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How to Select the Perfect Bottle of Wine

Michael Klauber fields questions about this important quest regularly. As a veteran wine judge and international wine merchant for 40 years, the local restaurateur shares secrets to select a special bottle for any occasion.

Presented by Michaels On East December 5, 2018

As we approach the holiday season, Michael Klauber, Philip Mancini and the entire team at Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar are preparing for the busiest yet. There’s a reason why the Sarasota community turns to the Michael’s team to deliver fabulous parties during the holidays and throughout the year. You can rest assured your function will be flawless and fun, with cuisine and wine, beer and cocktails which are second to none.

Whether you are coordinating your own affair or ordering client and hostess gifts, we know selecting the perfect wine is one detail you want to make sure you get right. Michael Klauber is here to help.

Michael has shared a few tips to keep in mind the next time you set out to buy wine: 

1. Ask your retailer to help you create a selection of new wines that you have not tried. Once you discover a few you like, it’s easier to build a “tree” of similar wines, and you’ll be on your way!

2. Take notes along the way when you taste a new wine. Write down what you like, what it tastes like (to you!), and what the wines remind you of— whether that's berries and roses or oak and leather. Your preferences will soon shine through.

3. Start at your local wine shop. Unlike supermarkets or mass retailers that carry wine — plus everything else— true wine merchants put their focus on one thing and pay close attention to their offerings. The best shops curate a selection of wines they're passionate about.

4. Experiment with different grapes and regions. Focus on regions rather than countries – grape growing regions are all very different and have their own special characteristics.

5. Don’t dismiss wines because they have a screw top, they can be just as great as those with corks.

6. Don’t fall for a marketing spiel. Wine marketers use many different terms in an attempt to drum up intrigue from consumers. Stickers and labels that read “Gold Medal,” “Winemaker’s Selection,” and “Reserve” have no official meaning. Beware of “Manager’s Pick or Favorite,” too. It usually means the store is going to make the biggest profit on that wine!

7. Look for wines in the $15 to $25 price range that come from winemakers who also make expensive wine. Most will also make great affordable wines to introduce people to their property. And no, the more expensive bottle isn't always better. A $100 bottle of wine doesn't usually taste five times better than a $20 bottle of wine!

Anytime you plan to entertain and make wine selections for gifts, we hope you’ll keep Michael’s suggestions in mind. These are intended to be helpful tips regardless of your budget or reason to purchase a new bottle.

Shop online at www.michaelswinecellar.com or stop into Michael’s Wine Cellar, Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. to explore the world of wine. Sarasota's favorite wine shop offers more than 1,000 international wines, including 250 under $20 a bottle.

The knowledgeable team at Michael’s Wine Cellar – and often Michael himself – are ready to assist with all your questions as they help you explore new wines, discover what you like and learn your personal palate so they can expertly guide you to your next fabulous wine purchase.