How to Choose a Good Wine

We know just how important choosing the right wine can be so we have teamed up with Greyfriars in bringing you not just a fantastic selection of wine in our brand new farm shop and now a handy guide in choosing the right wine for you.

Wine can seem intimidating to those who are unfamiliar or new to trying a fresh new vino. Some wine experts will claim there are no bad wines but picking the right wine for the right occasion and time really can make all the difference. We have tried to make this as simple as possible with our handy top tips. However, be warned, after reading this you will be sure to pop in and pick up a bottle or two from our fantastic selection.

Tips for Picking a Good Bottle of Wine

As we all know, ‘good wine’ really is subjective, knowing what you are looking for can really help narrow the selection down. This takes into account all aspects such as occasion, labels, price and flavour preferences. We have tried to make it as simple as possible.

  1. Consider the occasion

Now really think why you are purchasing this wine, is it a gift? For yourself or friends? Do you plan to pair with a meal or a night of drinking after some nibbles? It can all depend on the type of wine you are searching for.

If you want to satisfy your friends or family, and pairing with food isn’t your primary objective, consider picking up a bottle of white and a bottle of red. Since wine preferences are so subjective, having one of each will cover plenty of palates. You can never have too many spare.

The general rule of thumb when pairing with a meal is that white wines are for lighter dishes whereas red wines usually suit something such as beef or lamb. We’ve managed to gather some top tips on pairing with a meal a little further on.


  1. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple

If wine is something you are easing yourself into then do not be shy of playing it safe. Sometimes the best things in life are the simple ones. With many wines, it’s not about chopping and changing but learning to enjoy the wide variety on offer. Taste buds change over time so do not be afraid to revisit something you had previously not been keen on.


  1. Read the label

So this might sound like a really simple and obvious point but always read the label. The flashiest, eye-catching designs might be trying to lull you in but might not be what you are looking for. The labels will always give you so much more detail and by reading them you will know exactly what you are drinking. If you know what you are drinking, then it makes it so much quicker to find something in the future you just know you will love.


  1. Do not be fooled by the age of the wine.

No there will be a lot of conflicting articles online as to whether the age of the wine really matters, some will swear by it while others really could not care less. In our opinion, you should lean towards the latter.

Contray to the popular perception most wines are not meant to be aged and should more often be consumed within 5 years. However, if there is a time when you might be more inclined to go with an older wine it’s when selecting your red wines. If you’re looking for how to choose a good red wine and find yourself stuck between two different years of a variety, you may want to opt for the older.

  1. Don’t let price dictate your choice.

Do not be fooled into thinking that the wine on sale is always of lesser quality. If the wine is on sale, it is likely because it is not in season or it has been sitting in the store’s inventory for a while. These reasons do not mean the wine is of lower quality or won’t still taste great if it is a type of wine you enjoy. These discounts can even be a great opportunity to find a good deal on wine. Choosing an expensive wine for its price point may also lead you astray — a more expensive bottle of wine does not always mean it is going to be a better bottle of wine. Remember, be guided by your own tastes and preferences.


Pairing your wine is easier than you think.

You may have noticed but we also sell a huge range of high quality fresh local produce in our Farmshop and from our in-house Butchers, so it would seem a waste not to pair a delicious new wine with something just right from our Farmshop.

Pinot Gris

Light-bodied white wine with mid-level acidity and subtly sweet fruit and floral flavours

Pairs perfectly with fresh salad, lightly poached fish and mild cheeses.

Sauvignon Blanc

Citrus fruit flavoured light to medium-bodied white wine with a high level of acidity

Works well with light meats such as pork, chicken or veal.  Pairs well with food with a kick such as Mexican or Vietnamese too.


Medium to full-bodied white wine with plenty of yellow fruit flavours and mid-level acidity

Pairs well with shrimp, crab, lobster, chicken, pork, mushrooms, cream sauces, soft or nutty cheeses and many French dishes

Pinot Noir

Light-bodied red wine with fewer tannins and higher levels of acidity and red fruit flavours

Pairs well with chicken, pork, veal, duck, cured meats, soft or nutty cheeses, cream sauces and many French and German dishes.


In general Merlot pairs well with chicken and other light meats as well as lightly spiced dark meats. Due to the nature of being a middle of the road red wine it can be paired with other aspects of the meal such as roasted vegetables or tomatoes.


Full-bodied red wine with a moderate level of tannins with higher fruit flavours and acidity

For those who love barbecue then a Syrah matches perfectly, slow cooked spareribs or braised beef are our pick of the bunch. That said a nice Syrah also goes with Sausages, Lamb or Duck.


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