I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked “How can I get better at tasting wine and deciding what styles I like?” This one is easy to answer.  You’ve got to practise.  Taste anything and everything you’re exposed to and soon grasshopper, it will all become clear which types of wines will spin your wheels.
The second question is inevitably “And how do I do that without spending heaping wads of cash?”
Wine clubs are a great start – where people regularly get together and each bring a different bottle for the group to try.  But it can be a bit tricky finding the one that’s right for you (some can be a bit snobby if you know what I mean); and if you live in a small or rural environ where wine clubs may not have been invented yet, then you’re stuck.
One of the things that I know works really well for people who want to get a handle on what they really like by trying different styles of wines – is to subscribe to a mixed case every month from a retailer such as Advintage www.advintage.co.nz
You simply go on their website, click ‘join a buying plan’, click the types of wines you’d like to taste and which $$ work for you and voila!  Every month you’ll receive a box of new and interesting wines to try.  This way you can keep an eye on your budget and enjoy a wee surprise when you open a new box every four weeks.  Nice.
I’ve used Advintage for wine gifts and always had positive comments.  But then I’m also sure that if the AdVintage team did get negative feedback, they’d do something about it smartly.