfluous).

Smell, taste and color

If you manage to try the wine (of course, in most cases this is possible only after buying and opening the bottle), then pay attention to the following points:

  • The color may be different, but it may not be cloudy or too dark. As a rule, through wine poured into glasses you can see what is behind them.
  • The taste is pleasant. Quality wines have multifaceted tastes, leave a pleasant aftertaste. But cheap drinks completely exclude all this. The taste may be pleasant, but it is unlikely to enjoy it.
  • The aroma should be pleasant. But it is worth remembering that the wine can smell like grapes, and not with chocolate, candy, apple or something else.

Incomprehensible letter combinations

On the bottle label, various combinations of letters are sometimes indicated, such as DOCG, DOC, IGT, VdT (for Italy) or AOC, VindePays, VindeTable (for France). Under such abbreviations hide information about varieties and quality.

But choose those names, the first letter of which is closer to the beginning of the alphabet (take English as a sample). And the more letters (with the same first), the better the drink.

The price can be very diverse. But, as a rule, a good wine will cost more. So, it is unlikely that you will buy a quality drink for less than 200 rubles (60-70 hryvnia). If you want to buy a bottle for 100 rubles, then do not expect high quality and excellent taste.

Enjoy the wine, but do not abuse.

Elemental Truths

High price is not an indicator of quality. “It happens that producers seriously spend money on a special vineyard or aging in oak barrels,” says Vladimir Perelman, owner of I like bar and I like wine bars. - But there is also an advertising component. It is better to choose wines of not the most promoted brands and regions - so there are more chances to keep the balance “price-quality”. Buy alcohol in specialized stores. Pay attention to how the bottles are stored. They should not stand under the direct rays of the sun or be near heat sources - in the heat the drink deteriorates, the authors of the book “Wine. Practical guide »Madeleine Puckett and Justin Hammek. Critical is the temperature of 28 degrees. Remember this when you leave the bottles for a long time in the closet. No matter how much you would like to say something like “Chateau-Margo 2005” with an expert view, do not chase after “historical rarities”. “When wine costs less than 2500 rubles for
bottle, we are talking about a drink for every day. He should be young, not older than 5 years, ”explains Perelman.

Chemistry and life

Wine production is a difficult process, but some of its subtleties should be known not only to the pros, but also to you. Madeleine Puckett and Justin Hammek say that drinks made in cold climates (for example, in Germany) are more sour than from hot corners of the Earth: at low temperatures, the vine ripens worse. The astringency is affected by tannins - chemical compounds present in the skin and pits of grapes. Red wines have a richer taste, and in the production of white wines, the skin is removed. Certain types of berries contain more tannins, and the wine produced from them is always easier. For example, pinot noir is not as rich as cabernet sauvignon.

choose me

Red - to meat, white - to fish, this principle "works." Among the varieties there are "universal soldiers". “In my opinion, Pinot Noir or Spetburgunder, as it is called in Germany, is ideally suited to almost everything,” Perelman shares his experience. - Its thin acidity will support any dish from a bird, meat. Among whites, I would choose Riesling, it goes well with seafood, salads, cheeses and even chicken. ” In order not to be mistaken, download the Vivino or Hello Vino applications, where you will find information about the most popular drinks and recommendations on the combination.


SEAFOOD: “Friends” of seafood - sparkling and white wines (pinot-gris, sauvignon blanc),

A FISH: Serve chardonnay to tuna or salmon, Riesling or Chablis to white fish,

WHITE MEAT: tourica is combined with white (chardonnay), and red wines (merlot), and rose,

BEEF: anddeal pair - dry red wine cabernet sauvignon or shiraz,

PORK: to This sommelier meat is recommended by the red varieties of kotdyu ron and chianti.

MUTTON: Lamb is best combined with cabernet and Spanish ryohoy.

