Buy wine can be quite a challenge, as there is often an immense range to choose from. Sometimes a little planning will be in your favour. Just knowing the type or style of a wine you want will make your buying decision that much easier.

 Building up some knowledge of the various wine merchants, in your area and on the internet, can be very advantageous. Each mechant tends to have a particular strong point. One may be extremly good on Bordeaux for example, or specialise in Italian wines, and they will be happy to pass on their experience to you – the customer.

Remember too, that some knowledge of which producers are making particularly good wine, or which regions offer good value, puts you in a much more secure position.



There was a time when you could almost tell at an instant where a wine came from, just by looking at the shape of the bottle. This still holds true for some of the more traditional regions, such as Alsace or Bordeaux, but a glance or two around the shekves of your local supplier will aslso reveal rha influence of design teams keen to catch the eye with bottle shapes that stand out from the crowd.


The label

A wine label provides an excellent opportunity to send a message and pass on information to a potential customer.

In Europe, a place name may suffice. Chablis, Sancerre and Chateauneuf-du-Pape are all examples of French wines that the name is recongnised. In the ‘New World’ however, varietal labelling is the norm, as an increasing amount of wine is sold on the back of the name of the grape variety. The world’s most popular grape, Chardonnay, could be perceived as s wine style, such is the influence carried by its name alone. The fact that most white Burgundy is made from Chardonnay is left for those of us who care to find out.

Find more about wine label here.

 Depending on the wine, and in some cases the region, the name of the producer can be extremly important. You may wish to take note of the vintage. This is particularly important where grapes are grown in marginal climates. Each label will also indicate the percentage of alcohol by volume, which can range from 7 – 15 per cent.