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How to Find Wine Gems (#WineGems)

As a wine consultant, you’re a wine guide for your tasters. They look to you for wine information. They trust you. A great way to build trust with your tasters is to over-deliver.

Of course, your wines will be better than they thought they would. That’s one way to over-deliver. But you can also tell them how they can find good wines without your help. Let them know that you truly care about their whole experience as wine drinkers. Show them that you care about the quality of their wine experience even when you aren’t there.

It’s likely that your tasters buy wine without you now. They pick up bottles at the local grocery store or wine shop. Why not help them make those purchases more worthwhile? You can share these four tips with them to help make their wine search easier and more fulfilling.

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I love that feeling when I open a new bottle -new to me, at least– and discover a wine that I want to buy over and over again. Why do I want to buy them over and over? These are wines where the value/quality equation is through the roof! In other words, they are exceptional wines at an accessible price point. I call these #WineGems. Read on to discover four few ways to find them.

Undertake Light-hearted Research

If you’re a wine explorer, you likely enjoy wine tasting at different wineries. Getting out to visit wineries in the countryside is always relaxing. How do you turn this experience into research? I call this little activity “Wine Telephone.” At the end of your tasting experience, ask the person pouring where you should go next. They will likely have a number of insider suggestions for you. Ask this question at each winery, and you’re almost guaranteed to encounter unique wines.

Once you find a wine you like, you can do a bit of research to find similar wines. You may be familiar with Napa Cabernet. It can get pricey. So, how about a Washington State Cabernet. The Walla Walla Valley in Washington State produces some great Cabernet at great prices. Try a few of those to find ones with similar flavor profiles to those you like in Napa. The idea is to find a wine-growing region with a similar climate and try their wines.

Ask for Suggestions

You probably have a few musical artists that you like. No matter what song they release, you love it. Why not identify a few wine distributors you feel similarly about? Distributors often have a point of view about the wines they sell. They may select a specific region or style of wine to sell. So, you know what you can expect if they are selling it. Find a distributor whose approach to wine aligns with yours. Better yet, find a distributor that always surprises you with wines you never knew you’d like.

You can also chat with someone whose palate is similar to yours. Look here to get an overview of the different wine palate types. If you’re a sweet wine drinker, ask someone whose taste is similar. You just want to know what they are drinking right now. What are they enjoying?

Join a wine club to continue your wine research. Websites like Meetup make it easy to find people with like interests. Search for wine tasting groups in your area. Drinking wine while meeting new people is always fun. It’s always fun to trade opinions on different wines too.

Many wine clubs have themed events. You may not be interested in all of the themes. For example, if you only enjoy full-bodied reds and the tasting club’s theme is clean, crisp whites, you may not be interested. But, expand your horizons a bit. Push around the edges of your preferences. If you only drink full-bodied reds, try going to an event focused on medium-bodied reds. You may just find a new kind of wine to enjoy.

Ask a wine consultant or a wine guide. These folks are educated about wine trends and can point you towards something interesting and new from their lineups. But, don’t forget to ask this: What do you drink at home, say, on an average Wednesday night? This question will open up the world of #EverydayWineGems for you.

Consider #EverydayWineGems

Every wine you drink doesn’t have to be a special occasion wine. Not every day is your anniversary, your birthday, even a holiday. Sometimes, it’s just Tuesday. What do you drink on a Tuesday? Not a special occasion #WineGem. An #EverydayWineGem is in order here. There’s no reason not to enjoy a #WineGem on a Tuesday if you choose.

While having a special occasion, an aged wine might be a good choice. But on Tuesday, a younger and fresher wine could lift your spirits. Winemakers in Montepulciano and Montalcino understand this. They make Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These are your special occasion wines. They represent some of the most robust wines from their respective regions.

On the other hand, on a Tuesday, a Rossi di Montalcino or a Rossi di Montepulciano could be wonderful. These are the younger, fresher wines that are perfect #WineGems for a Tuesday night. And they tend to be less expensive than their big cousins in the area.

The same is true for Valpolicella and Bardolino in northeast Italy. Both offer full-bodied and fresh versions are available depending on your needs.

You can use this same idea with most wines. Try the younger fresher vintage of a wine to find an #EverdayWineGem. If you’ve had a special occasion wine, make a note of it and pick up a few bottles of the younger version to have on hand. Just make sure you have a good place to keep track of these finds, like a wine journal.

Keep a Wine Journal

Have you ever wished you wrote down the name of a fabulous wine you’ve now forgotten the name of? Me too. Fix that problem with a wine journal. You can refer to your journal any time you’re in the mood for a fantastic bottle. And you can be assured that you’ll enjoy it since you took notes on it in the past.

Make sure your wine journal includes the basic facts. It should at least include the vintage, producer, varietal, and the flavors you experienced. It’s even better if you have indicators for color and aroma as well.

Both print versions and online wine journals are available. Or, you can also use our wine tasting comparison sheet. You can enter the information as a fillable PDF and save them in the cloud. Or, you can print them out and save them in your paper files.

These four tips will help you fill your cupboards with more #WineGems. And hopefully, you’ll have some fun along the way. It’s great to have a stock of solid wines around to access whenever you want.

But in my opinion, the process of developing that stock is fun too if you take advantage of these tips. You will meet other enthusiastic wine lovers and intriguing winemakers. You’ll also learn more about yourself as a wine explorer, which is perhaps the most exciting prospect. 

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Wine consultants, there you have it. These four tips will help your tasters get more fulfillment from their wine buying dollars.

Register at VineTutotr to get this concise printable with your wine tasters. By presenting this document to your tasters, they can be assured that you are concerned about their entire wine-drinking life, not just the piece they spend with you. There is no better way to build trust than to show that your relationship with them goes beyond your transaction. Information like this will really help to build loyalty among your tasters.

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