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Reply to "I am new & here to learn"

New2wineguy - good advice above.

I'd change it a little bit though.

I'd just say taste.

Read later.

Did you read before you tried chocolate cake? Or pizza? Or egg rolls?

You just came to those and figured out what you liked. Don't over-complicate wine. It's not any different from those other things.

You can try to pick out different things like pomegranate, sous bois, torrefaction, graphite and Meyer lemon, and you can turn yourself into one of those tedious people who basically bullshit about what they're tasting.

Don't do that.

And one more thing.

The posts above said to taste, taste, taste.

Don't limit that to wine. When you taste your coffee in the morning, do you just chug it down? When you eat your steak, do you just galp it down like a dog? When you have a piece of chocolate or a handful of nuts, do you just eat and swallow and move on?

If so, you're missing out on life itself. Take some time to savor what it is you're eating and drinking. I'm always skeptical about people who eat things like Pringles, MacDonald's burgers, Oreo cookies and diet Coke and then pose as discerning wine tasters. Really? They can't tell that they're eating and drinking crap all day but somehow they discern nuances and ethereal qualities in their wine?


In fact you learn about wine like you learn about many things - by paying attention. And if you're going to pay attention, then pay attention. Do it with everything you put into your mouth.

If you pay attention and you put an Oreo in your mouth, you note that there's no chocolate at all involved, that there's a dusty, flavorless, bitterness to the "cookie" part and a fatty, waxy coating on the roof of your mouth from the lard/grease in the filling, that there's a painfully nauseating sugar overload from the corn syrup sweetener, that there's some undefined chemical refinery note overlaid on the entire experience, and that you have an overwhelming desire to puke. You will never eat another one.

Reading gives you words you can BS with. Paying attention gives you understanding. I would never be able to tell one wine from another because of anything I'd read. I can only do that because I've paid attention.

Read later. Unfortunately, wine has become political these days and reading will most likely lead you down some partisan road or another. Don't do that to yourself. Keep your innocence and just learn about wine the way you should - by tasting it.

And yes, you can do it at home. You can do it alone. You can do it on the phone.

Dr Seuss aside, however, as they said above, it's a lot more fun to drink wine with other people. That doesn't mean you have to sit there and write tasting notes, it just means you have to take a few moments to think about what you're tasting.

Making notes for yourself is in fact a good way to remember things. The problem is that everyone ends up trying to be another Robert Parker and they condition themselves to reflexively write about every drop of wine that touches their lips. Don't do that and don't worry about picking up this or that flavor. If you're going to write a note to help your memory, just jot down something that is meaningful to you alone. That's easier done at home alone than with other people around. When I'm with people and we're just having dinner and wine, it's not about writing notes, it's about enjoying the moment.

Best of luck!
Last edited by gregt