How to Buy Wine

Today, I thought it would be fun to discuss wine. In my new sports romance, Ice Gladiators, there are several scenes where the characters partake in having a glass of wine. And I must admit, I had a few glasses myself with my critique partners over the course of writing the story. Now, I’m no wine connoisseur. For one thing, wine goes straight to my head, and after a few sips, I’m done—which is strange since I do not have this same issue with cocktails, beer, or short. So, go figure. Therefore, I tend to shy away from wines. However, when it is my turn to bring a bottle to our critique meetings, I often (okay, always) show up with a bottle of Little Black Dress (LBD) in hand. (And no, this post is not sponsored in any way.) Usually, I show up with Diva Red but sometimes, I have the Merlot. (However, I’m really wanting to try their Rosé, which is neither here nor there and has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Back to the topic.) Diva Red is a great little go-to wine for this type of occasion. And it’s also a nice wine for me to celebrate Ice Gladiators release.

As I was sitting (yes, with a glass of wine on the desk) and considering what I wanted to write for today’s post, I was inspired by LBD packaging. The label has changed from when I purchased my first bottle. I don’t know which, the old or the new, I would say has a more “high-end” look about it. The wine itself is not very expensive, but I do enjoy the taste. (And again, I’m off-topic.) However, I do not think LBD is a wine most of my characters in Ice Gladiators would drink. Taz is more of a beer type of guy and wouldn’t care what was in his wine glass; although, he does have a very sophisticated taste palate. Liam, on the other hand, would be meticulous in his selection. He’d go for a Bordeaux or a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. (Talk about a writer getting into the heads of his/her characters.) In any case, I began thinking about the selection of wines and how I had to learn about buying wines, especially since my critique group told (no, demanded) me to surprise them at our next gathering. And this is what has led me today’s post on how to buy a whine. The following are some purchasing tips I was taught many years ago but that I still use today.

DISCLAIMER: Before I begin, I would like to disclaim that this post does not solicit or encourage underage. Please drink responsibly, and know your limits. If a person suspects that he/she has a substance abuse problem, please seek professional help. This post also is not sponsored in any way by any brands named. There are not affiliate codes attached, and I make no money or obtain any sort of financial gain or gifts from the mentioned brands.

  1. Shop for wine in a place that sells quality or specializes in wines. Grocery stores may not have the best tasting even if it is at a similar price point of wines sold at a winery or liquor store. This does not mean that a tasty or quality wine cannot be purchased from a grocery store. However, in a wine store, there will be a larger selection. Now, not every city may have a vineyard, but usually, there is a locale that specializes in selling wine or a really knowledgeable liquor store. If not, there are online wine clubs.
  2. Speaking of online wine clubs, they are an excellent way to learn what one likes. The Tasting Room sends a sample of six mini bottles of wine and creates a personalized wine profile for subscribers. Later, once it is determined what the subscribers like, full-sized bottles can be ordered. If interested, visit them at
  3. Do not be afraid or too embarrassed to ask others for help. Most sale clerks in liquor stores, wine shops, and restaurants that sell wine, know about the product and can make suggestions. Plus, they enjoy sharing what they know and taking about wines in general. They are an easy and excellent resource.
  4. Learn the wine language. This will help to communicate with clerks or wine experts.
    1. Weight/Body – this is the viscosity or thickness of a wine.
      1. Heavy-bodied: wine that is thick
      2. Light-bodied: wine that is thin
    2. Taste:
      1. Fruity,
      2. savory,
      3. bright/crisp,
      4. buttery/creamy,
      5. sweet/dry (NOTE: “Dry” has two meaning when it comes to wines)
        1. Dry can mean unsweet in taste
        2. Dry can leave a drying feel in the mouth
      6. Read wine reviews. There are many online sites that provide both expert and customer reviews about wines that may be helpful to shoppers.
      7. Keep in mind the occasion for which you are purchasing the wine. The type of wine purchased as a gift for an anniversary dinner for a boss may be different than one purchased for a casual evening being spent with friends at a backyard cookout. Some wines pair better with some foods than other wines.
      8. Keep a list of wines that you have tried and liked. This can be used as a reference in purchasing wines in the future. When creating this list, be sure to list the region (if known) of where similar wines are made. The types of grapes and the pH of the soil (in addition to how it is processed) affects how wines taste. Thus, the grapes and soil may be indicative of a specific region. This may mean a consumer may prefer the taste of wine from one region above another. Along with this, if you come across a wine that you enjoy, take a photo of the bottle/label to remember when shopping later.
      9. Speaking of lists, when going to purchase wine, take your list of favorites with you. If the store does not have a particular wine you want, showing the list to a clerk will give him/her a good idea of what the shopper likes and wants.
      10. Just as one should not judge a book by its cover, one should not judge a wine by its label. A fancy label is not indicative of quality wine. A wine with a less fancy or simple label may be of high quality. Some startup wineries may be investing all of their money in products and have a small budget for packaging. Therefore, they may have a great product but not so stellar labels. But ask yourself. Which would you prefer? An astonishing label with a not so tasty wine, or a fabulous wine with a dud of a label. Of course, if the wine is being given as a gift, the appearance of the label plays a more important factor in those instances.
      11. Do not assume one must spend a lot of money or make the piggy bank squeal to obtain a quality wine. Many affordable wines (especially French, Italian, and Spanish brands) are very tasty. Along a similar line, it is helpful/useful to have a budget of the amount one wants to spend prior to going to wine shopping. Do not be discouraged from or ashamed for selecting a less expensive wine.
      12. Take advantage of wine tasting if they are available. That allows one to experience a variety of wines and determine likes and dislikes. Some wine tasting events are free, while others have an admission fee. The admission fees vary according to event/host.

Those are the tips I have to share. I hope you have found this useful or enlightening. Now, it’s my turn to ask what you think. Are you a wine drinker? What are some of your wine buying tips? What is your favorite wine? Have you ever attended any wine tasting events? If yes, where and what was your experience. Besides wine, what is your favorite spirit? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below. Also, if you would like to have me write more posts like these, let me know that as well.


Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey romance series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit


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