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A simple rule of thumb for those on a budget or uncertain about wine selection

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What is the issue?
When cruising and away from trusted sources, in countries where your preferred speciality wines can be difficult to obtain, the selection can be limited or hard to discern due to language differences. This can make it virtually impossible to identify a good wine whilst stocking your vessel.

Why address this?
Yachtsmen typically opt for wine in a carton as the contents can be more easily stored than the equivalent amount of bottles. As often as not these cartons are typically bought in quantity at wholesale prices in discount stores where sampling is unusual. Typically the purchase is performed as part of an overall provisioning run where it is not the focal point of the agenda. These overlapping circumstances often conspire to produce a large quantity of an awful product that has to be endured for a very long time.

How to address this?
When selecting a wine only purchase, as a general rule of thumb, wine that is a minimum 12.5% alcohol or above.

High alcohol content is indicative of the grapes being on the vine long enough to accumulate sufficient sugar to achieve naturally high sugar content and flavour.
Sugar can be added to artificially achieve this but it is not common.

This simple rule-of-thumb is not for wine connoisseurs. However for people who enjoy wine, but have not ventured into the area in depth and are on uncertain ground, or for those on a budget, this is a simple guide and should help to avoid the worst of the wines.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, with thanks to Johnny and Emer, Yacht Pala.

Add your review or comment:

Damian Byrne wrote this review on Mar 16th 2008:
On purchasing wine, your advice is sound, but I am often faced with such a wide choice of excellent local wine and so little time, I have determined to follow the old adage of " ..When in Rome do as the Romans do..". If the shelf is half empty then I will look there first. So far it has proved to be an easy and foolproof method of discovering the best of the local. Salut, Yamad, Slan agus Skol.

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