5 Wine Tips for Beginners | #SpierMyWay

One of the lessons my brother taught me when to comes to anything I do is to first cover all the basics…. Well, to be honest he was saying that with reference to my wardrobe (you can’t buy a yellow suit before you have a the basic black/blue/navy) but I just took that and I use it with everything else in my life. It’s working quite well, so thanks bro!
Anyway, getting to the point of this post, I’ll be going over a few basics that I rate will come in handy for you especially if you’re a newbie to wine. I’ll also be giving away a case of wine at the end of the post, so look out for that!

1. Invest in the right glasses (a.k.a Stemware)

So as a student, I’ve always been reluctant to buy wine glasses because they always break. You start with 4 a few games nights later you end up with just the box. So I eventually got over that that fear/reluctance and just kept buying more because, I enjoy my wine better in proper “stemware”. So the pro’s ultimately outweigh the con’s for me.

When I buy stemware, I look for the kind with a really thin rim. These apparently make the wine taste better, but the rationale behind my preference is simply not wanting a heavy ass wine glass. That’s another reason I prefer crystal stemware over it’s glass counterpart, crystal can be spun very thin and still be durable, where as glass is usually spun quite thick to be durable. I also look for a medium-sized bowls because they work well for most kinds of wine. Here’s a link to the kind of glasses I prefer; you can also opt for the stemless option because their usage is more versatile and they are less susceptible to breakage because they don’t have stems

On the topic of stemless glasses, you can take it a notch up and get double-walled, stemless glasses. These are better than the normal single-walled ones because the temperature of your hand doesn’t affect the temperature of your wine. This ties in with the etiquette of holding your wine glass by the stem in order to avoid heating up the wine with your hand by holding it by the bowl. They’re also great for picnics as they’re stable and won’t fall over.

Spier will actually be running a promotion where you get two double-walled, stemless glasses when you buy the Creative Block 3 and 5 gift set. This will be available at all Makro stores from 1 October – 31 December.



2. Get the right tools

This aspect sort of ties in with #1 because both form part of the apparatus you need to have a hassle-free experience with wine. The first thing you need to get is a proper, reliable corkscrew. In my early days of being a student, the last thing on my mind was a corkscrew. So on a few occasions when I was confronted with removing a cork, (don’t judge me or ask how) I used a pair of scissors and a skillet to open it. Not very classy or appealing but I got the job done okay!

Once you have that, I’d also recommend an air-tight sealer and pourer to just solidify everything. The seal is essential to keep the wine (or champagne) “fresh”, and the pourer just helps you avoid that annoying spillage.

3. Store the wine properly

While we work towards having climate-controlled wine cellars or a young electronic wine cooler in our homes, we have to store these blends and single varietals somewhere comfy. So the first rule when storing wine is to keep it out of direct sunlight, there can be light, just not direct sunlight. You also want to keep it away from heat sources, say next to a microwave or on top/next to a fridge. If you’re really serious (which you don’t have to be) or out of space, keep it in the darkest, coolest spot in your apartment: a closet/cupboard.

4. Keep a few bottles on hand

Now that you have the apparatus, and a spot to keep your wine: get a few bottles to have with your meals, or if you’re like me, whenever you feel like it.

Firstly, you don’t need to buy 12 at a go, unless of course you’re already certain about what you like. Even then, I wouldn’t recommend that because I rate it’s always better to experiment: 1. to discover new wines that you might like or; 2. to find out what you really don’t like. It’s better to buy 1-3 at a time whenever you can.

I’d recommend that you get a few easy-to-drink’s and then maybe one or two for a special occasion. For the easy-to-drink’s, I’d recommend a Sauvignon or Chenin Blanc when it comes to whites. And for the reds, I’d recommend a Merlot or Pinotage. For the special occasions or if you’ve cooked an amazing meal and want something to pair it with accordingly, I’d recommend some award-winning stuff from Spier’s 21 Gables or Creative Block ranges, these usually do it for me.

5. Join an online wine club

I’d recommend joining a wine club. The cool thing about this is that it’ll help you experience different kinds of wines, which ties in  with what I said above regarding experimenting. With some wine clubs, like the Spier Wine Club, you also get invited to exclusive events and get discounts at their restaurants and on wine purchases.

