Wine is one of the most talked about drinks in the milspouse world: Wine to make it through the deployments, wine to make it through your PCS, and wine for a potluck with friends. But what happens when you don’t know wine? White or red, what is the real difference? What is the best tasting wine and does it matter how much you spend on a bottle?

Here is what you can do to become more of a wine expert and to find the right bottle for the right occasion.

Figure out what you like

The biggest part of being a wine expert is learning which wines you like to drink and which ones you don’t. There are so many different types of wines, how do you start?

Different wines go with various types of meals. What works with chicken doesn’t work as well with beef. There are different flavors, different temperatures, and even different glasses you should drink from. You will want to learn the different colors, aromas, and smells that come with wine.

Start buying wine on a regular basis. Talk to your friends about what they suggest, ask on social media, and talk to the people who work at the store you are buying the wine. Come up with meal ideas and ask about what works. The more wine you drink, the more you will start to see the differences and acquire a taste for different types.

Keep a wine journal

Write down your thoughts about the different wines you try. You won’t be able to remember everything. With a wine journal you can start to look for patterns or see which types of wines you tend to love and which ones you didn’t enjoy.

Free wine tastings

Look for free wine tastings in your area. You can find them at restaurants, grocery stores, and local wineries in your area. By going to these tastings, you can get a little sample of what is out there without having to buy a whole bottle. You can try wines you didn’t even know about and learn more about local wines in your area as well as how they are made.

Host a wine party

If you have friends who know wine or want to learn more, host a wine party. Have everyone bring their favorite bottle and do some wine-tasting. This way you can try different wine in the comfort of your home while having fun with your friends.

Plan a wine vacation

Once you have learned about wine and have an idea of what you like and want to drink, plan a wine vacation. Go to Italy, California, or any regions that have wineries. You can go on a wine tour where you are able to stop at many different places and try their wines. You can take tours of the wineries, learn how they make the wine, see the process, and learn about the family or company that owns the winery.

Never stop learning

The truth is, there will always be new wine to try. Never stop tasting and learning about what is out there. Enjoy the wines you know you like but be open-minded when you hear about something new. You never know what will be your new favorite.