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Hi Bella Donna,

I guess you're the first to notice the new Learn Wine forum so I'll send you the gold star for the day. (I'd be Gloria Frazee, in charge of the courses at Wine Spectator School.)

With the Learn Wine forum, we're hoping to create a place where people who want to learn about wine can exchange questions and answers with people who know about wine.

It's different from the Wine Conversations forum because you folks have mostly taken lots of wine courses or read libraries of wine books and have been tasting for years. Besides, you’re really not asking questions about putting together wine tastings, sensory evaluation, wine regions, grapegrowing, winemaking or even wine service.

You’ve probably shared a great glass of wine or some knowledge with a friend who's just learning about wine, so you know how rewarding that "aha!" moment is when they realize how interesting fermented grape juice can be. We're hoping to make learning about wine easier for everyone, whether or not they know a knowledgeable winelover who can bring them along.

We hope you'll join us in this endeavor and share your knowledge. I’ll regularly join in the discussion and I’ll consult Tom Matthews and the rest of the editors whenever we need their expertise.

This forum is open to everyone, whether or not they've taken a course at Wine Spectator School. (Sure, you’ll find an ad for our courses at the top of the forum page, but the courses help pay for the electricity around here.)

I’m over at the Learn Wine forum if you have any more questions – and I’ll continue to look in at this thread.

Gloria (The Schoolmarm)
I agree as well. There are several people I would refer to this site as sometimes they are overwhelmed or intimidated by the other forums. Many just want something easy and simple to refer to on an introductory level and maybe this will offer just that.

Along with a major credit card for the WS course links all over that section Big Grin
Now, why would anyone want to pay good money for a course, when this huge amount of internationally aclaimed knowledge is available for free?

As for myself, I didn't take lots of courses, I didn't read mucho books, but I sure as mth emptied a lot of fine bottles.
So I will be pleased to parttake in any educational endeavor on the forum.

No, seriously...
[In best Monty Burns voice] Excellent.

Whilst my knowledge of Oz and NZ is pretty fair there are some regions and varieties from the rest of the world where what I know could be carved on the back of an asprin with an axe. Mind you that's never stopped me having an opinion on them.

I also like the moderated and kinder and gentler approach, as some newbies here have been flamed on suspicion of being a troll unfairly.
I also think this is a good idea. Just look at how many people either don't get their honest questions answered because folks on here commandeer their threads, or because they are too intimidated by the whole community. Nobody on here knows everything about wine (although some people pretend), and I think this will be an invaluable tool for people who want their questions answered in a comfortable environment.

Dang, I sound preachy...let's party.
For years WS has told the sophisticated self proclaimed wine experts how to think and what to buy, reliving them from their ability to makeup their minds.
Just imagine with letting us newbes in how grateful the world may some day be. A world without White Zinfandel. A world where screw top bottles, bag in the box and 8 track tape are stories of the past. Where red wine is not measured by how fast it could be drank out of a bottle, but how well it has aged in the bottle.
So to all of you who are so much more sophisticated and wine educated than us, I beg you to tolerate our existence.
P.S. I think you guys take this place a little too seriously.
Winedoggy, (clap, clap)! Bravo!

The Wine Spectator forums are like an abandoned car that some of these people live out the back of. Bums.

You get to 3000+ posts and you suddenly think you're somebody. Nah, it's okay, feel free to abuse the "intimidated newbies", because you're a genius. You've been suckling a wine cask since you were born...yes, we know.

None of us add any value to this place, save a very few. Bring on the noobs!
Originally posted by JPBone:
How much of an expert can Bella be - she drinks that Red Truck ... crap.

Off to school for you Bella
I'm not claiming to be an expert...

I do claim to individualize and have my own opinion about wines. Just because you and most people don't like Red Truck, that doesn't mean it's a bad wine. And so what if I've had Red Truck 3 times? Does that discredit my palate?
Perhaps I could have said "something vinous," but then someone else might have complained about that too. Anyway, let me put on my wine biz hat for a moment before you fire me.

A lot of wineries make less expensive wines. This gives them a place to put their lesser grapes, which means that they get to put just their best grapes into their best wines. It also means that they get to sell some drink-it-know wine shortly after harvest; the cash helps them cover the costs of oak barrels and holding on to the best wines for longer periods.

The result, you get something vinous now, and something better than just vinous later. Both types of fermented grape juice find their way into my shopping cart.
Hi bugooch, that's a good question.

Even though everyone's always talking about aging their wines, the truth of the matter is that most wines (maybe 90-95% of all wines produced) are meant to be drunk as soon as they appear on the store shelf or within a year or two. They just don't have the stuffing it takes to improve with age.

Of the wines that can improve with time in the bottle, the peak drinking period varies hugely, from a few years to a few decades. It depends on the wine, the producer and the vintage.

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