Fri 13 Mar 2015

Stand and Deliver? ‘Sitting-Down’ and ‘Standing-Up’ Wines


A number of factors can affect the perceived taste of a wine, price being one, even mood, and when advising Society members I try to ascertain as many of these parameters (with the exception of mood!) when I am seeking out a suitable wine.

Standing-up winesMany moons ago I was introduced to the concept of ‘standing-up’ or ‘sitting-down’ wines, and I endeavour to incorporate this into any advice given.

Questioning one’s drinking position may seem a tad intrusive, but it is not to be taken literally!

For me, ‘standing-up’ wines relate to those easily accessible bottles, possibly not too complex but fruit driven and able to deliver immediate gratification. ‘Sitting-down’ wines I see as having a little more complexity, perhaps classified as fine wines but those that promote palate-pondering and are there to partner a particular meal.

While I believe that nearly every meal can be enhanced by the addition of wine sometimes a glass is used as a pre-dinner drink or just something to unwind with. At drinks parties or receptions, wine performs much the same task; these easy drinkers can be seen as standing-up wines.

Sitting-down winesOther, possibly more formal times when wine becomes part of the meal, it enriches the dining experience and I find a little more thought is required when choosing these sitting-down wines.

Deciding what constitutes a sitting down or standing up wine, for me, has no geographical or grape-related boundaries but I do feel some areas lend themselves more to sitting down – Alsace or Bordeaux; and Chile offers a number of excellent standing-up options. There will always be times when only a glass of £6 merlot will be better received than a £20 claret – and vice versa.

There is no right and wrong. The beauty is locating a particular wine for a particular occasion.

Sitting or standing, wine’s enjoyment never diminishes.

Conrad Braganza
The Cellar Showroom

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. John McLusky says:

    Conrad, I enjoyed reading this and agree with your conclusions. However, when it comes to tasting/buying wines standing is mandatory. Some producers try to have one seated and proceed to offer a dissertation on each sample. NEVER buy from that source and never return! Now, where’s the Champagne, I’m standing up?

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