Want to know how to pick a wine that will impress your friends at a dinner party but not cost you a week’s rent? We have the secret!

Tamra Washington is regarded as one of the rising stars of New Zealand’s wine industry. At 31 years of age, Tamra has already received international recognition for crafting award-winning wines
across Europe and Australia, and has now returned to her hometown to lead the Yealands winemaking team.

Here, she gives us her top tips for buying a great wine.

* Broaden your horizons, and try wines from other parts of the
world – it’s fun, and who knows what you’ll learn! For example, while
Champagne is always a treat, also look at good quality Methode from
Australia and NZ, Cava from Spain, or a lively Proseco from Italy.

* Buy from somebody you trust, and be open to their
recommendations and trying new varieties and styles of wine.

* Keep an eye out for a bargain. With so many wines out there
right now, competition is pretty fierce, and there has never been a
better time to buy up! As well as the obvious discounts in supermarkets
and bottle stores, your local wine merchant (or even an online retailer)
will be the source of great wine, at great prices.

* Make sure the wine is stored correctly. Avoid wine that’s been
sitting under warm lights!

* Don’t be afraid to get another opinion! When in restaurants,
the sommelier isn’t asking you to try the wine to see if you like it,
moreover, to see if there are any off smells or ‘fault’s that can often
be associated with wine under cork. If you smell a mousy, damp cardboard
character on the wine, don’t be afraid to say so, ask for their opinion,
and send it back if you are not happy. The same must be said when buying
from a store. Don’t be afraid to take it back!

* Don’t be afraid to learn more, and sign up for a local wine
appreciation class!

Get great recipes to match your wines!