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I read books, hang out on WS and VC (these forums are a wealth of information you can't get in a book). I try every wine that's offered to me. I takes notes on 95% of the wines that I try. Later I transcribe them into a journal. As I train my palate, my notes are becoming much more detailed.

I ask questions whenever I can, I hang out in wine shops making friends with the people behind the counter (they like that, they're bored).

I probably should start subscribing to a publication, but I doubt it'll happen in the near future. I'd rather save the money and make friends with wineshop guys who know what I like. Smile

AIM: Drunken Mariachi

There is no substitute for drinking/tasting a lot of different wine. Reading about wine in the wine spectator, the wine advocate and multitudes of books may tell you about the history of wine and what producers are currently making the best wine, but it will tell you nothing about your preferences and your own palate. Take extensive notes if you want, but don't let it get in the way of enjoying the wine!
I'm a bit unusual on how I got started, but am quite like most everyone else on how I maintain my......'edge'.

I started studying wine at UCDavis, and working at some wineries. That got me started. But how I keep in top of things, is the network of fellow forumites who keep each other informed about current good buys at various shops, getting together for a day of touring wineries, get togethers, public and private tastings, etc. I also read books (Parker's Bordeaux for Xmas), subscription-only newsletters (WA), off the shelf magazins (WS, WE), and industry publications (Wine Business Monthly, Vines to Wines, Practical Vineyard & Winery, etc).

-Vitis Vinifera

Member #19
Luckily, I'm situated in the thick of it. Lots of lots of tasting. Not to mention a p/t job at a winery tasting room.

Also luckily, the local community college has lots of wine classes. I've taken several adult ed tasting classes such as "component tasting" & "Italian wines." I've also taken credit courses in enology & viticulture in the distant past.

This spring I have three short courses:
- Calif vs France
- Enology & viticulture for tasting rm people
- Professional wine judging

I hope I don't flunk out from such a full schedule and have to repeat anything. Wink

I used to read the wine mags, but don't much any more.

I think lots of tasting is the best way. Joining or starting a wine group is a great idea. We belonged to one for several years. Would like to find another.

In fact, I was just out today doing some "research" in Dry Creek Vly. Lytton Springs, Pezzi King, Dry Creek & Wilson.

It's not over-supply. It's under-consumption. Do your part!
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Exactly what everyone else said, read a lot of different books and taste many different wines. Also, if you are looking for a source for wine pronunciation to add to your library, please visit my site at It has over 1200 terms with an intuitive phonetic pronunciation method. It is easy to find the definition of these terms but not as easy to find a guide that educates your pronunciation method. The book is great for all of us that are learning this complex subject, whether we are new to it or have doing it for a while. If you have any questions please e-mail me. Enjoy.

Chris Razz

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