How to interpret a wine list to suit you and if the wine list you re presented with a good one (subjective)

Here are some indicators of what might be compromised in a decent wine list

  1. Variety and Range: A good wine list should offer a diverse selection of wines, including different grape varieties, regions, and styles. Look for a mix of reds, whites, rosés, sparkling wines, and perhaps some dessert wines or fortified wines.

  2. Price Range: Wine lists typically offer wines at various price points. A rule of thumb being the glass price of your premium wine will often be the same price as an entree

  3. Wine Origin: Pay attention to the origin of the wines on the list. Some regions are known for specific grape varieties or wine styles. Whilst many regions produce Sauvignon blanc - the styles can vary quite considerably - especially when considering cool climate and warm climate (i.e white bordeaux vs N.zealand sauv blanc)

  4. Food Pairing Suggestions: Many wine lists include suggestions for food pairings. If you're dining at a restaurant, consider the menu and choose a wine that will complement your meal. A general rule of thumb is that weight of wine (% alcohol) will go hand in hand with weight of food (light- to heavy sauces)

  5. Vintage: Some wine lists specify the vintage (the year the grapes were harvested) of each wine. Vintage can affect the flavor and quality of the wine, If you re aware of quality vintages all the better - if not, then a safe assumption is that most house wines should be drunk 2-3 years within vintage.

  6. Wine Ratings and Awards: Some wine lists may include ratings or awards that wines have received from wine critics or competitions. These vary considerably in styles/perceptions of critics.

  7. By the Glass Options: If you're not looking to commit to a full bottle, see if the wine list offers wines by the glass. The more wines offered by glass the better your options to match with your courses

  8. Personal Preferences: Ultimately, your own taste preferences should guide your decision. If you have a favorite grape variety, style of wine, or winery, don't hesitate to choose a wine that aligns with your preferences, but alos ask the sommelier to give you some options