I have always believed that the best way to learn about wines is by drinking them. Enjoying them is a sensory practice that should be experienced. Of course, no matter how obsessed we are, it would not be wise to spend all day drinking or focusing only on this way. There are many entertaining and interesting approaches to keep learning about wine, that sometimes doesn’t mean having a glass of wine in hand. As in everything, the important thing is the balance. Take note.
Ecnology.com is a new interactive platform developed by Viña Concha y Toro, and an excellent technological alternative for all those interested in the world of oenology. These are online experiences that will allow you to dive into the world of wine through specialized courses such as ABC Wine, which teaches basic concepts and that you can also purchase together with 12 bottles of Casillero del Diablo, or to 360-degree virtual experiences and with 8D sound, such as La Historia de Casillero del Diablo, where you can visit in person the place where this legend took place. By the way, it is also possible to do guided tastings by the sommelier Massimo Leonori. Values range from USD 8.
Reading “The South America Wine Guide” by Amanda Barnes
If you want to learn about Latin American wines, a great way to do so is by purchasing the new book “The South America Wine Guide“, just released by wine writer Amanda Barnes. “This is probably the most comprehensive, detailed, evocative and up-to-date guide to South America and its wines that you can find,” says MW Peter Richards. It is a guide (in English) that gathers in detail everything about 70 viticultural regions, producers and wines of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Perú, in 528 pages. It includes essential descriptions of its terroirs, influencing factors and the most important grape varieties, plus historical data on wine production on the continent, more than 200 colour photographs, maps of 40 wine regions, wine producer profiles and a selection of wine recommendations from over 3,000 wines tested by the author, like Gravas del Bio Bio Sauvignon Blanc. “In this cool, cloudy region, Sauvignon Blanc ripens at a slow pace, developing intense mineral flavours with beautiful notes of schist, white pepper and white peach. A mouth-watering Sauvignon Blanc that is elegant, yet embracing”, writes Barnes. Available in print version and in e-book.
Listening “Wine for Normal People”
A very informal and practical way, but not less interesting, is to learn by to listening to a podcast. Although today there are many alternatives, “Wine for Normal People” has been issued since 2011 creating a community of followers who endorse its influence. Hosted by wine expert Elizabeth Schneider (CSW and CMS), topics range from grape varieties and regions, to interviews with people related to the world of wine, to name a few. All approached from the spirit of the program: that “normal people” learn about wines without complications and without snobbery, also with opinion and a dose of humour. The episodes are weekly (so far there are already 381 to listen) and last about an hour. Available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Libsyn.
Create or join a wine tasting group
Ideally with five people, tasting groups are an entertaining and inexpensive way to learn about wines. It is recommended to hold the meeting once a week on a particular theme, such as focusing on a single variety of wine. In this case, the idea is for each participant to bring a bottle of the same variety (such as Cabernet Sauvignon) and after tasting them blindly, compare their differences based on the regions of origin, climate, vineyard soil, winemaking methods and of course, its colour and aromas. You will see how all these factors have an impact on the flavour and character of the wine, which you can write down to keep a record of your practice. Are you up for it? If you choose the same theme, we invite you to try Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon.