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What makes you say 'yes' to a wine?


Hi all,

Bit of an odd one to try and explain but when unable to first taste a wine before purchasing, what sorts of things will make you consider purchasing a wine?

For me when looking at wines online (no particular order) its:

Tasting note regarding flavour profile
Comment on any differentiation such as old vines or part barrel fermented
Reviews from non experts
Any mention of a food match
Price (in terms of VFM vs other wines also considering)
Overall vintage rating

I guess there is also the matter of how the bottle looks, I know the bottle itself won’t effect the taste but somehow I feel that having a quality bottle enhances the experience of drinking it. So I guess I should include a bottle shot into the mix .


Definitely NOT the bottle, and when I am trying to look through websites, the endless bottle shots are just a waste of space. (And they are a real nuisance when I try to download my wishlist.)
And rarely the reviews from non experts, unless it is someone I know well and whose tastes I know well. I do not follow the Gove theory that experts must be wrong.
Experts who explain their choice and compare it to wines I know are more useful.
Food match: maybe, but this is so subjective, that I would regard this as just a contributor to the flavour profile.
Price, vintage, yes
Previous experience of wines from that producer or that area.
On the other hand, if it is a grape or style I have never tried before, that would certainly be an attraction.
But the main answer is that I try if at all possible to taste first.


The wine being mentioned here in the community seems to be my main criterion at the moment…


Yes, I’m working through 6 that I bought as a direct result of mentions here


What makes me say ‘yes’ to a wine is usually if someone asks if I want any…


I like the intrigue of the new, so if I haven’t tasted the wine on offer, I’d treat it like an invitation for a new adventure. That’s about as adventurous as I get in life, mind you!


As a general rule of thumb:

Who > Where > When


Great question. Actually some of these don’t influence my decision at all. I’m closer to @Herbster:

But mine is closer to:

Where > what [variety] > who > when

In this order. And then I look at price. Then if the price looks good for the four criteria above, I look at my preferred critics to see what they think, and then I buy.

Of course this looks like a lot of work, but actually it can be very quick. The first two assessments happen in my brain (four criteria, followed by price), in maybe 5 seconds, and then the last bit can take as long as a minute depending on what the conditions are (am I in front of a large screen at a desk, am I on the street, in a dark restaurant, in a shop, travelling, phone signal, is the wine rare and can I find what I want in terms of reviews etc. etc.)

My go-to place to get a bunch of reviews is wine-searcher.com Pro version, tasting notes tab. Quick and easy, and you get your Jancis notes for free! Heheheh…


In a French supermarket . . . I look for a medal on the bottle (a real one from some kind of genuine competition, there are a lot of fake self awarded ‘gold tags’) . . . my reasoning is that the wine has passed at least some kind of taste panel. So it should be half decent.

Burgundy with the ‘tastevinage’ label is usually excellent - especially Mercury.

Bordeaux - you get what you pay for up to maybe 30 E - after that it’s not my concern. Vintages DO matter.

In the UK . . . I rely on those better educated in wine than me to make the choice - hence TWS - and if it turns out to be duff (very rare) I can always get my money back - so I never lose out.