Many people approach wine with hesitation about understanding whether you are drinking a good wine or a “so/so” one. Without a doubt Big Creek Winery believes that you should love the wine you buy so we encourage you to taste our wines before you decide which ones you want to take home. And at Big Creek Winery the tastings are always free.

But sometimes it is helpful to know what makes a “good wine” to help narrow down which ones you may like the best. Here are some ways to approach finding a favorite:

Find a Variety of Wine:

Wines can differ from one region to the next and will taste different based on the type of grapes used or the variety of orchard fruits that form its base.

Taste is a big factor. Do you like sweet wines or dry? And are you searching for a red, white, dessert, port-like robust flavor wine? Taste, especially in red wines, is flavored by Tannins. Tannins come from skins, stalks and pips of grapes. The younger the wine, the more bitter the Tannin taste. Another feature of taste is how long the taste stays on the palate. The goal with good wine is that the taste stays for a longer rather than shorter period of time.

Wines vary by acidity. And there are many types of acids that may be present in wine. Law acidity will result in a “flatter” tasting wine. When acidity is higher, wines will be tart or more sour tasting. When the acidity level is right, the other flavors in the wine will stand out. That means that you will notice fruits or spices. When you taste tangy or refreshing or zingy, you are noticing the acidity.

Alcohol Levels:

Wines have body. Sometimes, it is a light or more delicate body and sometimes the wine tastes heavy. This is a reflection of the alchohol level. Lighter wines will be 7.5 – 10.5% alcohol. Medium body is 10.5 – 12.5%. Full body is 12.5% and over.

Expensive bottles of wine do not translate into a better wine. Buying the wine at the winery takes out retailers and other overhead costs. But the price alone does not necessarily mean that it is a better wine. Rest assured that you won’t have to spend a lot of money to experiment with various wines. And tastings are always Free at Big Creek Winery.

Age or Vintage:

Most wines are meant to be consumed right away. Wines made from orchard fruits are ready to drink when you get it home.

Alcohol Content:

Wines should be balanced with alcohol content. Generally, the alcohol level should not be higher than 12%.

Don’t assume high alcohol wines are better, some wines today contain too much alcohol, which leaves them unbalanced. Try to pick a wine that has an alcohol content no more than 12%.

Location Location Location:

Like with food, it is good to know where exactly the grapes or orchard fruits in your wine come from. There are legendary vineyards that are specifically associated with different wine. For instance, knowing that you wine began in a Napa Vineyard as opposed to somewhere in California tells you about the grapes in the bottle. Big Creek Winery’s vineyards are in the rich soil of Giles County.

Always Ask for Suggestions!

When buying wines, always share your personal likes (or dislikes) about the types of wine you prefer. Wine merchants – and especially the team at Big Creek Winery- are happy to help find the wines that match your personal tastes. Sometimes, you may also be surprised that you discover a “new favorite” that came from talking with the staff about the flavors you like best.