Make sure the temperature of the shop is cool (26c and below) if the wines are not stored in a wine fridge.
Are bottles are stored out of direct sunlight?
3. Standing or Lying Flat
If some bottles are displayed standing up to showcase what they are, that's fine. But if ALL the bottles are standing up (which means that's how all bottles are stored), best walk out and find another shop.
Do the staff know the wine they carry and are eager to help you find something you will like based on your food/fruit preferences (if you're a newbie)?
5. Learn some Vocabulary
Many wines don't taste so much like grape as they do other fruit, herbs or spices so it would be good for you to learn some basic wine lingo such as "Dry" (no residual sugar or not sweet), "Fruity"- young wines or wines made from very ripe grapes tend to be dominated by fruit and when aged will develop into a more complex flavour profile so if you like fruity, you like young wine or "Crisp" (invigorating, lively acid).
6. Try a Different Method than buying by Award Winning
Practically all wines being sold now have some sort of medal or award appended to it- we suggest staying clear of buying by medal.
7. Avoid Anything below $18
In Singapore, anything below $18 is probably not a very good bottle of wine, given that over $10 already goes to taxes.
8. Let your Fingers Do the Walking
Learn about the wine before you buy if you're going to an establishment that has a good selection but staff that may not be knowledgeable enough to help you. OR just buy online.