How do you pick the perfect wine?

Are you kidding? Is that even possible?

There may be no absolute answer. So with that in mind, we put the question to a selection of professional slurpers at Wine Direct.



Ali Kerr - Sales

How to pick a wine?... hmmm, that’s a huge question... you may as well be asking what are the top ten considerations to avoid doing an Ian Botham?

I reckon ten things to consider would be:

1. Who will be drinking it? You, yourself, personally? The in-laws? Someone you want to impress/don’t care about/have an obligation to/whatever...
2. What’s the occasion? Important occasion or less so?
3. Casual or fancy pants? Quaffing or serious?
4. What’s the budget?
5. If you will be drinking it too, what’s your fave?
6. Actually: do you know anything about wine? You gonna back yourself on your choice for a perfect wine?
7. If your answer to 6. is ‘yep’ – you’re doing ok. If not, who you gonna ask? (me, or someone like me)
8. Does it have to be perfect? Seriously, perfect?
9. Sorry, I got busy practicin' what I was preachin'
10. See 9




Phil Manser - Sales Manager

How do you pick your perfect wine? Surely it is your current favourite... right?

Cometh the occasion, cometh the wine I say... when I ask anyone what their favourite wine is I always hear the following check list recited...

WHERE – the person was

HOW – they got there

WHO – else was there

WHEN (roughly) – it was

And the wine?... ‘something in a bottle I think, red, with a year on it’...

Get my drift? Wine is more about the moment... the context... than the actual wine. Sure, it helps if the wine is a cracker... but you have to drink it in the right environment to get the most out of it...

So here’s a few of my tips for someone choosing the right wine for life’s more popular occasions...

Christmas Lunch – Durif - some excellent examples going around at the moment and the high alcohol will make uncle John’s inappropriate comments seem humorous instead of creepy.

Dinner Party with a "Wine Wanker" present - Anything you can’t pronounce or spell - again, some excellent examples about... like Vermentino or Teroldego. Engage me for this, I love bamboozling these people.

Dinner with In-laws - Shiraz - under $20 there’s enough around to impress and hey, let’s not use a Colt .45 to swat a fly.

BBQ - like gambling really. Only bring what you’re prepared to lose, red blend sub $15, white blend, same.

First Date – you’re on your own here, don’t be a tight arse though... maybe visit their Facebook page, could be some clues...

If all else fails, talk to a trusted wine merchant, they’re not all snobs... and chances are they’ve pushed a few corks in with a stick and accidentally necked the irreplaceable from Dad’s cellar – you can’t buy experience like that and in the long run, they’ll save you money.

Was this for a BLOG? funk, I thought it was a confessional...


Phil (I calls it hows I sees it)


Matthew Wallace - Buyer & Sales Manager

Assuming your wallet is more mouth than moth and thirsty at that, it’s worth thinking about spending at least twenty bucks on the perfect wine… you could spend a squillion but there are plenty of options that won’t break the bank. Picking a perfect wine is bloody hard but it’s worth having a crack at it. If you’re not confident at picking the wine yourself, here’s a couple of things you can try:

1. Chat to your mates who know wine pretty well, they will generally steer you in the right direction.

2. Book a bus and do a wine tour of a region with a few mates. Write notes and spit! Yep, spit it out, might be tough at the time but at the end of the day you’ll know what you liked best and why. You can always get messy later.

3. Ask us... need the best Shiraz for $20, the perfect red to go with duck? The best sweet wine to go with desert? A Grenachy blend to suit rare scotch fillet?... ask an expert. Drop us a line or give us a buzz. We all love wine and we want to share the love with you.

...but it is often down to your wine of the moment... my current obsessions are:

On a Friday night - Gewürztraminer with spicy Thai. Learn to say it right (guh-VOORTS-truh-MEE-nur) and impress the hell out of your mates... you want a bit of chilli here which will make Gewürztraminer the perfect match. The sweetness of the wine will combat the chilli heat and the spice and lychee goodness of it will complement the fragrance of the dish beautifully. You might even cry... I have been known to...

On a Posh Saturday Night - Pinot Noir and Duck... Pinot and duck are like Britney Spears and meltdowns, Lady Gaga and meat dresses... a perfect match... you can't have one without the other. Seriously, someone should make a commemorative statue or something. Medium-rare crispy duck breast pancakes with plum sauce and a good bottle of Pinot will have you solving the world problems in no time.




Darryl Pratt - Sales

Choosing a wine is like dating... if you chance your arm enough times you’re going to find the perfect one for you. That’s not to say you should just go out and drink anything that comes along but more that it’s only a wine and, like dating, a bad choice will be over soon enough.

