What makes a wine good?

What makes a wine good?  That’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. Given that I think of wine as a part of an occasion, I may have a different opinion from many on what makes a wine good. 

There are many ways to define a good wine.  One way is to say that it’s “high quality, complex, and tastes good”.  I think that’s a perfectly good definition.  After all, most people given the choice of drinking a cheap bottle which is produced quickly and lacks complexity vs. a high cost wine which has aged a decade or more, all things being equal, will tend to like the more expensive wine better. Not always, but generally so.  
But what if you can’t afford $50, $100 or more a bottle?   There is a common gauge of quality called “QPR” which stands for “quality/price ratio”. In other words, how good is it compared to what you paid for it?  Another really good definition and one applicable to many more of us who won’t be spending a fortune on bottle after bottle of wine.  You can find many reviews based on QPR.

Here is my definition: “A good wine is one which fits the occasion.” I think it’s as simple as that.  What are you trying to achieve by opening the bottle?  Are you trying to impress? Are you trying to match a fancy meal? Are you eating it with pizza or burgers?  A good wine will be the one which matches the occasion.  If I’m cooking a nice steak dinner and having people over, I will probably serve a higher end wine which compliments that. If I’m eating pizza with my family, I will be perfectly happy with a cheap wine that can handle the spice of the pizza.  

To me, there’s no need to make it more complicated than that.  


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