How to ask for a recommendation
Have you ever felt like wine descriptions are a foreign language? We can relate and want to help! Originally, we considered compiling a glossary, but quickly realized that smart people at Washington Post, MYSA, and other places have already done this so well. So instead, we’re going for a slightly different angle: how to describe what you like and/or ask for a recommendation. Here are a few things to consider next time you find yourself in a store, overwhelmed by options, and in need of some direction.
- Carbonation: not applicable to all wines, but let’s start here since we’re focused on Pet Nat. Distinct from champagne and other more “typical” sparkling wine, Pet Nat often has a more subtle, less persistent bubble with some options approaching a slightly effervescent still wine. If this is a deal breaker for you, make sure you request or look for an option that is higher carbonation.
- Palata: while some wine descriptions seem like they require a Master Sommelier to interpret, it does help to have some sense of characteristics that you prefer...and those that you’d rather avoid! Examples: I find myself choosing citrus-forward whites with good acidity over highly floral whites and I generally like juicy or tart red fruit (cherry, raspberry, cranberry) in my reds. I generally do not like oak, smokiness and high tannin wines. This can be subjective, dynamic, and context-dependent so keep an open mind!
- Comparables: similar to palate, another strategy is to describe more specific examples of drinks you like and drinks you do not. Examples: I like juicy Zinfandels from California, I like hazy hoppy citrus IPAs, sour beers with berry notes. I generally don’t like smoky whisky or bourbons.
- Mood and activity:it also helps to mention if you’re looking for a wine for a specific occasion. Examples: I’m looking for…. something fun, light, and bubbly to celebrate with friends.... something unique and experimental to gift to an adventurous friend… a full-bodied red to cozy up with a book or movie.
These are some of the dimensions we aim to include in our product descriptions to help you find the right fit and be more confident in your selections. Remember: preferences are ever-changing and there’s merit to being adventurous and experimenting with something new!