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Reply to "I am new & here to learn"

I agree with most of GregT's input and I think that we do get the message.

The original question sounds very educational and a lot of people here appear to implicitly trying to explain that to you, more or less that analysing what you eat and drink is important and I would add that it comes more natural if you are naturally curious too. First you need to find out about your preferences, but always keep in mind that we normally tend to change our opinions along the way when trying new things and keeping an open mind to your taste and nose.

However, there are a few wits to getting there faster and appreciate wine more I think:

- when opening a younger bottle, remember to decant it a few hours, but follow the wine in there.

- Always pay attention to temperatures; reds are normally best at 17-18 degrees Celsius (sorry, I am european), whites 10-12. Put your wines into the cooler half an hour before the tasting, but make sure to cover it from anything in there like aggressive tomatoes that affects everything

- Buy really good glasses. I recommend Zalto from Austria which really impressed me and improved my experiences with my best wines. Glasses should have a closing shape so you capture the scents

- It is a matter of preference of course, but try to avoid wines made with too much new oak (unless you want to explore different oak varieties and toast methods) to start with and try really good producers from the classic districts e.g. Burgundy, Barolo, Brunello, Rhône dale, etc to begin with. Then you learn how different wine can taste and in addition, the originality of different areas even growing the same grapes or varieties (clones) in the world is obvious to you and appreciated

- Start by sniffing the wine a few minutes before even tasting; our nose is too easily affected by what we taste. Compare scents to spices in your kitchen, just to put a name on things when writing notes. Like GregT said, it is not about finding all the details, but to capture and remember your experience

- Also notice that some wines are very aromatic on their own, but some wines really requires their food pairings too

- Discuss with others and participate in public tastings; you learn a lot, trust me

- Always remember that the producer is much more important than Parker points and general vintage charts. Don't buy wines with high scores without tasting them your selves

- Learn the basics about terroir, e.g. the importance of exposition to build sugars and aromas, that fresh acidity needs cool winds during nights, soil varieties, etc. This the educational part and there are many good books out there

- When you find a producer that you really like, book a visit and travel there if you can. Ask to visit the vineyards and learn their philosophy and micro climate. It is very rewarding to get a personal relation with your favourites wines

- I am not selling wines and earn no money from this business; however my tip is to get the first kick (still on a budget; extremely price-worthy examples) by e.g. buying 2008 Montefico/Rabaja/Asili Produttore di Barbaresco ($50), Cerbaiona Rosso di Monalcino 2006 (this is actually a brunello, $30), Salicutti Brunello di Montalcino "tre vine" 2009, Ata Rangi from New Zeeland ($40), Chablis Févre Les Clos 2008/2010 ($70), to mention a few. Remember to decante for > 3 hrs. :-)

I sure hope that you got some help here and keep digging into the sensation and magic of wines.
Last edited by ultimatewinekick