If you’re anything like me (poor, young, and slightly intimidated by anything with a culture of exclusivity), the grocery store is where you will usually buy your wine. Hey, I agree that it is a nice and safe place to go. Unless it is the Killer Kroger on Ponce De Leon…but, I digress.
At the very least, there is no chance in hell or even purgatory that a zealous wine extremist with over-weaning (and bearing) hubris will lurk in the shadows of aisle six. Trust me, he’s way over on the other side of town in that “just splendid” little wine shop with vintages from the upward $30s. Probably with Robert Parker.
But you, little darling, can hide amongst the aisles of California grapes in peace, perhaps even grab that third bottle of Yellow Tail with no shame. I like going to the grocery store, too. I hear you! However, as I mentioned earlier, it is pretty hard to spread your wings to wine god status with that level (or lack) of guide-less-ness. Yes, I made up that word. Deal with it.
Anyway, in theme with post No. 3, I dove into some high-profile research on wine-scavenging so that we could decode this beast like independent grown ass adults who know what they are doing! Maybe you’ll even start wearing a tie to work after this. Maybe. And we don’t even have to hail from Bletchley Park . Below is a compilation of all the best advice I have gathered:
1. Get your bearings. This is war, people. Take a walk-a-bout of sorts. Figure out where the Chardonnay is and hack that mess out of the way. Wait, hold the phone Winebbler. But, everybody loves Chardonnay! Kids, there is just waaaay too much of that crap on the shelves. If you must, do your research first. In a bind, google it on your phone. In a real bind? Ask someone who may possibly look like they remotely know what they are doing. But, don’t, I repeat do not just pick up any random bottle of Chardonnay by your lone-lonesome. You will pay too much for it. Hello! You are poor, remember??
2. Don’t be a baby bitch, either. Leave your comfort zone. I’m talking to you with that California Merlot in your hand. In case you are blind, this place is infested with California wines. Yeah, sure they rock, but if you want to go with cheap and quality try something a bit crazier. Ahem, Wash State. What. Up.
3. Look at the year. Most grocery stores aren’t going to house a vintage that needs to be kept away. (We’ll talk about this, calm down!) The newer the wine at the grocery store, the better it is going to be. Obviously this isn’t always the case, but in the name of clarity–we’ll keep it black and white for now.
4. Release all college nostalgia. Back then, bigger bottle equaled more drunk. I loved Franzia just as much as the next monogrammed broad. But just put it down, guys. You are not going back there because (sorry to be the bearer of bad news) your ass graduated. Let that piss poor excuse of a beverage stay in your hidden Facebook photo albums only.
5. Finally, if all else fails, some grocery stores have these (cringe) point systems. Maybe they are actually right in some instances. Higher number = Higher rating = Higher likelihood of good wine. I’m dying as I write this (obviously), but hey, even the man gets it sometimes.
Hope this helps! Happy winebbling!