(WIVB) – When you go to a restaurant you go for the food, but adding a great wine can not only enhance the flavor of that food but create a whole new experience. Wine expert and sommelier in training Brandon Ford is there to help make that happen.

Ford said, “The biggest goal is to create an exceptional guest experience from the time they park the car to the time they leave the restaurant.”

For some, drinking wine is a social thing. For others it’s a lifestyle. Restaurants take pride in the selections they have. From the classics to the newest trends they stay up-to-date. Ford explained some of the basic steps he follows to figure out what you prefer. He says it’s not so much the science but more who you surround yourself with that can influence your taste buds.

“I think it’s really experience and who you surround yourself with, its peer pressure.”

He says a lot of people figure out what they like by trying lots of different varieties. You may eventually stick with one you like but over time, your palette may crave a new challenge.

To aid in the selection process asking yourself a few questions can help. He says finding an analog, pairing with a good food, and sticking within your budget are key.

Ford said, “There is this stigma associated with wine that ivory towers and cloak and dagger and it doesn’t have to be.”

He suggests if you have an interest in learning about the basics there is a wealth of websites and books you can read to expand your knowledge.

His favorite was resource was Wine Folly the website. He said, “There is a book called wine folly too. It breaks everything down into laments terms.”

At the end of the day, no matter what, your wine selection is all about you.

His best piece of advice? “Pair what you like with what you like. The best food and wine pairing is the best one for you.”