Good wines up to 400 rubles

This variety has a delicate aroma, with a slight tone of strawberries, as well as the entire richness of Isabella grapes. Due to its low price and high quality, this applicant occupies the first place in the rating. If you have a modest budget, in the aisles of 350-400 rubles, then the wine "Lykhny" in its quality may be your best choice.

A drink from Bulgaria, created from Kadarka grapes, thanks to the aroma of ripe berries and ripe fruit will look good at the festive table. This wine will be in perfect harmony with hard cheese and cold desserts.

Domestic wine variety, which will please many lovers, as the taste of this applicant is not sour, but a little tart. The bottle is very stylishly decorated: the label is made in the form of a map of the Krasnodar region.

Another candidate from the Krasnodar region, which was created from selected grapes, but its taste is not as good as in the previous wine. The tartness and sourness may frighten at first, but after a while it feels much better.

Bright pink color, simple, but slightly strong aroma, with a taste of mango and strawberry - signs of good wine from Portugal. Light aftertaste, with a hint of grapefruit makes this drink one of the best in the category of "budget."

Good wines up to 700 rubles

This candidate is considered the best in its price category, it perfectly combines lightness and pleasant sourness. On the palate there are notes of red currant and herbs that blend well with meat dishes. We recommend pretty good wine.

This wine has repeatedly been awarded the title of the best. Friendly and soft taste, pleasant spicy aroma goes well with steak, grilled meat, pastries and cooked vegetables.

For such an amount, to purchase such a simple and fragrant drink is the best deal. Feel the notes of blueberry and marmalade. The bouquet itself is balanced so that it feels without much acidity.

The combination of two varieties of Italian grapes Garnacha Blanca and Parelyada led to the appearance of a dry and elegant bouquet, with special shades of ripe fruit. It is recommended to drink only with fish dishes.

This wine is good to drink every day, its history begins in the 14th century. The pride of its region, shows an excellent balanced taste with a slight sourness. It is good to combine with meat snacks and pasta.

Good wines up to 1000 rubles

This is a special wine made from grapes grown in the terroir of the New Zealand region of Marlborough. The wine has a peculiar fruit flavor, which is obtained by a special technology of vinification.

The Zinfandel grape variety is considered fundamental to California winemakers. Wine is designed for a hot summer evening, when the table is dominated by dishes from vegetables or seafood.

Initially, Alta Vista was considered a small cellar for wine, but now it is a large estate, where there are ideal conditions for ripening berries. This gives the wine an acidity and elegant aftertaste.

The classic representative of its section - a balanced taste will give a feeling of fruit and spicy shades. The generous aroma of wild herbs will be an excellent addition to roasted red meat.

The wine from this company follows the only philosophy - “Good wine is created from good grapes.” The company was founded back in 1935 and today it is one of the most famous wine producers in Chile.

How to choose the best wine for mulled wine?

More than 5 thousand years have passed since the invention of wine, and today our view includes dessert, dry, semi-sweet, white and red wines, so it is difficult to dwell on one thing. To make a delicious drink, you need to understand the difference between them, and their taste properties.

  • You will not accept wine aged in oak barrels: it will give an unpleasant bitterness.
  • Do not choose a wine with a high tannin content. To feel the quality and endurance, when cooking, add some vanilla to it.
  • Choosing expensive wines is bad form. Good old wine should be drunk without spices and other impurities. When heated, it loses its quality. Know that the answer to the question “which wine is better for mulled wine?” Is young, not sharp in taste.
  • Too cheap wine is an inappropriate option, because even with great effort it will not be possible to make an exquisite cocktail out of a wine drink.
  • Do not think that the spices drown out the taste of the alcohol itself, and if before the dry variety was not to your liking, then now you will not notice it. The best wine for mulled wine - the one that you like, because it will become the basis.
  • Do you have half a liter of wine from the past gatherings, and nowhere to put it? It is not recommended to make a cocktail from what has been in the refrigerator for a very long time, because this taste is felt.
  • Make sure that the alcohol content is in the range of 7-12 degrees. At high temperatures, it evaporates, so instead of mulled wine you can get compote.
  • It is recommended to use wines of own or home spill.

