Wine Basics - A Starters Guide To Wine

Whether you are a quaffing expert or just starting your journey learning about wine, our wine basics pages have been set out to give an overview of the world of wine.

Written by our top wine expert Angela Mount, the top tips range from just what people are looking for when they taste wine all the way to best wines to buy at certain budgets.

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Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
What's On The label
What’s on the label of a wine plays a crucial role in the overall presentation and proposition of a wine; after all, unless you are being guided through a selection of wines by a wine advisor, if you are browsing the shelves, it’s the image and the information on the label that’s going to capture your attention, or fade into insignificance. It’s interesting to look at how people buy wine; think about your own decision-making process. It normally centres on one of three things: 1. Colour 2. Price…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
Wine Styles - What's Hot & What's Not
Take that classic question – what type of wine do you like? Asked so often, of so many people. The majority of wine drinkers struggle to answer, and therein lies one of the key issues, which highlights the fact that most of you know what you like, play safe, don’t know how to describe what you like, and fear the risk of trying something new. After all wine is, to most, a very confusing subject, not made any easier by the swathes of labels, bottles and names seen both in supermarkets and…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
How To Store Wine & How Long To Keep It?
The vast majority of wine bought in off licences and supermarkets is drunk within a week of purchase, with a high proportion consumed within 24 hours, so for most wine buyers, storing wine isn’t really an issue! However, here are a few storage tips: If you are storing small quantities of wine in the house, or the kitchen, keep the bottles on their sides, so that the corks don’t dry out, and keep away from radiators. This is one of the biggest problems with supermarket wines – many of them won’t…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
How To Spot Bad Wine
What happens when you open a bottle of wine, have a glass and vow never to buy it again? Is it just the taste you don’t like, or is there a sneaky suspicion that there’s something not quite right about it, but you don’t know what. Similarly, I’m sure there have been occasions when you’ve bought a bottle of your favourite wine, only to find out that it didn’t really taste the same as how you remembered it. That’s often because there is something wrong with the bottle; this is an area which…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
The Ultimate Guide To Wine For Your Wedding
Choosing the right wines for your wedding can be one of the more stressful items on the wedding ‘to do’ list; generally the happy couple have a good idea about venue, food, and theme, but, frequently, the organisation comes to a stuttering halt, when the subject of the wine comes up. I say this with the experience of years of practice, with friends calling to ask advice for the planning of their big day. In fact, this has happened to me very recently; my stepson is marrying, a lovely, highly…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
How To Taste Wine
Well, just like food, the more we smell and savour, the more enjoyment we will get out of it. If we wolf down a plate of carefully prepared food, which includes herbs, spices and other flavourings, mixed with a variety of textures of meat and vegetables, we don’t really enjoy the contribution that each element gives to the dish; fish steamed with ginger and lemongrass, meat braised with cinnamon and orange, creamy pannacotta with a lively passion fruit coulis – we enjoy a huge variety of…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
Insiders Tips On How To Serve Wine
There are lots of long held views and traditions about how to serve wine; some are right, others are totally wrong, but have somehow got into the lore and mythology of wine tasting over the years, and many wine drinkers simply adopt these rules, and are surprised when they find out that some of the traditions that they have been following, simply aren’t necessary! There are 3 main topics to think about when serving wine: Temperature Glasses Here are my views on each of these subjects: The…
Wine Basics - With Angela Mount
Picking Wines To Fit Your Budget
We are a nation of bargain hunters; from 2 for 1 pizzas to discounts off a new kitchen, or 40% off that highly desired Prada bag in the January sales, our minds are finely tuned to finding a bargain at every single level. It’s no different with wine, and the sea of promotions, and deep discounts on wine, that every supermarket throws out ( and, as an ex supermarket buyer, I count myself guilty on this also), have led the wine drinking nation to expect to be able to buy decent wine at very low…