We’ve all found ourselves in the dreaded wine rut. Perhaps you’ve been drinking Kendall Jackson Chardonnay for years, and you woke up one day and finally saw the light.
Maybe you switched your alcohol of choice to beer, and now you’re finding your way back to wine.
Maybe you’re a wine beginner and don’t have the faintest clue where to start. No matter what your rut, we can help!
Here are 11 fun, foolproof ways to reinvigorate your love for wine and get out of your wine rut.
Want to learn more about your wine preferences? Take our quick wine quiz, and get matched with wine based on your specific palate!
1. Try a new wine
This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we become creatures of habit.
While there’s nothing wrong with locking in your favorite wine, the world of wine is vast and exciting. There are so many wines out there waiting to be tried, and if you close your eyes to the wines around you, you may just miss out.
If you’re a red drinker, give white wine a try. Try a varietal you can’t pronounce or have never heard of before.
2. Sign up for a wine subscription
Beyond saving you money on wine in the long run, a wine subscription like Bright Cellars allows you to try wines from all over the world. Each month you’ll receive new wines you may not have heard of before.
3. Taste actively
Did you know wine tastings can stimulate your brain more than algebra? That means if you’re simply going through the motions, you may not be getting the most out of your wine experience.
You’ll find when you actively experience the taste, smells, and textures of your wine, you get a lot more out of it and are able to appreciate it on a whole new level.
Not sure where to start? Our Wine Educator Julie is happy to walk you through the ins and outs of wine tasting.
4. Take a wine trip
There’s no better way to rediscover your love for wine than to travel. There are countless picturesque vineyards to visit right here in the U.S.
Speaking of your backyard, remember: You don’t have to travel abroad to have a worthwhile wine experience. Visit a local vineyard or try a tasting experience at a winery near you.
5. Pair your wine with food.
Pairing food and wine is the easiest way to enhance your wine experience. Why? When you pair meals with just the right wine, it makes the wine more enjoyable. For example, pairing a tannic Cabernet Sauvignon with a salty, juicy steak will bring out the floral, fruity notes in the Cab Sauv, making the wine experience more pleasurable and balancing any harsh tannins.
6. Make a wine cocktail
Sometimes it’s as simple as adding some new ingredients to the mix. Wine cocktails are a great way to use your leftover wine if you haven’t finished the whole bottle, and a lot of them are low ABV so you can sip them all summer long. (Here are our 12 favorite wine cocktails for summer.)
7. Cook with wine
Incorporating wine into the kitchen can feel intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy! Start by adding wine to your pasta recipes, risotto, or lentils. You can even use wine to deglaze your pan! As you learn, you’ll get a better feel for the flavors and body of the wine and how each wine can bring out the best in your meal.
8. Host a wine tasting with friends
Summer wine nights are here to stay. The next time you receive your Bright Cellars box in the mail, invite your friends and family to taste through the box. You’ll be able to compare and contrast varieties while sharing the wine love. (Hint: here are some tips for hosting a wine tasting.)
9. Make sure you have all the right tools, accessories, and gadgets
If you constantly struggle to open a bottle of wine, you may end up with pieces of foil or chunks of cork floating about in your glass. It’s safe to assume your wine experience will probably be lackluster. Set yourself up for success by investing in the right tools (foil cutter, aerator, or perhaps even a decanter?) to upgrade your wine game.
10. Brush up on your wine knowledge.
Everyone has to start somewhere! Let’s be clear – there’s a huge difference between wine snobbery and appreciating wine for the magical beverage it is. Understanding why you like what you like will always benefit you in the long run.
If you’re a Bright Cellars member, you have access to our online wine class – Wine Wisdom. Just log in, and get started. It’s that simple. Each lesson takes anywhere from 5-12 minutes and you can stop and start whenever you like.
If you’ve always wanted to take your wine knowledge to the next level, take this as a sign. Register for the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) exam and get your study on. (You can also look into the International Sommelier Guild (ISG), Court of Masters Sommeliers (CMS), and Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) but WSET is a great place to start!)
11. Subscribe to the Glass Half Full newsletter
If you haven’t already, take the next step in your wine journey and subscribe to Glass Half Full by Bright Cellars. It’s a bi-weekly newsletter overflowing with wine inspiration, knowledge, fun facts, and fun cocktails.
Every issue includes a new wine word, complete with the correct pronunciation. Brush up on your wine words. Learn something new. Get inspired.
In Vino Finito
Have you ever experienced a wine rut, and how did you get out of it? Let us know in the comments!