How to tell if a wine is good quality? Seven simple steps to guide you to purchasing the best quality wines

How to tell if a wine is good quality? Seven simple steps to guide you to purchasing the best quality wines

As Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Good Wine Is Bottled Poetry”. To ensure you purchase a Shakesperean sonnet as opposed to a bawdy ditty, we have the goods on how to easily spot a wine of quality and it’s not as hard as you think!

One: It’s all in the bottle
Most decent drops have had time and money invested into them, so you can tell straight away from the weight of the bottle if your purchase is going to be worthwhile. A decent weighted bottle with nice deep punt (red wines in particular) sets apart the cheaper ‘Christmas Bauble’ bottle, most likely filled with something less superior.

Two: The Label
Take time to check out the label.  Words like Single Vineyard, Vintage, the region of the wines vineyard, winemaker details and a thoughtful description and history of the wine all play a big part in peace of mind with your purchase.

Three: Alcohol Content
Most reds should be around the 13% alcohol volume content and example of correct winemaking techniques and fruit quality. Anything lower than this is indicative of a poorer quality product.

Four: Sulphites
To craft a decent wine that will last longer than 12 months in the bottle and to be compliant by Australian law, a winemaker must use some sulphite in production. Some use A LOT of sulphites (hello monster hangover). Sulphites however aren’t all bad as they do have their very important place in the winemaking process reducing the risk of bacteria and oxidisation. A small amount is fine and our winemakers at Téssera Wines are exceptionally sparing. Look for minimal sulphites on the label.

Five: Wines with the word Reserve on the label
Reserve wines are of a higher quality than usual, traditionally held by winemakers setting aside their best of a year rather than sell immediately. Our Téssera ‘Foxtrot’ Pinot Noir Reserve is the perfect example of this.

Six: Colour
On pouring, the colour, especially for a red wine such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon should be lusciously deep and almost alive with deep red hues and a freshness of appearance. Poor quality grapes and inferior techniques will present a lighter intensity of colour and duller appearance.

Seven: Smell
I don’t know about you, but I can smell a headache in a glass from a mile off. Cheaper, less quality wines will not have an aroma that links to the varietal you have purchased.  Fortunately, you will have identified the quality wine before you get to the stage of opening up an inferior one!

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