Follow These 'Unfussy' Rules Of Wine To Save Time At The Bottle Shop

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I have never been "good" at drinking wine, but that doesn't keep me from practicing, and these new "not-at-all-stuffy" rules for buying and drinking vino are perfect for people like me.

Photo by Heather Katsoulis.

Their first rule (and you should click the link below to read the whole, very interesting article) is that there are no rules, which is great because I've never found that rules and alcohol go particularly well together. Now that you know not to worry, you can head to the store with a few tips and terms in mind.

Firstly, Bon Appetit urges you to get over your cork snobbery; it's good for ageing, but if you're going to be drinking from the bottle anytime soon, a screw top is perfectly acceptable. Next, don't get too hung up on vintage, and focus on the producer instead. A good producer will be good at their job all year round, so the vintage won't matter as much as you would think.

Finally, if you really want to impress your local somm, drop a few names. Orange wine (white wine made with the skins still on) is nutty and tannic; Island Wine (whites and reds from Corsica, Sardinia, Santorini, the Canaries, or Sicily) is bright, breezy, and acidic; and the Loire region is a good place to look for a whole slew of affordable varietals (from rich reds to fruity rosés). Oh, and don't be ashamed to ask for the Riesling. Riesling is good.

You can find more wine lore at our exhaustive beginner's guide on the subject.

The (Totally Fun, Not-At-All Stuffy) New Rules of Wine [Bon Appetit]


    A good producer will be good at their job all year round, so the vintage won’t matter as much as you would think.

    Exactly what is this supposed to mean?

    It is worth paying some attention to vintages. If is 2015 and you find a 2010 aromatic white it may be worth passing. Ditto a 2015 red out by August 2015, it won't be the best wine getting around.

      That's what happens when the original story is rewritten by someone who does not quite understand it. The original says:
      "Don’t get hung up on vintage. A great producer makes good wine in any year, so spend your time finding the winemakers you love."
      Even then, I'm not sure I agree completely. When the weather is terrible, the vintage in a particular year can be below par.
      An alternate approach is to buy wine style according to where they do it best.
      And be careful with overseas wine - think about what it's gone through to get to your bottle shop. The same goes for beer.

        Technically true but I wouldn't count on it. Super premium and boutique producers usually won't put out a release if the vintage is terrible, or they'll only release the best of the best. Sometimes, they'll use the better grapes in the cheaper wines, ie Penfolds using St Henri grapes in one of the cheaper bin series wines if a bad year means its of lesser quality.

        Still, it's highly dependent on the producer. Some will just keep putting out wine regardless of quality because they know someone will buy it.

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