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Novinophobia is the fear of running out of wine!

Janine Lewis
Janine Lewis is a personal wine adviser.

Janine can introduce you to wines that will tantalise the taste buds, and gives below some helpful tips to take the fear out of ordering wine.

Oenophobia is a fear of wine


I take the “Eeee” out of Oenophobia .. The fear of wine and the distress of ordering it

I am passionate about wines and as a personal wine adviser with Laithwaites, I introduce you to modest wines of distinction that tantalise the taste buds and seduces the senses, with a guarantee of satisfaction. I build your confidence in being able to choose wines that you really like, not what someone will say YOU WILL LIKE! Sound familiar?

I used break out into a cold sweat when confronted with a wine list. I could barely talk to the waiter or sommelier.
There are a lot of people who enjoy wining and dining out but when confronted with a wine list or having to choose a wine, they go cold, mind goes blank and order a diet coke instead! Or worse, a very expensive wine thinking it will taste good and doesn’t or one that is cheap but not very cheerful.

Oenophobia is a real disorder where a person has an unexplained and paralyzing fear of wine, wine bottles or spilled wine. That’s the extreme and clinical definition.1969118677-551467_10152588711652499_2651720626681874128_n

However, the more common version of Oenophobia is the fear of overpaying for an inferior wine that you might blindly select from a shelf, display or rack at your local wine shop. It also manifests itself when someone from the supermarket asks you if you need any help selecting a wine, and you just blurt out: “Not Yet!” or “Just Looking” or worse yet, grab a familiar looking bottle because you know the name on it or the bottle has a little jumping kangaroo and you heard Aussie wine is getting really good!

Or, worse, suffering the wrath of the waiter who taps the wine list impatiently, whilst you blindly look at the black and white print jumping up and down in front of you.

The following four tips will help you drop the “Eeee” from Oenophobia:-

  1. Not all good wines are expensive, and not all expensive wines are good – If you have asked me for a wine recommendation, you will get the same answer each time: How much do you want to spend? I can recommend wines that stand out from the crowd at all different prices. In each price-range, there are good and bad wines. It is true, however, that expensive good wines will probably be as good or better than less expensive good wines. You have to remember that wine prices are a factor of the winemaker’s marketing efforts, not the quality of the wine.
  1. The people who work in wine shops GENERALLY know what is good, because they taste a lot of wines and have developed a discerning palate. In a Laithwaites shop, for example, there will be a bottle or three that are open and you will be allowed to taste the wine, for free, that you probably have never had before. You just have to ask, or better yet, check to see if they post a weekly tasting time and day and get there for a free tasting. Once the wine staff observe you tasting, they can tell what you like by your reaction to the wines. Now they can become personal shoppers, like me, for you and your likes and dislikes.
  1. Wine is as good ALL OVER THE WORLD, not just in France or Italy or New Zealand. While it is true that certain districts in certain countries have a reputation of having the best of a certain varietal of grape, rarely is one region the only place a grape is grown. You should try wines from all over the world to see how one grape can differ from being grown elsewhere all around the world.
  1. My favourite tip is subjective based on my experience. When I am not sure, or pleasing a group of us, I will chose a crowd pleasing grape and country – a Chilean Merlot for a fruity red or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for a refreshing white stoned fruit taste. Nothing complicated there.

Now, I do have a little challenge for you now. I would like you to make a trip to a wine shop of your choice. Seek out someone who is working in the shop and tell them that you are looking for a new wine to try, something you haven’t had before. Give them a price range, and tell them what you like in a wine or give them the name of a bottle you have had that you liked. Ask if there are any suggestions to improve the drinking experience (time in a decanter, chilled, etc.) and then go home and enjoy it.

I would love to know how you got on with this and if I have boosted your confidence. I would appreciate an email,, to let me know how you got on.

For my customers I build rapport, chatter about likes and dislikes. It is about trust, honesty and having a sense of adventure.

I pride myself in sending you cases of happiness filled with bottles of sunshine and take the snobbery out of wine, one sip at a time.


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