Ever run to the store for a few quick items only to find yourself stuck in the wine aisle (or aisles) unsure which bottle to select? This type of wine paralysis is pretty common, especially when one is new to drinking wine or is trying to impress a dinner party of connoisseurs. While I would love to say you should just go to a wine shop, I know that it isn’t always a possibility, and with two busy girls and work, I often find myself grabbing a bottle or two while shopping for the weekly groceries.
Here are a few tips I use when buying wine at a grocery store:
- Set your budget – Everyone’s money situation is different and there is no judgement here. And it’s totally not worth having to skimp on an essential item, just for a glass or two of wine. The key here is to know just how much you are willing to spend and stick to it. The nice thing is, whether your budget is $9, $20 or even $50, you are sure to find a nice option for any price range. One thing I did recently learn from Wine Folly is the cheaper the wine, the more residual sugar. They recommend aiming for a starting point of $15-20 (or just drinking less of it).
- Do your research ahead of time – I am not suggesting you spend hours combing through books, magazines and blogs to find the best wines to buy. I am merely suggesting you take note and remember wines you have tried (and liked) at dinners, restaurants and parties. Have a few trusted friends or family members, that you know when asked on the fly, could suggest a few options that are good and fit within your price range.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – many of the employees in the wine department are pretty knowledgeable themselves. After all, they do speak with wine reps on a pretty consistent basis. It’s a good way to get a few ides and make a selection from there.
Over time, you will find you have compiled a few good go-to wines for your whirlwind grocery shopping trips. Case in point, I recently bought this little gem from my local QFC:
This Oregon wine includes grapes from the Willamette Valley, Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley and the winery focuses on using sustainable winemaking practices.
Tasting notes: The wine itself was light yellow in color with a light nose of lemon and pear. It was crisp and refreshing, tasting of light lemons with a sweet ending. It is a nice, refreshing weekday wine, and goes well on its own or with a light meal.
Cost: Approximately $12.99