What Do You Look For When Choosing A Bottle Of Wine?

We've all been there: looking at a menu, or browsing the aisles at liquor store thinking what the actual heck am I supposed to look for when choosing a bottle of wine? What's more terrifying is when the store assistant, waiter or (eek!) restaurant sommelier asks you what you're looking for in a bottle of wine. Well, we did some research (and a lot of drinking) here at Trueself and turns out retailers are preying on the not-so wine savvy, capitalizing on the way most of us pick our vino - store recommendations and store placement of the wines with the highest margins. Great, you're probably thinking, I'm being scammed and all I want is a good bottle of wine at a decent price. At least that's what we were thinking.

Then we heard about Tasting Room, a really cool wine club that's completely changed how we choose (and drink, duh) wine. To get started, Tasting Room sends you mini bottles of wine to taste and rate. From there, they generate your unique Wine Profile. Your profile is like your own personal concierge service that tells you which wines you should try based on what you gravitate towards. It even tells you the regions that your selected wines came from and the foods to pair them with. From there, Tasting Room sends you wine tailored to your preferences, along with recommendations for new wines they think you'll love.

We've compiled a little list of reasons explaining why people pick what they do and why you should be paying less for good wine.


When buying a bottle of wine, the first thing most people said was they wanted to feel cultured. If they were choosing wine at a restaurant or to bring to a dinner, they'll often choose something from an impressively exotic part of the world. Think Barossa Valley Shiraz, Italian Soave or a Gruner Veltliner (sorry, a what?) We can all agree that the tougher it is to pronounce, the more worldly we feel. Sadly, a lot of marketers in the wine industry know this meaning wines from smaller vineyards in obscure locations are often marked up by as much as 80%, placing these far-away beauties way out of many people's budgets. With Tasting Room, you're just paying for the stuff that matters: really good wine sent to you directly from vineyards all around the world (and boy are they exotic)!


This one is obvious. Let's be real, it's 8pm on a Wednesday and you're watching The Walking Dead. You don't want to blow $20 on a bottle you'll be drinking on the couch in front of Netflix to congratulate yourself on making it this far in the week. You just want something affordable, but not so affordable you're reminded of wine out of a mug in your college dorm. Well, liquor stores will take a $6 wine, mark it up to a $12 wine and stick it between another $6 wine and a $20 wine. They know you won't pay for the most expensive of the three, but that you also want to be a little classier than the cheapest option in front of you.

Yep that's right, you've been paying double for some mug-worthy wine. With retailers adding steep markups and many wine clubs bring prohibitively expensive, neither option gives you the quality you should be getting for the price you're paying. Tasting Room, however, makes wine buying affordable and accessible. How? Tasting Room cuts out the middleman by working directly with wineries, so they can pass along the savings to you. Sometimes as much as 60%!


We're all suckers for this. At Trueself we always buy wine with a pretty label; add a prettier bottle and we're probably passing the equivalent of a month's rent. Why do you think Rosé is placed in a pretty, clear bottle? Because it's beautiful AF and women LOVE it. Unfortunately, packaging and designs cost money, and for companies to make that back they need you to pay more. The reality is a good wine should sell itself and we shouldn't have to pay extra money for something that will ultimately end up in the trash once the wine is gone. Tasting Room charges you for the actual wine without absurd markups for all the bells and whistles (and they have pretty labels and bottles too)!


I generally always order a Pinot Noir when I want a red because it's the first red wine I started drinking and I know I'll like it. If I want a white wine, I drink Pinot Gris because while I don't know how this is different from a Pinot Grigio, I know that my Mom has always preferred drinking the gris over the grigio. People often go with a wine they've tried once and enjoyed, and are hesitant to branch out. This is where Tasting Room works its magic. By getting to know your palate and wine preferences over time, Tasting Room can select wine for you that they know you'll love. I was sent a Malbec and a lighter bodied Zinfandel, and I was surprised that I actually liked them both.

The general characteristics of a variety of wine are the same, however, can vary widely depending on things like soil richness and conditions when picked. For example, plump berries from a high rain climate or small ones from a dry growing season. That means, if you liked that specific Cabernet that one time, you're not guaranteed to like the next Cabernet that hits your lips. Now, I never have to worry about finding a wine I'll like, because with Tasting Room, I know I'm getting wine I'll love at the best price.

The folks at Tasting Room have created this fun quiz to get you started. Click the pretty button (it lights up!) below to get started!

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