Last year, for the third year in a row, I wasted several thousand dollars trying out new wines for this feature.
So many were so bad, I had to pour them down the drain. Judging from emails, many, many subscribers have found that amusing. I found it expensive. Pathetically, there is simply no trustworthy recommendation system to help consumers fine new wines that the will like.
I've tried every system: educating myself (since 1970), following critics, reading reviews, trying to get advice from wine retailers, working through those online retailer systems that use questionnaires ("Do you like your coffee black or with arsenic?" "Free market milk chocolate or greedy corporate dark chocolate?"). None of them work any better than random selection.
Therefore, my extended experiment at buying wine like the average consumer at retail is over. Basta! Finito!
As a result, I've stopped buying as much wine. Mostly, I avoid buying any wine that I have not already tasted. That's why you will notice more beer, cider and spirits in this space.
And on those occasions when I do purchase vino that gags me, I head to my cellar and grab an old reliable bottle. You'll see more old favorites like this one which I buy by the case for times when my palate needs to forget the horror of a retail stinker.
I would encourage the average wine drinker to follow this route.