To those familiar with the wondrous world of wine, it can be a fascinating and ever-evolving experience. Tannins, tasting notes, vinification methods, varietals, terroirs…the list can go on and on. But these very same aspects can easily turn into an obstacle when trying to lure new consumers, given that they can sound complex and technical, eventually scaring people away. Fear of not guessing the right tasting note is a real thing, believe it or not.
So, in order to enjoy wine like a pro –without actually being one-, we made up this list of 5 tips that will ease you into drinking, 100% prejudice-free.
#1. Wine pairings are just suggestions, not rules
Although it is true that some wines “match” better with certain foods, pairings in no way should be a restriction when choosing which wines go better with a dish. The experts may have their opinions, yes, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying combinations that you feel might work. Going with your intuition and being open to trying new things is key here. This will allow you to discover what works best for you, and might even help you find new, exciting pairings.
An unusual pairing I personally love? A good Chardonnay with crispy bacon. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it: the acidity of the wine combines perfectly with the greasiness of the bacon, balancing out its taste and creating an explosive match. If you dare, Casillero del Diablo Reserva Especial Chardonnay is a great starting point.
#2. Blended wines are just as good as varietal wines
This may sound like a no-brainer, but some people actually believe that blended wines are just the “leftovers” of varietal wines. Here, again, it is all a matter of taste: there is no correlation between pure varietal and blended wines with its quality. Actually, a lot of times blends can be more interesting and complex, because the combinations are endless and mixing them can turn into a real work of art. But don’t just take my word for it: try any of our Concha y Toro Trio Reserva and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
#3. “Old World vs. New World” isn’t a thing
For some wine enthusiasts, nothing really quite does it like Old World wines, which they usually consider “superior” than New World ones. Well, newsflash: this “fight” is just nonsense. True, the origin of the grapes is no little detail, and the centuries-long experience certainly helps, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t grow excellent vines in the New World, too. Same goes for winemakers: there are talented professionals making top-level wines all over the world. So, don’t fall for the myth that a wine will be great just because it’s from France or Spain: New World wines, headed by Chile, Argentina and Australia, can easily go head-to-head with just about any other.
#4. High price doesn’t always equal high quality
I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but the world of wine can get quite snobby. And this sometimes translates in the belief that the higher the price tag, the higher the quality. But this simply isn’t always true: there are several factors that are considered when putting a price on a label, and very often they have more to do with a marketing strategy than with the wine itself.
Same happens the other way: there are some very pocket-friendly wines out there that give you great value for your money. So, it all boils down to just trying wines without caring too much for their price point. The Marqués de Casa Concha line is a perfect example of this.
#5. Aged wines aren’t always the best wines
Aged wines are probably among the best esteemed in the wine world. They are produced so that their best potential will be reached some years after bottling, opposite to “young wines”, created to be drank in the same year (or the next 2, tops). This difference, of course, is often reflected in their price. But we already know the truth behind price tags (#4).
It is true that a lot of top-quality wines are aged, but this doesn’t mean that you should have them every time you feel like having a nice glass of wine. Sometimes a young wine, from the same year or the year prior, goes better with the food you’re having, or simply matches better the drinking occasion.
More important still: age doesn’t always guarantee great taste or quality. So, if you’re going to put some extra money on a bottle, make sure it’s on one that’s actually worth it. Where to begin, you ask me? Well, a Carmín de Peumo Carmenere 2016 will certainly make your money’s worth. But be warned: you’re going to have to be patient, because according to our experts, you can age this wine until 2028.