Buying and drinking wine is a deeply personal pursuit. There is nothing better than the ongoing process of discovering the world of wine, learning our likes and dislikes and unearthing those special things that make the palate sing. But all too often we can fall into the trap of buying something less than satisfying … purely because it’s reputed to be good, because a merchant has sent out a glossy offer email, or a friend has sung its praises.
“If a client says to us that they love wines from Chambertin in Burgundy, we wouldn’t just package up a case at random and send it on,” says Managing Director Chris Wood. “We’d ask them which producer they love the best, and why. We’d ask them if they prefer the bigger, brasher styles from Chambertin, or the more nuanced, delicate ones. Then we’d suggest they try wines from other regions that might suit their tastes differently, but just as well.”
The Best Way to Buy
Our advice? Never just pick up a of case of Bordeaux or a bottle of Burgundy because the name is familiar, you’ve heard it’s good or it happens to be on offer. You will either end up with a wine collection that’s heavily weighted towards a single region (when in reality you only drink wines from that region a small percentage of the time) or a cellar full of wines that you’ve found you don’t particularly enjoy.
Instead, ask yourself the right questions. What wines engage and excite my own taste buds? What flavour profiles do I enjoy in a meal – sweet, salty, spicy, umami? How sensitive am I to tannins? On what kind of occasion do I most enjoy wine? Am I looking for everyday drinking wines or special collector’s items?
“Wine is a personal journey, and a true reflection of its collector,” says Chris. “Don’t just settle for a general idea of what you think you might like. We’ll help you dig deeper than that.”
Embark on a journey through the sublime world of fine wine with the Chelsea Vintners team. Explore our favourite stories, discover our dream wines and gather inspiration for your own collection.