For many of us wine is simply divided into red and white. If you are starting your wine adventure, I want to introduce you ten steps to go and move forward, without getting bored and enjoying the way.
Wine is joy, pleasure and amusement, but it’s also science. The technical aspects are naturally very important for wine professionals as enologists and sommeliers, but you can also prepare and organize your education in a perfect balance between study and entertainment. Science, yes, it can also be fun.
1. Write down
If you want to learn about the wine world, I recommend you to start a notebook for your observations and comments on your tastings and experiences. Thus you not only will order your new knowledge, but also you can draw, paste pictures or wine labels and even stain the pages with drops of the wines you have tasted. And when you visit a vineyard, keep leaves from the vines as a reminder of the wine origin.
2. Search for information
You don’t need to buy all the books about wine. To start and not go crazy, study step by step. Perhaps you can acquire a general book (tasting, strains, main sources, etc.). Do not hesitate to use the internet to get new information. My advice is: start with basic topics dedicated to wine, such as general articles and as a next step follow blogs or pages dedicated to tasting notes. So you become more familiar with wine vocabulary and you structure your knowledge to understand better the tasting notes.
There is no better way to learn about wine that tasting many of them and observe, analyze and compare your impressions. So the most important issues you should learn are the basic rules of tasting. For that you must follow its stages, from the appearance of wine, aromas to the taste or flavor. Write down in your notebook the tasting steps, which aspects you need to pay attention to, and the recommended vocabulary to describe the wines. After that, taste the wines with those notes in hand, until you feel comfortable with the tasting.
Wine is definitely to share and enjoy. When you have the opportunity to taste with other people, you definitely learn a lot faster. It’s great to participate in a wine class, exchange views or invite your friends and family to this education. Organize tastings at home. So you can have a good time and learn together about wine. It is not enough to memorize vocabulary and tasting steps, you need to train your nose and palate.
The appreciation of wine is certainly a matter of personal taste. Over time you will find out what are you favorite strains and styles of wine. But it is very important to distinguish when a wine is made correctly. So first of all you need to be familiar with the most popular strains (its aromatic profile, structure and flavor), different styles and backgrounds, and personalities. So you can understand a wine and know what factors can tell if you are facing a good bottle.
Always keep an open mind. Do not blindly follow the scores, rankings and price factors. Try to be unprejudiced and taste many different wines. When buying wines for your tasting, look at specialty stores, but don’t be afraid to buy at supermarkets. It is also important to know what conditions are the best to store your bottles at home. Remember: keep your wines lying down in a dark place and without sudden temperature changes.
There is nothing better for a beginner than to see a vineyard. If you can, try to visit a vineyard as soon as possible. No matter your level of knowledge. This visit will contribute a lot. First, it is an unforgettable experience to see the vines, barrels and bottles. Second, it is very educational to participate in a tasting led by a sommelier or oenologist. And third, in this type of wine tours you can taste several wines, ask about them, listen to opinions of other guests and above all, enjoy.
- When you study on tannins try black tea or nuts to understand its texture
- If you want to understand how wines react with food (sweet, salty, spicy, bitter and umami) prepare products containing these flavors and try them with wine
- To train your knowledge about wine aromatic notes, smell all home products, from flowers and spices, to wood, coffee and nail polish.
- Use your visual memory preparing tables, drawings and maps of aromas. This is essential when studying about strains, regions and wine styles. Look at how wines are organized on the website of Concha y Toro. Each wine is distinguished by its brand, origin, variety, winemaker and wine pairing.
9. Learn first hand
To learn about recommended serving temperatures for each strain and / or style is very important to read what the theory tells us, but it’s easier when you learn firsthand. For example, it is recommended to drink a white wine like Sauvignon Blanc chilled, approximately at 8 ° C. Serve a glass of it at room temperature and then cool the bottle. And compare! I assure you that you will remember what the correct temperature to enjoy this strain is.
First you have to be methodical and always focused. Find your own focus on the subject and be consistent. When you have a glass of wine in hand, even in social situations, it is always good to create the habit of taking a minute and concentrate all your attention on appearance, aroma, flavor and harmony of the wine.
You’ve probably heard many times from friends and experts that “the wine you like is a good wine.” O “that the bottle which is finished first is the best of the night”. This is true. We must not forget that wine is much study and dedication, but it is also a fun and pleasurable activity. “I like a wine or not”, that is the question.