By: Angela Aiello

It’s no secret that the best part about wine is popping it open and enjoying it, but before that bottle is ready to share you need to pick it up off the shelf. Shopping for wine can be fun, exciting, and an extension of your personality. Instead of playing it safe or buying on price and label design, take a new direction in your wine journey. All it takes is a little confidence to be a wine adventurer!

Know Your Style
From bubbles to fortified wine, there is something for everyone. Get to know your preferences, and the style of wine you enjoy. For regular table wines, this can change according to your mood, the time of year and the reason for your wine purchase. Your style should be a combination of what type of wine body you enjoy – such as light, medium or full, and add another descriptor such as aromatic, fruity, fresh, firm or smooth.

Learn Your Grapes
New world wines are typically labeled by grape variety such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet. Old world wines are typically labeled by region such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Beaujolais and Chianti.

Discover the World
Choose a country and visit it! Here in Canada we are lucky to be able to purchase wines from all over the world. So if you like a certain grape variety, try to explore how it tastes from other parts of the globe. Discover new grapes and new wine regions by exploring through the wine store and asking store personnel to help make a selection based on your preferences. Depending on the store, they may even have wine to taste before you buy!

Pair Wine and Food
Looking for a wine to enjoy at your dinner party? The easiest solution and rule of thumb is to pair the weight of the wine with the weight of the food. Consider if your food is light, medium or full-bodied and select a wine of similar style.

A Few Secrets
If you really love a wine and it’s available from a winery that delivers, have a case shipped to your home or office (next time order a mixed case, just for fun)! This eliminates multiple trips to the store and heavy lifting. It’s always nice to have great house wine on hand rather than having to run out last minute – you’ll always be prepared for surprise guests and ready to entertain.

Angela Aiello is the Founder of iYellow Wine Club home to over 10,000 members who build wine confidence through discovery through events, classes and tours.  To learn more, join the wine club for free at iYellowWineClub.com or AngelaAiello.ca