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    All About Vino Del Vida

    “Wine of life!” — That’s our motto around here. Wine is life. There’s nothing quite like a glass of crisp pinot gris on a warm summer day or relaxing with a merlot around a fire. Wine is a gift from the gods that keeps on giving and we’re here to enjoy every last drop. Don’t you agree?

    Our Mission at Vino Del Vida

    To help you discover, enjoy, and savor every beautiful bottle of wine, no matter the region or variety, at every price point.

    Our Purpose

    We aim to make wine buying easy for everyone. Anyone can enjoy a beautiful bottle of vino, no matter your preference, budget, or location. You don’t have to travel to Spain, Italy or France to uncork greatness anytime, anywhere.

    Why Vino Del Vida?

    Unlike other wine sites, we don’t have any affiliation with any brand or company, which means we can choose the wines we personally like best to recommend. That means you can trust our opinions to be unbiased giving you real information based on real experiences.

    Our writers are just like you. They have their own preferences and they love wine, but they don’t know everything. We match our writers with the types of wine they love and have experience with so that you get an honest look into the world of all things vino.

    We not only review specific wine varieties very thoroughly, but we also compare these types of wine with each other so that you can make better decisions based on what you already know you like. You can come to our pages to find out everything you’d ever want to know about the history of your favorite wine, where it came from, and fun facts you never knew.

    How This Works

    Here at Vino Del Vida, we only hire true wine experts. Our team of experts goes through an extremely thorough process to treat every wine we test out carefully. We bring our expertise to make other wine recommendations to help you have a complete wine experience!

    We look through all of the newest releases and fan favorites to try for ourselves. We try every wine ourselves and record our experience to share with you. As always, if you have any questions, we make sure to answer all of your questions as they pop up.

    Our Values

    Authenticity

    Real wine drinkers bringing you real wine reviews and selections. Our contributors are serious wine lovers and have field tested their selections (tough job, right?).

    Accessibility

    You don’t need to become a professional sommelier to buy an amazing bottle. We will always give you a selection that you can find and purchase in your budget too.

    Passion

    We are passionate about wine and bring that joy to every word we write.

    Some Tips on How to Choose a Perfect Bottle of Vino

    When you’re at a restaurant and you’re looking for the perfect bottle of wine to pair with your food, your bartender, waiter, or other qualified staff can help you with that decision. However, when you’re shopping on your own, it can be a bit trickier.

    If you know a lot about wine, maybe you won’t have a problem, but for those of us who don’t know everything, it takes a bit of research and planning. Not to mention, labels can be confusing and hard to read, so you don’t always know what you’re looking at.

    The good news is that there are some simple ways to evaluate a bottle of wine and figure out what you like and what you don’t before you open the bottle. Everyone defines good wine differently, but wines are evaluated based on several factors including:

    Sweetness

    Sweet, semi-sweet, and dry are all terms used to describe the sweetness of a wine. Dry wines are not sweet at all.

    Acidity

    Sweet, semi-sweet, and dry are all terms used to describe the sweetness of a wine. Dry wines are not sweet at all.

    Tannins

    All grapes have tannins in their skin, but the amount of natural tannins vary. Some winemaking processes add tannins during aging. Tannins can dry out your mouth, but the term dry characterizes the sweetness of the wine, not the amount of tannins. Tannins will give a wine a bitter finish.

    Body

    Wines are light-bodied, full-bodied, or something in between. This refers to how it feels in your mouth. Red wines are typically fuller than white wines, but there are exceptions. Grapes from warm regions will make fuller wines than grapes from cool regions.

    Alcohol

    All wine has some amount of alcohol. Higher alcohol content warms your mouth and throat more. Most wine hovers around 12% alcohol by volume, but they can be as little as 5.5% or as much as 20%.

    If you’re new to wine…

    If you’re not a wine drinker, you may not even know where to start, but understanding these characteristics is crucial to trying some new things and figuring out what you like. Here are some more tips for picking the right bottle of wine:

