Random Tasting But Purposeful Purchases A lot of the wine that we drink is random. A friend fills our glass at a dinner party. A server suggests a wine with or without our input. A label jumps out at us on a shelf. We have a smart phone application that suggests a purchase. Or we follow scores. Even when we know we love Chianti or Central Coast Pinot Noir or even the wines of a particular producer, if not exactly random, the act of buying in the absence of tasting is a leap of faith. The wines that we can actually taste first present the best opportunity for future enjoyment, but often we don’t take advantage of the introduction.

Let’s say that we’re sitting in a restaurant with a friend, and the server brings us the glass of wine that we’ve ordered more or less whimsically. It turns out to be terrific, so much so that it derails the conversation that had engaged us. What now? The answer is two-pronged and, of course, involves the internet. But the equally important prong is that we buy a case or more even if we’re not in the habit of spending a couple of hundred dollars all at once on wine, or whatever a case might cost. If we think that buying a case replaces 12 different bottles that we might buy on various occasions without tasting and with various degrees of satisfaction after we pop the cork, purchasing multiple bottles that we already know we love becomes eminently sensible.

Locating the wine will be an easy task if it was made in Californian. You Google the winery name, send an email, and order a case. If the laws in your state make that choice difficult or impossible, you can ask the winery where to buy the wine locally. Since you discovered the wine on your home turf, you know that the winery distributes there.

But if you are an equal opportunity wine drinker and appreciate world wines, the back label becomes essential reading material if you want more of the wine. The front label can be extremely puzzling. In a foreign language, the name of the winery, the name of the wine, the region where the wine is produced, what grape varieties might be in the bottle are often impossible to understand. And in terms of finding the right wine merchant, all of that verbiage is irrelevant.

Behold! The back label has one line of information in English that is crucial and easily found. The law requires that the name of the importer be written there. You can Google that company, and although the importer won’t be able to ship to you, the business will be happy to tell you where you can find the wine in your state. At that point, you can show up at the wine shop or ask it to ship to you if its location is too remote to be convenient.

I would be remiss if not stupid, to ignore the tasting opportunities that Celebrations Wine Club offers. You do not directly taste the wines before they arrive on your porch, but you’ve requested that I do that for you. Those wines that you especially prefer you can order at lower prices than you’ll ever find at the winey or in shops. Simple. But generally, taking the time to inquire about the name of a wine that came your way and that you particularly enjoyed, making the effort to reach out to the purveyor, and then buying multiple bottles is the most targeted and rewarding wine purchase that you can make. Enjoy!