Place, grape, colour, style or producer? How do you choose your wine?

15th September 2021

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Tastings in UK

Many people will choose a wine from a previous experience in that what we liked before we will like once again. Sometimes it is force of habit such as those in the USA will usually go for grape varieties whereas in Europe we are more likely to opt for a region such as Bordeaux or Champagne. Of course, many of us are guided by and make our purchases based on price and especially from trusted re-sellers, the more we pay then the better the wine will be right? This may not always be the case…

There are so many opinions when it comes to purchasing your next bottle of wine, we hear ‘I do not like Chardonnay or I hate sweet wines or I prefer Italian reds’. If we expand our search and do not limit our options then we have a wide choice and it can become overwhelming so it all becomes less fun and more a serious and time consuming task.

What options are there for choosing wine?

Producer: Once we have discovered a great producer then it is likely we will stick with them and explore their range or rely upon one to delight us each time. We must remember though that there are 100,000’s wine producers globally.

Place: Many places across the globe are producing wines with the most being set within 30° – 50° latitude, both northern and southern hemisphere. Not only France, Italy and Spain, but also Japan, Georgia and Canada… Over 70 countries are listed as producing wine.

Grape (colour): It is stated that 1,368 vine varieties exist all offering their own style of flavours, aromas, colours and quality.

Style: From quality to alcohol level or amounts of sugar to whether or not the wine has bubbles with many ageing decisions too.

Availability / Price: Sometimes we are caught in a moment where it is any bottle will do or we are limited to the wines for sale on the shelf in front of us and of course, our wallets will also have a say on what we opt for.

Example of 'Style' - Sweetness Levels

Example of ‘Style’ – Sweetness Levels


What is important to remember is just because you have had one bad experience of a wine does not mean all other similar wines will be negative also, the way in which one grape presents itself to you can be completely different to how a producer will showcase it in another wine. Grapes perform differently and can come from warmer or cooler climates thus aromas and flavours will change – Maybe you prefer a fruitier, sweeter expression of a grape over a dry style.

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand.” source wikipedia

Think this way: maybe you dislike Champagne and its bubbles, does not mean you can not enjoy Prosecco and its bubbles which is a completely different style of wine made in a very different way. As quoted above, just because a French Chardonnay displeases you does not mean one from New Zealand will be negative also.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.