    1. If you’re new, start with white or rose. Just like a baby would start out with natural foods that are bland and have no additives, you should start your wine journey at the beginning, with less assertive qualities. You could develop an early distaste for bitter or dry wines if you dive right in instead of starting out slow. If you don’t like sweet things, try a light-bodied, dry white or rose.
    2. Think about other flavors you like. Your favorite foods will help you decide what kinds of wines you’ll like. If you like candy and ice cream, you’ll likely enjoy a sweet wine. If you like the bitterness of coffee, you’ll prefer an acidic wine.
    3. Why are you buying a bottle of wine? Is for you to enjoy or are you going to share it with others? Are you planning a meal to go with it or using it while cooking? Wines serve plenty of purposes, and these purposes will influence how you buy a bottle.
      • If you want something that’s sure to please everyone, grab a bottle of both white and red so they have options or choose wines that are more evenly balanced between sweetness, body, and acidity.
      • If you’re pairing this wine with your meal, find one that complements your recipe. White wines go with lighter dishes like chicken and red wines go with heavier dishes like beef.
      • If you’re going to be mixing your wine with a cocktail or using it in a recipe with food, the flavors aren’t as important as if you’re going to be drinking it alone. Get a cheaper bottle so you don’t waste your good wine on flavors that won’t be as noticeable afterward.
    4. Read the label and know what you’re reading. You may find pretty pictures and attractive fonts enticing, but that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy what’s inside. If you know what to look for, reading it can be pretty easy.
      • As a general rule, if the label has a lot of information on it, the better the wine will be as far as quality. That doesn’t mean it has the flavor you like, though.
      • Refer to the back for the definitions of acidity, tannins, sweetness, body, and alcohol.
      • Look for descriptors like notes or aromas that sound familiar and you know you like. For instance, apple, citrus, or chocolate.
      • The information may be standard, but the location of the information on the label isn’t always. Look around to find what you need and if you can’t find any information at all, move on.
    5. Second-label wines can be a fantastic and affordable alternative. Many wineries are selective about which grapes they include in their wines. These are first label wines made from only the best grapes. They’re expensive and limited. If you don’t have the money or are just beginning your journey, you’ll find that second label wines are seemingly identical on an inexperienced tongue. They come from the same vineyard and may have only missed the first label by a small and insignificant (to you) mark. Plus, they cost a fraction of the first run.
    6. Don’t stress about age. Not your age. The age of the wine. Older wine isn’t always better. In fact, some wines don’t age well at all, and that’s why you’ll find a newer vintage on the shelf. It’s not always the best indicator. In general, red wines age more gracefully and it could be more significant in those cases, but whites don’t need to age for as long.
    7. Ignore the price. If you can’t afford the wine, don’t buy it. Plenty of great wines have lower price tags. For instance, wine on sale has simply been sitting on the shelf for too long or it’s not in season. Determining which bottle of wine to buy based on price could lead to some great purchases, but it could also lead to poor quality. All we’re saying is, don’t use price alone to choose.
    8. Screw caps aren’t bad. Your bottle doesn’t have to be corked to be good. A screw cap likely indicates a wine that needs to be opened and consumed within the year. They’re great for picnics, the pool, or backyard grilling sessions because you don’t need a bottle opener.

    Keep track of all the wines you try so you know what you like and what you don’t. Your selection process will refine itself over time and you’ll get better at predicting whether you’ll like what’s in the bottle or not based on these factors.

    Our Core Values

    • Patience
    • Honesty
    • Success
    • Balance
    • Creativity

    Our Panel Of Wine Experts

    Amy Dunn – Wine Palate Coach

    After graduating from the University of Bath, England, having read International Management and Spanish, Amy made the move to London where she spent a few years stint working for various well-regarded wine establishments; on trade, off-trade, and market research, and where she undertook the holy-grail of exams the WSET qualifications. Her favorite grape is pinot noir for its sassiness and her favorite wine region to date is Lebanon for its history, authenticity, and potential. Find her on Facebook

    Damian Pinon – Wine Businessman

    Damian is a true wine connoisseur who was born and raised in Mendoza. He has traveled around almost all Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay learning about the wine culture of the country from direct and personal contact with winery owners.

    At present, he is involved in two personal projects: starting a wine club in the United States with unique Uruguayan and Argentinian wines only made for the local market, and starting his own vineyard for making high-quality wine in his new home, Uruguay, in order to get a first-hand experience of the wine-making process and gain in-depth knowledge of the wine production to share with his/her customers.

    Our Contributors

    Erin Jamieson – Self-Proclaimed Oenophile

    Erin Jamieson brings the latest information to you on wine flavors and types so you can enjoy your next glass to the fullest. In the past, she covered wine selections for weddings and engagement parties. She also previously worked with a private chef company to suggest the perfect wine pairings and believes there is a flavor for every occasion.

    Why am I giving advice on Vino Del Vida?

    I’ve always been fascinated by the wine industry, and that passion only grew from my studies of French culture. A lot of my passion also comes from working in the food industry and spending time with my uncle, who’s always trying a new variety. I am advising because, for me, wine is more than just the flavor. Wine is a way to connect with others and with other cultures.

    Where was the first wine you ever tried?

    I tried a glass of Barefoot Cellars Chardonnay. While I prefer red wine and wines from around the world, it was a pleasant introduction.

    What’s your all-time favorite bottle of wine?

    I suspect I have yet to taste my favorite bottle of wine. However, I have a strong appreciation for French red wines from Jean Foillard.

    What wine have you always wanted to try?

    I’ve always wanted to try Italian Malbec from the Gaja winery.

    What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone getting ready to buy their first bottle of wine?

    Sometimes it takes a while to discover what type of wine you like. It’s helpful to take a flavor quiz. That said, be open to trying a few types of wine. You might be surprised if you take a risk.

