Wine: some tips for consumers

Written by Piero Pardini

Credits: Photo The Wolf Post – Translation Veronica Lavenia

When I decided to create “The Wolf Post”, mainly giving space to wine, my goal was to create a useful container for consumers who love the genre but not only for specialists in the sector.
Alongside professionals and those who, although not professionally practicing the world of wine, have a certain familiarity, there are habitual consumers who do not know much and who, usually, are in awe of a reality that, perhaps, should approach with a communication easier for those who make the market: the average consumer.
The columns dedicated to wine, available in the magazine, are aimed not only at professionals but, above all, at consumers who frequent wineries and wine bars, but also large-scale distribution (today, much more well-stocked than in the past) where they can read undisturbed labels and make a choice without fear of feeling inadequate.

How to choose a good wine for meals? How to select a wine for the most important occasions? How to read the labels? I have tried to answer these and other questions on the basis of experience, studies or, quite simply, on instinct which, sometimes, must have its place on mere rationality. I’m certainly not here to influence, a word so popular in this period, but to invite the consumer to reflect before buying.

1. Buying a wine takes time, both for an expert, let alone for a novice.

2. You can’t buy a bottle of wine like you buy yogurt or a can of tuna. Wine (like EVOO) requires a moment of reflection. If you don’t believe it, observe the flows between the various shelves in a supermarket, in the wine shop the consumer has almost a sense of awe towards the product.

3. How much do you have to spend on a decent bottle of wine? The budget is certainly important, but with an expense of between 9 and 15 euros, in large-scale distribution, you can find very interesting wines. A few euros more in the wine shop, but here it is advisable to rely on the advice of the staff, who, based on your availability, will be able to recommend the most suitable product for your needs. Personally, I would never go below 6 euros, why? Think about the costs to be incurred before arriving on the shelf: management of the vineyard, the cellar, the cost of the bottle, the cap, the label, the transport, the profit for the producer and the seller, just to name the main ones.

4. Regional wines or other? Surely the regional wines are, in percentage, those that guarantee a greater choice on the shelf. I would orient myself on these labels. If you wish, obviously, in relation to your regional preferences, you can orient yourself on other realities: the DOCG, DOC and IGT brands are quality certifications.

5. Diversify, let’s get used to transcribing the name and characteristics shown behind the label of the wine purchased on a notepad. After drinking we try to describe the sensations we experienced. With this exercise little by little, albeit in a very “homemade” way, we will be able to compare, according to our personal judgment, the wines we buy and this will be useful for new ones.

6. Remember that wine must be served at the right temperature, in order to better appreciate its characteristics, which can vary from 4° to 18° C depending on the type of wine, so I recommend a search on the internet.

7. I do not recommend choosing a wine based on the label. Unfortunately, there are still many people who are seduced by this option.

8. Last advice, perhaps the most important, drink in moderation. At the table we quench our thirst with water, wine allows us to better appreciate the food, so a glass of good wine can be more than enough for a whole meal.


About the author

Piero Pardini

Da Maggio 2002, giornalista pubblicista.
Coautore del saggio "Gianni Clerici - Lo scrittore, il poeta il giornalista", Le Lettere (Firenze).
Dal 2015, Sommelier AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommelier).
Scrive di vino, enogastronomia, sport, tecnologie.
Dal 2016, direttore responsabile di "The Wolf Post", di cui è il fondatore.

Freelance journalist, since May 2002.
Co-author of the essay "Gianni Clerici - The writer, the poet the journalist", Le Lettere publisher.
Since 2015, Sommelier AIS (Italian Sommelier Association).
He writes about wine, sport and technologies.
Since 2016, founder and editor-in-chief of "The Wolf Post".