Advice: How to spot a poor quality wine?


Dear Beerhaze,

Wine drives me crazy… A $40 bottle of wine often tastes worse than a $15 bottle of wine! You go out of your way to cook a romantic meal only to discover that your chosen wine is barely drinkable!

How to spot a poor quality wine?

Dear Burning Pinto,

Flavour is personal… It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the price of the wine. As with anything else, supply and demand, as well as manufacturing and marketing costs factor in on the price of a wine.

In addition, snobbery and brands hugely affect the price of a bottle of wine.

As for tips and tricks on how to spot a poor quality wine:

  1. There’s cork in the wine even though the bottle is a screw-top.
  2. It doesn’t stain the carpet when spilled; instead, it dissolves it and the parquet floor underneath.
  3. There’s no mention of a “Chateau” anywhere on the label. It only says, “Joe’s” — scribbled with a ballpoint pen.
  4. Dinner guest have on more than one occasion spontaneously combusted, or complained of excessive nosebleeds.
  5. The wine only comes in 5-gallon World War II era gasoline cans.
  6. It’s very cheap. Even at your local 7-Eleven, it’s often given away as a free gift when you buy some mystery cold cuts or a shampoo illegally imported from China.
  7. There’s a bouquet… but it’s not anything like lavender, black current or elderberries. Your neighbours across the street describe the smell as a mix of paint thinner and burnt popcorn with a hint of old dishrag.
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