Since my WSET training, a lot of people have been asking me to recommend to them a great wine to pick up. While I certainly don’t mind recommending something that I enjoy, I sure have learned that wine is an intensely personal thing. What I love may be terrible on your palete. And if you love Apothic Red, well, we’ll probably have a difference of opinion 🙂
In my opinion, if you like wine, you should really always be trying new varietals and regions. The wine world is so big and so diverse, you can constantly find new gems to add to your cellar. However, it is easy to get lost in the aisles of a wine store, not really knowing if the $40 Borolo is really going to be that much better than the $20 Pinot Gris.
That’s where it comes in handy to look at the wisdom of Father Time. Over the centuries, certain regions have found that specific varieties work really well in their soil and climate. The first trick to knowing how to pick a good wine, is to know what you like, and where that berry grows well. In that manner, you can walk into a wine store, directly to the country that is known for quality in the type of grape you’re looking for. Grab a bottle from a quality region, and 9 times out of 10, you’ll have a great bottle of wine! As for price, we’ll get into that in another post.
Here are some of the most common varietals and regions that are known for producing quality wine of its type. This is simply from my experience and is not a complete list.
- Bordeaux, France
- Napa Valley, USA
- Central Valley, Chile (especially Maipo)
- Margaret River/Coonawarra in Australia
- Burgundy, France (pricey, but amazing)
- Carneros/Sonoma/Monterey in California, USA
- Adelaide Hills, Australia
- Walker Bay/Coastal/Robertson, South Africa
- Loire Valley, France
- Marborough, New Zealand
- Burgundy, France
- Oregon, USA
- Martinborough/Central Otago, New Zealand
- Mendoza, Argentina
- Cahors, France (these can be hard to find, but offer an interesting change to their Argentinian brothers)
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris
- Trentino, Italy
- Alsace, France
- Okanagan, Canada
- Pretty much anywhere in Germany
Feel free to comment or question below.