selecting wine:

Selecting the right wine can be as simple as choosing a few favorite brands and sticking to them, or as complex as collecting verticals (different vintages from the same producer) of the world's greatest wines, or even buying wine futures (the right to buy a certain wine before it is actually made).

The selection all depends on the level of involvement and interest of the individual concerning wines. Many prefer to buy the same brand every time they go to the liquor store, while others prefer to try different brands everyday. So how do you buy the right wine? Here is a quick checklist to guide you in buying the best price/quality wine for any occasion. These guidelines are general tips targeted to help the average wine drinker.

Rule No. 1 of buying wine is to trust your own taste, because no one knows your preferences better than you do. Make sure to taste the product before committing to it. The importance of this rule will be magnified as more expensive wines are chosen. A common mistake people make is buying wines, which mainstream critics, or friends refer to as their favorite. Trust your own palate and pick the wine you like to drink.

Buying good wine is part of a learning curve, and you're likely to learn as much from your buying mistakes, as from your triumphs. Therefore, diversify your purchases and expand your collection. You might also want to keep a notebook of the various wine purchases you make, or wine you try when out to dinner.

Experts can debate endlessly on whether the prices of wine really reflect their quality. There is no doubt in my mind that when someone wants to drink the best wine on the market, they will have to pay a premium price. It's like anything in life; if it's a quality product, it usually comes with a heftier price. Yet, as a general rule, it would be wise to shop around for good value. Make it a habit to go out of your way to find the wine that offers the best bang for your buck. Experts will generally say: Go out of your way to look for the best buys to get the most mileage out of your wine dollar.

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