How to Choose Fine Wine: 10 Steps to a Quality Wine

The winebox company

For many people, choosing a fine wine can be somewhat of a daunting task. It can be overwhelming to consider all the recommended criteria, as well as how time consuming it can seem to wade through the wide variety of options to choose from. Here at TWB Cellar Limited, though, we don’t think it has to be complicated or time consuming. 

To make the task of buying fine wine a little easier, we’ve created a guide on ten things that will ensure you get yourself the perfect bottle of fine wine each and every time. 

1. Stay Up-to-Date 

Most quality wine retailers, will create content online (* hint hint * sign up for our weekly newsletter here). At TWB Cellar Limited, we introduce you to our Sommelier’s pick for the week that highlights a high quality wine at an affordable price. We put our years of experience and wine training at your disposal by explaining the uniqueness of each pick. Make sure to check it out and let us do the work for you!

2. It’s Not About the Price

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing that expensive wines means a better wine. There are so many examples of wine in Kenya that are priced relatively high, without having the quality to follow. Likewise, not all inexpensive wines necessarily mean they are plonk. That’s why at TWB Cellar Limited, we offer only wines that we have tried and tasted and know for a fact are worthwhile— regardless of the price tag. 

3. Look Out for the Famous Regions

The best way to shop for good wine is buying from the regions that specialise in specific varieties. For instance, you will never go wrong with Malbec from Argentina or Sangiovese from Italy. You want to go with the tried and true regions, but also some of the up and coming regions like Marlborough in New Zealand for Sauvignon Blancs. Find out which regions of the world specialise in the sort of wine you enjoy and consistently seek them out.

4. Explore New Countries

In addition to the region, you want to also focus on the country. Buying fine wine specifically from the New World countries will open up an entirely new world of wine for you. Some of the most exciting and complex fine wines now come from Australia, Argentina and Chile. Although these are not the most famous countries for wine, you will impress your friends by introducing them to lesser known and incredibly high quality wines. 

5. Embrace a Meal

Wines are made to be enjoyed alongside a hearty meal. Although we have grown accustomed to drinking a glass of wine anytime, anywhere, you can take your wine experience to the next level by pairing with food. TWB Cellar Limited website lists the foods that pair well with each wine. Use your favorite foods or meals that go well with the weather to help you select which bottle to purchase. 

Truth be known: to truly grasp a fine wine’s complete experience, you must pair a fine wine with an equally fine meal.

6. Understand the Best Vintages

The significance of having a vintage (year) on a label is often to indicate the sort of quality you can expect from that bottle of wine. Especially in colder climates, grapes don’t always have the opportunity to ripen as they should and don’t produce the same quality as a year when the weather allowed for additional ripening. Therefore, some years, the quality is significantly better because of the region’s conditions that year. So, by getting a sense of which years produced excellent vintages, it can help you purchase the best wine. Level up in your wine buying by doing this small bit of extra research and really make sure you are getting the most for your splurge. 

7. Stick to the Younger White Wines

White wine, in most cases, is not capable of aging as well as red wine, and the wines tend to lose freshness, flavour and vibrancy with time. There are exceptions to this (like Riesling), but generally speaking, older white wines don’t benefit you as a consumer. For the best outcome, ensure the white wine you purchase is the producer’s most current vintage of that wine.

8. Ask for Advice

Buying fine wine in Kenya doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You simply just have to ask for help. Whether you’re asking advice from your friend with the Food & Wine magazine subscription or googling on the web, just by taking an interest, you are already on the path to achieving an overall greater appreciation of wine. And remember you can always reach out to us at TWB Cellar Limited for recommendations or with any questions by emailing us at or filling out our Contact Us form here. 

9. Go With Your Gut (or Tongue)

Similar to the best advice I’ve ever heard on how to pick great art… you also have to go with what you like. Attend wine tastings, order the wine pairings with your tasting menu and record the names of wines that you love. Look for similar taste profiles (read: apricot notes) in the wines you peruse on our website. 

10. Finally… just go for it

Even with the most comprehensive guide, there is no substitute for experience. Some wines that you might not think could deliver on quality, might just surprise you. Sometimes you have to put everything you know aside, and just choose a bottle to try! There is such a variety of wine in Kenya; you are sure to come across some incredible hidden-gems.