Now that we’ve covered what I consider the basics, you can check out my previous post about wine jargon and food pairings. This will come in handy when you make a purchase from the store or when you’re in a restaurant trying to decide what kind of wine to have with your meal.

Competition Time!

If you follow me on Instagram (which I hope you are), you’ll know that I just hit 5000+ followers. So Spier Wine Farm and I are giving away a case of wine to one of my readers. You simply enter by scrolling to the comment section below, and telling me what useful tip you’d give to someone who’s new to wine. Once thats done, follow me on Instagram and Twitter to complete your entry!

I look forward to reading everyone’s tips!

You may also like


  1. One thing I’ve learnt is to be open to actually tasting different varietals and putting less pressure on yourself. You’re not always going to taste abc because someone else did, we’re all different but the one constant should be that you find what you enjoy most.

  2. As a wine lover, my piece of advice would be to take your time. Allow your palette to grow with you on your wine journey. Differentiate between taste and flavours, aromas and fragrance of the wines and allow your taste buds to like and dislike. Eventually, you’ll find what works for you when you are dining, when you are relaxing or when you just wanna get plain old drunk.

  3. One thing I’ve learnt is to never leave a bottle of wine not finished. Be sure to finish the entire bottle at one go.

  4. I found it so discouraging when people would say wine is an acquired taste so when you decide to try yourself out, bare in mind that its different strokes for different folks. One of the most important things to learn even if you don’t care about being able to talk about wine competently is knowing how long it can last after being opened and this can vary based on the alcohol content. you wouldn’t want to drink oxidized wine now would you.

  5. Once you’ve pulled out the cork, check to make sure it is still whole. If it isn’t, like it is soaked through or breaking apart slightly, or it smells bad, (can’t really explain but you’ll know), that’s a clear sign that something is wrong with the wine. Anyways, pour like a tot or two of the wine into your chosen wine glass and swirl it around either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Do this to get oxygen into the wine. While swirling, get your nose into the glass, inhale the aroma with your mouth open to get all the different elements of the aroma. Then with the sip, make sure you get a good amount of air while you are slurping this will further aid you in picking out various characteristics of the wine.
    It’s similar to eating in a way, we chew food to break it down and taste all the flavours, this isn’t too far from that.

  6. Find great wine on the cheap. There is no shortage of wines costing upwards of R200. Much more satisfying to someone new on a budget is finding inexpensive bottles that taste anything but. Spier produces excellent whites, reds and rosés that won’t deplete your checking account, if you’re new to wines, never put your palate to the test with heavy wines, it should be a build up, more like taking your palate on a never ending journey.

  7. Expensive doesn’t mean great tasting, learn your palette to find the best wine for yourself. And remember, red wines are best served at Room temperature whilst white wine can be served chilled

  8. When enjoying a nice glass of wine try store the wine bottle at room temperature. I Find it weird that people actually cool the wine before drinking it. Honestly try having a glass of wine with a bottle that’s stored at room temperature. You won’t regret it

  9. As a wine connoisseur and unrelated, as someone who loves white linen; red wine and white DOES NOT MIX. But unfortunately after a few glasses we can get clumsy (because of our frontal lobe, which handles balance). Anyway, my tip is: if you are a red wine lover and happen to stain white clothing or linen; salt and hot/boiling water is your saving grace. Just rub some salt into the stain and pour some hot or boiling water into it and watch it disappear (bare in mind that you may have to rub it off once you’ve poured the water, like when you do laundry but either way it works immediately). Now you don’t have to change your white blouse or shirt before having some red wine. Just make sure you have some salt and hot water handy.

  10. a tip for beginners from me is that one must know that a screwtop doesn’t mean bad wine, same as a cork does not mean good wine either. for some people a screwtop is a put off and they think it’s not good wine if it doesn’t have a cork in it, false. on contraire it means more investment in the wine rather than the seal, and on the bright side it will probably be slightly cheaper.

