Many of us set new year’s resolutions, giving us a personal road map for improving our lives in the coming year. New year’s resolutions are fun, and helpful, but they are incredibly tough to keep. So I thought I would come up with a new year’s resolution that is easy to keep: Learn about wine.
In this article, I’ll share five fun ideas to help us learn about wine.
Idea #1: Taste a bunch of wine
The best way to learn about wine is to drink it. In the new year, take advantage of every opportunity possible to taste wine. Good wine. Bad wine. It doesn’t matter. Every taste is a learning opportunity. When you taste, think about what you’re experiencing:
- What is the grape (aka the varietal or variety – check out Antiwinesnob.com for an explanation of the two terms)?
- What flavors are you getting? Fruit? Mineral? Spice? Earth? Vegetable? Other?
- How does it feel in your mouth? Smooth? Silky? Rough? Oily?
- What is the finish like? Short? Long? Any changes in the experience as the wine goes down?
You can ask questions until you’re blue in the face. But doing so would greatly interfere with your enjoyment of the wine. So don’t obsess. Have fun. Enjoy.
Idea #2: Visit wineries
Spend a three-day weekend in your nearest wine locale visiting two to four wineries each day. What is so great about doing this? It’s great to get to try a lot of wine in a single period of time. It’s a much more intensive learning experience. It’s also great to hear what the people at the winery have to say. Some of the folks in the tasting rooms are really knowledgeable. So you can learn a lot from them. Getting to know the different styles of each winery is also a lot of fun. You might fall madly in love with a single winery. If you do, you will want to join their wine club, which will give you the change to learn about wine each and every time you receive a wine club shipment.
Idea #3: Host a wine tasting
Hosting a wine tasting in the comfort of your home takes away some of the hassles associated with heading up to the wine country. There are many ways to go about hosting an in-home tasting. You can have each of your friends bring a bottle of wine, along with appetizers. You can supply the wine and let your friends bring the food. You can also “hire” me to lead your tasting. When you do this, you get a Napa winery experience right in your home. This is because WineShop At Home, the Napa winery I’m associated with, is all about bringing the winery experience directly to you. To learn more about working with me to do a wine tasting, please visit my Wine Tasting page.
Idea #4: Host a blind wine tasting
A blind tasting is where you put all the bottles in brown bags and have your guests guess what wines they’re drinking. The great thing about a blind tasting is it takes away the prejudices many people have. When I lead blind tastings, I often get people who hate Merlot finding out that they really liked a Merlot. If you have me lead your tasting, I will be happy to do a blind tasting, if you’d like.
Idea #5: Take a class or do some reading
As I said earlier, the most important part of learning about wine is drinking wine. If you want to learn a little more, take a class or do some reading. If you’re near CA or NY, I highly recommend the classes at Culinary Institute of America.
On the reading front, there are hundreds (thousands?) of books, websites and blogs to choose from. My favorite books are “The Wine Bible” by Karen MacNeil and “Why You Like the Wines You Like: Changing the Way the World Thinks about Wine” by Tim Hanni. But there are many other great ones. My favorite website (and blog) is Wine Folly. As you know from reading this article, I also write a blog that I would love for you to subscribe to, if you haven’t already.
Learn about wine
I hope these five ideas inspire you to learn about wine in 2017. Please share other ideas you have for learning about wine here. Thanks.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
WineShop At Home