How do you chose the wine that you buy?

Hey. How do you usually chose wine? Do you check feedback in the Internet? Do you ask friends or relatives? Or maybe you use the services of sommelier?
Ideally I taste first, then buy a bottle. If I still like it I get more bottles.

Otherwise, I would buy single bottles of wine related to others that I like - same variety or producer perhaps, or the same in all respects apart from vintage. Or just take a wild punt on something that looks interesting. And then get more if I like it.

Using those methods I still usually find myself wanting to buy more that I can store or sensibly drink, so it seems to work for me.

Tom Cannavan

Just a word to the forum that Steven is logging in from Ukraine, so must be on holiday there from NY I guess, or perhaps got on the wrong bus.

Perhaps he can tell us why that is.

Tom Cannavan

Thanks Rob - a few people have reported the unusual nature of Steven Noel's sudden participation, which certainly has the spam antennae twitching. I will just about give the benefit of the doubt to see if there is any explanation for anomalies, but would suggest responding to his threads might be waste of well-intentioned time. I stand ready to be corrected and await Steven's explanation.
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I am not a spammer and not a robot:) Yes, you are right. I am PhD student and I’m researching alcohol consumption in different countries. That’s why I’m here on your forum. There are many interesting and professional people who are passionate or interested about wine and beer here. Of course, it’s interesting for me to communicate and to see your points of view on different issues (not only because of my PhD, but generally). If that’s a problem, I can stop posting or asking questions.
Thanks for clarifying - we're a pretty tight-knit bunch here and a little wary of short term commercial opportunists - so delighted to hear you're not one of them! ;-)

Personally, I'm a repeat buyer of a lot of wines, but in terms of new ones, it's mostly:
- Stuff tasted at offlines or wine shows/merchant tastings
- Recommendations here and from friends on Facebook
- Recommendations from trusted merchants (especially those that don't quote Suckling!)

What it's generally NOT is:
- Deals from supermarkets (although happy to buy previously liked wines)
- Wine journalist recommendations
I think these are probably the main factors influencing my wine purchasing, ranked from most important to least important

Having tasted (and liked, of course!) it during a wine tasting.
Having tasted (and liked, of course) previous vintages, and the current vintage has been praised
Curiosity (an unusual wine, or a variety out of its normal home) - but often having had a pointer from elsewhere (this forum, newspaper wine column, etc)
Recommendations from trusted palates on this forum
Recommendation from trusted wine merchant
A very good special offer that would give me access to something I couldn't otherwise afford
From my birth year (increasingly rare now)

You mention sommeliers. Yes, I will often ask the sommelier in a restaurant, particularly where there is much on his/her wine list, with which I am not familiar. I will take the sommelier's advice if it is clear s/he knows that s/he is talking about. If it's clear the sommelier's not a proper sommelier and is just bullshitting, I'll go back to wines I know should be in a style likely to match the food.
I just constantly try everything I possibly can. If I'm studying a region in any sort of depth it usually helps to have a bottle or three from the area to help me mesh the theoretical knowledge with the actual taste of the wines, so one week I'll be drinking wines from the Northern Rhone, the next Alsace, then Burgundy and so on. I also organise a non-for-profit weekly tasting in Barcelona where we split the costs of these sorts of wines, but that can be quite random in terms of country/region so not necessarily in line with current book studies. Then of course weekly blind tasting that sometimes throws up a delicious wine I wouldn't have ordinarily tried, so then I'll buy a bottle and drink it at home.

Within Spain it's more a case of picking new producers rather than exploring new regions, so usually a new bottle or two per week to keep that ticking over.

Then lastly if I spot a wine I've wanted to try for a while, usually something expensive and famous within the industry, and I find a restaurant or retail outlet that has it at a good price, I'll reserve it and save for a week or two, then come back and buy it.

Next year I intend to take the first approach quite literally and try to drink my way methodically around the world of wine. We'll see how it goes!
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It's worth noting that hardly anyone on this forum is now a typical wine consumer. We are all people who have allowed our love of and interest in wine to get out of hand! We may carefully consider which wines to buy but we are also drawn by the need to discover or rediscover.

It may be interesting to do a survey ranking the various triggers to purchase to see which of them affect different consumer groups, even within this forum.

I would suggest that these fall into several categories - price, style, reputation and interest - and can be further broken down, with some crossovers

Perceived discount on the "normal" price
Value for money
Investment potential

Alcohol level
Grape variety
Shape / weight of bottle
Regional style

Medals won
Recommendation/scores by critics
General reputation of producer
Recommendation by friends/peers
Recommendation by the retailer

Previously tasted
Hope that it is similar to something previously tasted
Pure experimentation
Attractive label
Building wine knowledge
Visited winery / met producer
It's worth noting that hardly anyone on this forum is now a typical wine consumer...

A significant differentiator of people here (and wine geeks generally) is having a cellar* or collection** of wine. Most non-geeks buy wine like they buy groceries - that is enough for immediate consumption or maybe for the next few weeks. We buy for stock - because we something catches the eye, because we have an opportunity, say visiting a producer, because we want a big enough selection to be able to choose whatever we want each time we open a bottle, because we want to mature wines.

So I've been consciously running down my cellar, but it's still around 200 bottles. And that's probably much smaller than most people here have.

* rarely actually an underground space
** few are collectors in the sense of having to have a set, such as every vintage of a particular wine. We just have a large accumulation.
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I live in the middle of nowhere in the part of the Country which is almost completely devoid of interesting wine shops. We have the supermarkets (I class Majestic as a supermarket) but the only independent within 20 miles is a branch of Cambridge Wine. So most of the time it is supermarkets or the internet and that brings problems of delivery charges, minimum orders and the actual logistics of delivery. So this is a factor in what I buy and how.

I do read journalists (wine mags, newspapers, internet) and buy wines they recommend from time to time. Often it is difficult, at first, to determine if your palate coincides with that of the journalist so mistakes happen but eventually you hopefully find a writer you trust as being on your wavelength. Personally I put more weight on tastings where there are more than one judge (Decanter has 3 tasters for many of its tastings and all their scores are given in the write up so you can see if they were in agreement or there was a dissenter).

I do go to the odd wine tasting, of wines I'm likely to like, and buy based on my own judgement. I'll also buy if a friend whose judgement I trust recommends a wine to me that they like. I also repeat buy some wines but I am also keen to try new regions/grape varieties. Like many on this forum I know what I like and more importantly what I don't.

One thing you mention that I don't take much notice of is the reviews of wines that are put online on the sellers website. For example you might see someone give a wine 1 star and someone give the same wine 5 stars. Do either of them know much about wine? Also is it just they don't know the style of wine and bought it to try. It might be that they just don't like that style of wine whereas, in fact, it might be a rather good typical example. A wine buff friend put a slightly negative review online with a major British retailer and was rung up and effectively told he didn't know what he was talking about. Can't recall now if they pulled his review or not but he is hardly likely to bother again and I suspect his judgement is better than the chap who rang him up.