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The "secret codes" for buying better wine


Good point …

Not tried this, but I would be concerned that ‘opulent’ +‘round’, ‘plum’, ‘fig’ and 15% alcohol would be rather OTT for my palate


In that scenario, you’ve got all my warning signs: limited choice + limited info (no vintages is a tell) + unlikely environment (nondiscript pizza in the provinces). Most of the time when in a similar situation I order the Peroni.


On the other hand, my signs of a good list are when it’s around a page, the order is deliberate and not on price, and the descriptions are in plain English. A great example of what I’m talking about is here:

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a fancy place with giant glasses, crisp white linen and a leather bound Bible of 60+ pages of wine, but that appeals to my love of lists and using my knowledge to find something appropriate for the food, budget, occasion and company. It’s more like an achievement and I’m doing the work.

But when you see a list like the above example, you can see the list has been chosen with care and assembled in a way that helps novices enjoy their dining experience.


Love the look of this menu, should try the restaurant…


“Goes well with fish, salads and white meat dishes”


Good call - nice list (I think this was put together and written by Matt Walls - I do like his style)

It includes “taut, mineral” as well as “dried herbs” in there too - so ticking my boxes above too :slight_smile:


Looks near Menier Chocolate theatre? Useful location.


“Redolent of…” I think. Maybe it’s an Americanism such as “I met with…”.


“Carafe” - especially in a rustic place anywhere in Italy or France or Spain - usually slips down a treat with the local produce - must be terroir…


This sounds dangerously close to Laithwaites descriptors …:rofl:


I can’t be certain of the vintage, but I’ve had this wine a few times and always enjoyed it. It’s not light though. Needs air and food for sure.


If you like the look of the menu, do go. The area is full of chains so nice to support an independent local place doing something with care.


Cru Beaujolais. Goes with lots of stuff and rarely poor if it makes a list.


“Moreish”, if indeed a word, usually works for me. For example just how I’d describe this elixir that has somehow survived in the “cellar” for three years. Well it was first day back at work after 11 days out of the office

Sublime and delicious also apply both to that wine and in general.


That wine is fabulous, especially after a few years, I love the tree-sap flavours it develops.


That Marsanne is a minor miracle. It just goes on getting better, and it’s no slouch from the word go either.

According to Tahbilk’s website, the most recent vintage of it that is now mature is 2003. More recent ones are deemed to be still maturing. I bought a case of the 2006 and the bottles are certainly better each time I open a new one.


I am also a fan, I have the 2015 laying down.


Here’s a Moreish wine:

I’ll get me coat…



Agreed a great wine :wink:


I do get wound up with lack of detail on a wine list. A local restaurant sells “Chateauneuf du Pape” at about £90 with no further details. Of course you could ask to see the bottle but if they’re asking that much then they could at least go to the effort of listing the producer. Somehow doubt it’s a Beaucastel, Rayas or Vieux Telegraphe!

I generally avoid anything described as “easy drinking” in most restaurants as it can often just be a bit dull