We couldn’t resist asking these skilled shoppers for their best tips for buying wine. They couldn’t resist providing answers that proved to be candid and sometimes comical.
When someone asks you if you want to taste something, you must always say yes — always. Brad Royale, Calgary
See that bottle that catches your eye? Pick the one to the left or right. Chances are the first one you saw was a marketing ploy. Jonathan Wilson, Halifax
Three things: Don’t buy more than you can drink, force yourself to try new things and don’t get caught up in scores. Pieter Vanden Weghe, Ottawa
Surround yourself with people of similar tastes and ask questions. Ask the servers and employees at a wine store or restaurant and if they recommend a great wine go back and ask for more. If they recommend some duds, then stop talking to them. Shawn Brandson, Winnipeg
Switch it up. It is easy to stock your cellar with wines from around the world no matter what your budget is. Owen Knowlton, Vancouver
Buy what you like. Drink what you enjoy, what makes you happy and you’d like to share with friends or loved ones. Zoltan Szabo, Toronto
Have you met Sam?
In last year’s roundup, “Are you the Sommalian?” was one of the most provocative questions that our top sommeliers got on the job. While awareness about the profession continues to grow and more customers rely on informed wine recommendations to make a decision, the role of a sommelier continues to be cloaked in mystery. For instance, Samantha Rahn regularly raises eyebrows when she introduces herself: “You’re the sommelier?” The uncertainty about a female sommelier shows just how much awareness there is still left to uncover