    Kathryn Loveless – Connoisseur of Wine

    Kathryn Loveless fell in love with wine after her first sip. She loves the entire experience that comes with wine. Her brain always feels stimulated because of the difference sights, tastes, smells, and smoothness that comes from different wines. Now, she’s dedicating herself to helping other people have the same experiences!

    Why am I giving advice on Vino Del Vida?

    There are so many different reasons why I love wine. And while it may be selfish, I want other people to live wine for the same reasons I do too! So, I want to help other people learn how to fall in love with wine.

    Where was the first wine you ever tried?

    I tried a glass of Zinfandel at my parent’s wedding anniversary!

    What’s your all-time favorite bottle of wine?

    I fell in love with 1962 Penfolds Bin 60A! It’s fine Australian wine.

    What wine have you always wanted to try?

    I really want to try a 1978 Montrachet Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.

    What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone getting ready to buy their first bottle of wine?

    Pair your meal with your first glass of wine. I always love recommending Zinfandels to anyone who hasn’t tried wine before. Grill up something yummy on the grill, pour yourself a glass, and you’ll be amazed!
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    Lauren Staehle – Traveling Wine Enthusiast

    Lauren loves to travel and she loves wine. What better thing could she do with her life than to combine her two passions? So far, her favorite destinations have been Ios, Greece, and Paris, France where she enjoyed some of the best bottles of vino around and she looks forward to traversing more of the globe with friends and family. She loves that she can always crack up a bottle of wine that she picked up from a country she just traveled to. It’s like she’s able to travel back to the place she just visited, all with a small sip of wine!

    Why am I giving advice on Vino Del Vida?

    Wine tastes good with so many different foods and is even beneficial to your health. A lot of people think they don’t like wine, but I think everyone is capable of liking wine. I think that people who do think they don’t like wine haven’t had a good glass. And that’s what I want to help people find, their favorite glass of wine!

    Where was the first wine you ever tried?

    I don’t remember, it was a red wine at a family dinner. My mom let me have a little taste!

    What’s your all-time favorite bottle of wine?

    The 2010 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac was amazing! This was also the fanciest wine I’ve ever tried.

    What wine have you always wanted to try?

    I wouldn’t say I’ve always wanted to try it, but I’ve found it recently and it’s really piqued my interest. The Blumond Blue Bubbly is a wine I want to try!

    What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone getting ready to buy their first bottle of wine?

    Don’t be afraid to experiment! Just because you don’t like one type of wine, doesn’t mean you don’t like wine. I would recommend going to a wine tasting if possible, because it’ll give you a whole lot of wines to try!

    Lauren Vigdor

    Lauren is a creative writer and hospitality professional with more than thirteen years of experience in the food and beverage industry. She has worked as a beverage director, bar manager, and consultant specializing in cocktail/menu development, bar staff training, and food/beverage writing.

    She was responsible for curating the wine lists at several bars and, as a result, has had the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines from all over the world!

    Her book, “Drink Like a Bartender,” was written as a guide to help novice drinkers navigate the beverage world and was rated one of the “Best Bar Books of 2017” by Forbes. She thinks wine should be unpretentious and loves to help people discover their next favorite bottle!

    Why am I giving advice on Vino Del Vida?

    I spent more than thirteen years working in the hospitality industry as a bartender, bar manager, and beverage director. During that time, I was responsible for curating cocktail, beer, and wine lists for the bars I represented. Part of my job was actually to taste and buy wine!
    I love wine and have been lucky enough to try hundreds of wines from all over the world. I think that wine drinking should be fun and unpretentious, and I love sharing my knowledge with others!

    Where was the first wine you ever tried?

    I don’t think I can remember the first wine I ever tried, but it was probably champagne at one of my cousins’ weddings. One of the first wines I fell in love with once I started learning more about wine was Monte Antico Toscano Rosso. I tasted it as part of a menu training at a restaurant I was working in and immediately went out and bought a few bottles for myself. It’s affordable, easy to drink, and excellent with food. I still drink it and even got my father-in-law hooked on it!

    What’s your all-time favorite bottle of wine?

    This is a tough one! I always say I like anything French with a chateau on the label! When it comes to really special bottles, I would say Frank Cornelissen’s Susucaru or Las Jaras Glou Glou — at least that’s what I’m craving right now!
    My friends and I also used to eagerly await the season’s drop of Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina each year like we were waiting for Beyoncé tickets!

    What wine have you always wanted to try?

    The wine I’ve always wanted to try is anything cool that I’ve never tried before! I’ve been fortunate enough to try so many excellent wines at all different price points, and I especially love tasting new things. That being said, I wouldn’t turn down a pour of Chateau Lafite Rothschild!

    What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone getting ready to buy their first bottle of wine?

    Drinking wine is supposed to be fun! It shouldn’t feel like a test. Expensive wines aren’t necessarily any better than more affordable wines, and it’s totally ok to buy a bottle of wine because you like the label!
    Also, if you’re looking for a wine to pair with food, remember: what grows together, goes together. Look for a wine from the same region as the cuisine you’ll be making!

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