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Choosing a Wine      
  drinking fun · a guide to wine · buying it

Buying wine can be intimidating if you've just started to learn. There are so many different varieties to consider and several issues to weigh. Don't get overwhelmed, just follow our pointers and you will be headed in the right direction.

Before you go to the store decide what it is your looking for. This narrows your choices and will help give you somedirection. In order to make that decision, consider three main factors: The occasion, the type of meal that the wine will accompany, and your personal taste.

Different occasions call for different wines. You wouldn't serve a full-bodied red with a light summer lunch.Knowing what wines are seasonal or situational can really narrow the field.

Closely related to the occasion is the type of meal that you will be enjoying. The right bottle of wine will enhance the food immeasurably.For a general guide to matching wine to a meal consult our food and wine pairings.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is what you like to drink. So many varieties exist that you should never have trouble finding oneyou enjoy. Do you prefer dry or sweet? Do you want a red that is full-bodied and full of oak flavor? How about a zesty, fruity white?Consult our list of wine definitions to find a type of grape that suits your particular taste.

When purchasing wine set a budget. You can get a great bottle of wine for $10-15 to begin with. Don't be fooled into thinking the more expensive the bottle, the better quality. Don't be afraid to ask the staff either--that's what they are there for. Most stores these days have trained wine connoisseurs; let them know your preferences and they will be able to guide you towards a good selection. Newspapers, magazines and friends are also good sources to consult before shopping for a bottle of wine.
95% of wine is ready to drink once it hitsthe shelves. Don't be fooled by the age of the bottle...

Buy wines from stores that take care of their bottles. Drastic temperature changes, or direct sunlight, will spoil your wine in a heartbeat. Look for stores with proper storage facilities.

Ask to taste the wine before you buy it. Many stores offer tastings so you can sample before you buy. You wouldn't buy a car without test-driving it first. Trust your instincts. Buy and drink wine because you like the taste of it, not because someone tells you it is the best. Try wines that your friends don't like. Remember, only you can judge your tastes. A little hint- If you find a bottle you like, buy it by the case. Many stores offer discounts of 10-15% for bulk purchases.

Buy Beer & Wine Online! : Everything Dating from Pick-up to Break-up

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