  11. Being a wine lover myself, there’s a lot I learnt from these tips. A few of which I do myself, but one that was so new to me was joining an online wine club. Not only is it another way to sort of “mingle” with new people and see how they love to enjoy their fine glass of wine, I think that’s such a beautiful and unique way to get tips and tricks about wine. I’ll definitely share these tips with my wine buddies. I enjoyed reading and learning from this blog post. Thank you 🙂

  12. A simple and very helpful tips I’ve heard is that you need to fill your glass less than half way to give your wine room to breathe.

  13. It is important to know which wine is your preference and sometimes expensive wine isn’t that amazing and also it doesn’t really matter what kind of wine you should have when having different food ie.red wine for steak or white wine for fish, go with what your Platte prefers and enjoy the wine, but always remember to drink the wine in the correct class whether cheap or expensive.

    1. is important to know which wine is your preference and sometimes expensive wine isn’t that amazing and also it doesn’t really matter what kind of wine you should have when having different food ie.red wine for steak or white wine for fish, go with what your Platte prefers and enjoy the wine, but always remember to drink the wine in the correct glass whether cheap or expensive.

  14. is important to know which wine is your preference and sometimes expensive wine isn’t that amazing and also it doesn’t really matter what kind of wine you should have when having different food ie.red wine for steak or white wine for fish, go with what your Platte prefers and enjoy the wine, but always remember to drink the wine in the correct glass whether cheap or expensive.

  15. I usually use a sealer once I have opened a bottle not necessarily an air tight one. So this is definitely something I will try out going forward. I also clicked on the previous article after reading this. I have always known pairing the the correct wine with a meal is key to bettering your experience but never got around to knowing what to look out for in terms of the type of wine and meal. So that article came in handy too. Thanks.

  16. As a wine fanatic I’ve always known the struggle of getting to the wine aisle and all of a sudden feeling super overwhelmed, a feeling that shouldn’t happen to anyone. this is where encouraging wine tasting comes in as it helps with knowing what you like and it makes finding similar wines way easier as well as it develops your sense of taste.

  17. I started drinking wine as one of those people who just drink everything …. but got to realize it just doesn’t work like that with wine , you have to have favorites and stick to that … Personally I drink white wine it just makes sense for me to just come home after a long day out hustling and just have a cold glass of it – w/out ice obviously coz it ends up being flow. But red wine is also not bad with good obviously, but that’s just me… Tips with wine is let it mature if you not in a hurry to consume , and don’t complicate consuming it – it’s just one of the drinks I can never just let go of.

  18. One thing I’ve also learnt about wine is the improtanceod its temperature and how it can affect the way it tastes in your mouth. Especially with red wine ,a certain restaurant here in Durban was having a meal special that came with a glasa of Shiraz. The first time I had the special it didn’t taste nice at all and the waiter wasn’t to friendly at all , he just served us warm glasses of wine ,about a week later I went to the same place and ordered the special again and this time we had a much nicer waiter and he served us the glass at a much cooler room temperature and it tasted like a completely different wine and I quite enjoyed it. So that’s one new aspect I have picked up and I’ll always look out for from now on.

  19. You’ve already covered the best tips, but I’d say a good tip is to keep experimenting, trying new wines is important In learning about wines.
    Been following you on social media for ages..

  20. On the wine bottle there is usually an indication of suggestions of food or cheese pairings for each type of wine, take note of these and I promise you will have an unforgettable experience…also take note of the alcohol content of each bottle to be aware of how buzzed it will get you, and always serve your wine at the right temperature (chilled and cooled) You can use an ice bucket if the wine is out of the fridge. Happy wining!

  21. My tip: experiment, experiment. As students, most of us encountered alcohol at parties. This included wine. Without fail, there was that bottle or BOX (Namaqua/Fourth Street) of sweet wine. And we all know what happens a few glasses in. This tends to dissuade future wine-drinking as most assume that wine must necessarily be sweet. Experiment; starting with light whites, medium-bodied reds and moving up as you see what you enjoy. New to wine, I almost stopped drinking it after trying a full-bodied Cab Sav!

  22. Wine is my new lover, I see a lifetime ahead so my tip is to let your senses be wowed, keep exploring and don’t limit yourself or your wallet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *