What criteria do you use for selecting wines?

Here at Gold Medal Wine Club, we use fairly strict criteria when we select wines for the club. As an overall guideline, the wines we feature are medal winning and from small production wineries.  Our five Series allow you to make selections based on rating, availability and price - the higher level the Series, the higher the accolades.  As another guideline, we also try to select the medal winning wines that come from boutique wineries; selections that you generally wouldn't find in your local mart or grocery store.

Realistically speaking, however, not all of the wine you drink or buy will come from our club (though through our wine store and discounted reorder program, we'd certainly be happy to become your number one provider!)

That said, when you're out there on your own, what matters most to you when you select a bottle? Is it price? Brand recognition? Varietal?  How do you choose your bottle when faced with that daunting wall full of wine at the grocery store or bottle shop? A recent study from various universities found that on a global scale, American criteria for wine selection is similar to those of the international community (with some variance) and points to previous experience with a bottle as the number one f actor in wine selection.  Coming in at a close second was recommendation from a trusted source, such as a wine review or wine club, followed thereafter by Variety, Origin, Brand, Medal (accolades), and "Read about it." See the full article and write up by Wine Business Monthly.

The study focused not only on purchasing habits in retail stores, but also on wine selection criteria in restaurants. The study found that still the number one criteria was previous experience with the bottle, followed by, logically, the wine pairing with the dish for the evening.

Do your criteria change when in a restaurant vs. when in a store? What is most important to you when buying a bottle? Feel free to leave your comments below! We'd love to have your input!