Obviously it's a life-long study, but I was curious how others have immersed themselves in the wine community. Frequent tastings? Literature? Blogs and forums like this one? Ever since a good friend of mine turned me on to the art I've been hooked and eager to learn more.
Frequent tasting is the answer. Reading about wine does not mean much until you have the sensory experience to make meaning of the words.
Attend tastings given by retailers. Get friends together and have your own. Visit wineries. Having one wine here and another there won't build up your powers of discrimination and appreciation even a tiny fraction as fast as comparing wines in tasting flights.
A strong liver.
"One may dislike carrots, spinach, beetroot, or the skin on hot milk. But not wine. It is like hating the air that one breathes, since each is equally indispensable."
I agree with pdn and ga, but would like to add one thing.
Write. Whether you keep a wine journal or a personal wine blog, keep writing about your experiences and you're more likely to learn new things. I started my blog this summer and since I have learned a lot in doing research on the wines I drink (I taste a lot) and the regions/vineyards/vintages they come from. That being said, a blog is not necessary. I started three years ago keeping detailed wine notes and a journal. Also, get your spouse (gf, friends etc) into wine and it makes learning a lot easier as you're always trying to find new wines and learn new things to discuss with them!
“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” - Omar Khayyam
Thanks, this is all really good advice.
HA, a strong liver....
Hey, don't encourage him!
"Wine only turns into alcohol if you let it sit."---Lindsay Bluth
If you wantto get serious,taste and taste foten, taste a few hours before orafter a meal (ideal is late morning/early afternoon) as your not tired from your day, aand tasbe buds are more alive inbetween meals than right after one. Find local wines stores with free tastings and go often. Buy as many 375 ml instead or 750 (two different wines each at half price)taste twice as much for 1/2 the price, get the idea. COme back in a year with purple teeth, a thin wallet and a fat stomach. LOL
As one contributor to the Forums once said, "The only way to learn about wine is to pull a LOT of corks".
Practice, practice, practice.
I would add the following.
Taste wine blind.
Be specific with blind tastings like, California Chard. (oaked) vs. Chablis ( unoaked) or Cali Meritage vs. Bordeaux or Oregon Pinot vs. Burgundy. (etc.)
Also taste mature wines vs. young wines from the same winery.
I would also suggest you form a small wine group and meet every month. Try to form a group with more mature palates than yours if you can. Ask questions!!!!!!!
Yes. And leave your ego at the door!
This advice is pretty much embedded in everyone else's advice to go to tastings, but more specifically, I think the idea is to taste several wines side-by-side. For me, it is really the only way to decide what it is you like about certain wines, and what you don't like about others. What helped me was to start with wines from the same varietal and region and, if you can, vintage, but different producers. Then make changes one-by-one as you start to understand "your" likes and dislikes
"This is the strangest life I've ever known."
The accumulation of knowledge is just like tasting wine... you have to have the sensory experiences... remember when tasting wine... all that experiential knowledge is recorded in the brain... I agree with Pape du neuf and sarbuze... write down what you are tasting in a journal... I try not to read the labels of how the wine tastes... be creative and let your palate and nose do the job. I record what I taste... I taste as many wines as possible, what I like I end up peeling the label off and preserving it in my journal... reading about the wine producing regions is helpful if you (as I am) working on the MS through the court of master, but if you are, what I call a "casual passionato" of wine, then enjoy each and every moment of tasting and remember it by journaling it.
Is it just me?
An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. - Hemingway
All of the advice is good. One other suggestion is to start by tasting a variety of wines from different grapes and different regions of the world side by side. For example, learn to the characteristics of cabernet versus syrah, merlot, zinfandel, sangiovese and so on. Then begin tasting wines from the same grape and region sise by side to appreciate the more subtle differences.
WHICH WINE IS THIS? wine tasting challenges, games and posters
Drink with people who share your passion for good wine
Try different varietals
Read and post often on boards like this - read member tasting notes and ask questions of them.
Join up with other members for offlines
Key is don't do it alone. The keeping notes in a book and all that is OK, but hanging out with and posting with fellow wine nuts will really get you going.
Tasting, reading, listening to others with more knowledge than myself.
Alta is for skiers!
your oralfactors (sense of taste and smell ) are your most powerfull memories so as to taste often and file the experience in the file cabinet and dont lock it as so you can review it often.
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