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Wine for mulled wine: dry, semi-dry or semi-sweet

The most common wine for mulled wine is considered to be dry. There is a version that it was the first drink of alcohol invented by man. Previously, when the wine was fermenting, nothing was added to it, so this is a low sugar variety (about 0.3%). Doctors confirm its beneficial effects on the body. White wine of this type has a sour taste, and red wine is tart. In the choice of wine, start from your taste preferences. Experts say that dry wine is better suited for mulled wine. It has only natural sugar and, adding it there artificially while cooking, you will get the perfect mixture, because the drink will not be cloying.

Dry wine is chosen because:

  • In the technology of preparation there are no superfluous ingredients and impurities, their addition to grapes is prohibited.
  • When the wine is fermented, the sugar turns into alcohol. The sugar content in this variety is about 0%, so how sweet the mulled wine will be in your hands.
  • The culture of drinking dry varieties suggests that these are light wines that do not leave an unpleasant residue in the morning.
  • Сухой сорт используется в традиционном рецепте напитка.
  • Это вино наименьшей крепости – 7-12%.

Полусухие сорта появились из-за того, что в древние времена люди начали делать вино из переспевшего винограда, потому что по-другому повлиять на его сладость не могли. Полусухие вина намного слаще сухих и содержат 5-20 г сахара/л. For hot cocktails they are used less often than dry ones, but this is a valid option.

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Semi-sweet wine for hot drinks is not recommended by experienced experts. They question the naturalness of the wine, because it adds a lot of extra ingredients that violate the technology of preparation. The sugar content is 18-45 g / l, so it is obvious what kind of wine is needed for mulled wine. With a semi-sweet, it will turn cloying. These varieties do not inspire confidence, because in addition to sugar, dyes, a large amount of alcohol, odor enhancers and even citric acid are often added to them. As they interfere with the production technology, the percentage of nutrients in such a drink is much lower. Are you a fan of extremely sweet? Then reduce the amount of sugar that will be in the recipe so as not to spoil the drink.

If you are not sure that you can distinguish natural wine from a fake, in what wine to choose for mulled wine, rely on dry.

Dessert wine from the most ripe grapes will also be a bad option. In addition to the high percentage of sugar and prices, they increase the alcohol content, so this wine is not used for mulled wine. However, if you like sugary-sweet desserts of oriental cuisine, feel free to experiment and cook from dessert wines.

What wine is used for mulled wine: white or red

To make the right choice, you need to know the taste characteristics of each species. The difference in them is not only in the fact that different grapes are used for cooking, because some white wines are made from red grapes. They have a different cooking method. After harvesting the grapes are crushed with a special apparatus, as in the film "The Taming of the Shrew". To get white wine, after crushing the grapes you need to quickly separate the juice from the skin. If you want the wine to be red, you need to leave the wort (juice) in the skin and with the bones until the fermentation process is completed.

If red wine can and should be heated to 70 ° C, then white should not be heated more than 50 ° C, otherwise it will lose its taste. Keep in mind that when heated, white varieties begin to sour, which means it is better to take a sweet wine and increase the proportions of sugar or honey.

Since the invention of mulled wine, red wine is considered the traditional basis for it. The bones, along with which the wort ferments, contain tannins. These are the ingredients that make wine taste tart. In mulled wine they are needed in order to maintain its structure, fill it with useful substances and leave a characteristic aftertaste. Focusing on what kind of wine is needed for mulled wine, know that if there is too little tannins in the wine, you will feel it as a barely noticeable burning sensation in the mouth. Red color speaks of ripeness, is associated with a rich taste, and also saves you from colds.

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The Germans, with their first glass of red mulled wine, are long gone, and today there are many recipes for white wine. This drink welcomes the fantasy, so do not limit yourself to the classics in which wine to take for mulled wine: use a white variety. Remember that in addition to a different taste, you need to take care to cook it properly. Add a lot of sugar or honey, because when heated, the natural sourness in the white variety becomes more pronounced.