Then one day, probably out of the blue, along will come this beautiful, complex, stunning and altogether breath-taking wine that will forever change the way you see the world. So be brave... say yes when you’d normally say no, date a lot of wine and don’t overlook anything just because you’re friends say it’s not cool.


Darryl (If you can’t be with the wine you love then love the wine your with!)


Mark Bracken - National Operations Manager

What a question! How long is a piece of string... or a grape vine for that matter.

In short there are two answers:

The first being there is no such thing. If there was we would all be consuming that wine and that wine alone. Boring! There would also be no reason for the wine obsessed to spill blood, sweat and tears (and wine) tasting hundreds of wines searching for a Rouge Unicorn. There would also be no need for us, the wine fanatics; that taste enough to make it a profession... Perish the thought!!

The second answer is they all are. Like most things it depends on the purpose, the settings and the people you share it with. I was once told by an Irish Master of Wine while studying all things vinous in Europe (yeah I know, total name and place dropping but whaddayagonnado) that the enjoyment of wine was 10% taste, 90% company and 10% people who can’t add up. I did say he was Irish - as am I.

Being one of the lucky few who get paid to drink wine all day, I am happy to submit that the first answer is incorrect. I adhere to the second, not least of which is out of shear self-service for my job and my own enjoyment. It depends first and foremost on what you like. What pleases your tongue and your situation? If you like wine from a blue box hidden in the back of the fridge, then have at it. If you have a favourite chardonnay that you love with mums lamb roast? Then good luck to you. If you are a 6 foot 2, 120kg ex-rugby player who loves Moscato on a sweltering Summers day? Then don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong... then again, if you are a 6 foot 2, 120 kg ex-rugby player I don’t suppose many people will have the nerve to tell you anything at all once you have a few Mozzies under your shaded belt.

Wine is a luxury and as such, its only purpose is enjoyment. Your enjoyment… so enjoy it. Ask the opinion of the wine obsessive amongst your friends. Take the advice of the red and white fanatics who get paid to tell you what they think. Then, and most importantly, ignore everything anyone else says and decide for yourself. This is one question to which there really is no wrong answer.


Big Markie (And yes, I am the ex-rugby player. And yes, I gotta lose a couple of kilos)


Adam and Robin - Digital & Web-o-sphere Designy Stuff

How to pick the perfect wine?

It's all to do with the tunes you have playing... listening to John Legend? Lay the Durif on thick. Or some David Guetta? You gotta have a ridiculously rewarding Tempranillo. Floyd or Zeppelin..maybe Yes? If you're going red over green we would recommend something complex, perhaps a Barossa Shiraz where you can spend (literally hours) (in)finitely distinguishing the dark berries and chocolate present in the glass (or potentially unfold the meanings/purpose of mankind/life-itself). Katy Perry more your vibe? Gotta be a lively spritzy Moscato or a classic bubbles... AC/DC = McLaren Vale Shiraz... (The Angels are more a classy McLazza Grenache). And who doesn't like Pink? If you're going down that way, a cheeky Rose will add the sweetness required.


Adam & Robin (Not to be confused with Batman & Robin, cause, well, those guys didn't know SHOCK! POW! about wine)


Mark Pradun - Managing Director

There are "3 Ps" to consider when selecting the perfect wine.

1. Price - What are you willing to pay (or not pay).

2. Preference - What is your preferred wine style? Are you a white or red drinker? Do you like your whites crisp and fruity or buttery? Do you prefer your reds to be full and peppery or light and fruity? It’s your call.

3. Pairing - What food (if any) you will be pairing your wine with? What friends will you be pairing the wine with? Take into account what the main ingredients are, whether the dishes (or mates) are spicy, creamy or fruit filled. Also considering whether the dishes (applies to both) are lighter flavoured or full flavoured and will they play a part in enhancing each other.

If in doubt or feeling adventurous… ask, experiment, then have fun.


Mark (Yep, the 3 "Ps" are better than the 3 "Rs")


So there you go. Different peeps = different answers... but some common threads...

Top 5 ways to pick the perfect wine.

1. Drink what you love (a good start)

2. Experiment (not like in American college flicks - we mean try as much wine in as many different settings as you possibly can)

3. Ask advice (don't be a jerk - you probably don't know everything about wine... yet)

4. Taste lots (See point 2... but again in reference to wine)

5. Decide for yourself. This time it really is all about you!

Happy Slurping