It is not necessary to consider that only red varieties are useful when heated. Not sure which wine is suitable for mulled wine? White will help you:

  • bring down the heat
  • improve the performance of the digestive tract and lungs,
  • protect the body from infection
  • reduce anxiety and stress
  • reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • speed up the process of digesting food, etc.

The best varieties of wine for mulled wine: ratings favorites

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The easiest way to choose which wine is best to make mulled wine, focusing on a particular wine. Moreover, suitable tastes will be found among the products of any wine-making region.

  • You are not an expert, what wine to take for mulled wine? Of the popular varieties, Cabernet will be a good choice. This is a tart red wine of rich color, which gives fruit, Bulgarian and black pepper.
  • Merlot - the second most common grape variety for red wine. It is sweeter than the Cabernet, and in terms of exposure time it also wins, because it can be drunk by the young. This is a mild beverage that belongs to the wines of plum flavor.
  • Saperavi - the name of the wine and the grape variety, which is grown in Georgia, Russia, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries, is suitable for mulled wine. This Georgian wine is of pomegranate color and has a thick, tart taste.
  • Use the Mavrud variety, which hails from Bulgaria. It combines the emerald color and chromatic taste of wild berries.
  • The familiar French Cahors wine is also often used, in the drink it gives prunes, black currants and raspberries, and seasoned wines give chocolate tones.
  • Another good Georgian wine is Khvanchkara. It belongs to the semi-sweet varieties, so the sugar content in it is higher. This velvet wine gives strawberries, dried fruit and berries of red color.

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  • The Balkans are represented by the variety Vranac, which in Russian is translated as “Crow” and immediately declares a dark color. It tastes like plum.
  • Another representative of France will be Game variety with memorable fruit flavors: hints of cherry, raspberry, strawberry and banana.
  • An important player in the wine market is Italy, which represents the Dolcetto variety. It is drunk young, to feel the softness of the fruit notes and pronounced shade of almonds.
  • Bulgarian semi-dry wine Gamza, it’s the same Kadarka with vanilla flavor. It resembles red fruit, such as pomegranate, and will be combined with spices.
  • Kindzmarauli - Georgian semi-sweet wine with a characteristic taste of overripe cherries. This grape is naturally 22% sugar, so no artificial addition is required.
  • White wine based mulled wine is only gaining popularity, so brands have not yet appeared here. Use any dry or semi-dry wine you like. It may be the famous Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling and even Sauvignon with a hint of gooseberry in taste.

What wine to take for mulled wine: adapt to the circumstances

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Of great importance with what dish you are going to drink mulled wine. The taste and aroma of the drink is quite intense, and requires the same rich addition:

  • For roasted meat, red semi-sweet wine is perfect: with its sweetness it will set off a rich meaty taste.
  • With white wine will be combined fish, and even sushi.
  • If the drink will be served with cheese, remember that for white it is better to choose soft cheese, and for red - hard.

Fresh cheeses with a delicate neutral flavor, for example, Mozzarella or Feta, will be lost against the background of mulled wine rich in spices, and it is better for them to choose another supplement.

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If you are preparing mulled wine, which wine to choose for it prompts the country of origin. Feel free to pass by the windows with elite alcohol, it is worthy of a better use.

  • No need to look first at expensive wines, because their taste in mulled wine will be drowned out by a lot of spices.
  • Take a proven wine made "at home" or a bottle from Greece, Montenegro, USA and South Africa. Although these countries are not the birthplace of wine, this industry is well developed there.
  • You will not be disappointed by a drink from Georgia or Moldova. Well, the ideal option would be a product from a proven home winemaker, whose bright grape chords will harmoniously intertwine with citrus and spicy aromas.

Now you know all about the choice of wine, and you should not wait for Christmas or bitter cold to enjoy yourself warming mulled wine. Invite your friends to the fondue with mulled wine, and in any weather you are guaranteed a festive mood!