There id very little downside to learning about wine, which makes even better. To learn more about wine you have to (get to) taste a wide variety of wines, and expand your palate. You will improve your ability to select great wine (no matter the price). And you will become more comfortable, wine store, or at a restaurant choosing from a wine list.
So, What Type of Wine Person Are You?
How does one get started? Well, the first question you can consider is why you want to learn about wine. There are two basic routes you can go to answer this question:
The enthusiast route: You want to be confident with wine in any situation.
The professional route: You want to advance your career in the hospitality industry and/or wine business.
Enthusiast: A connoisseur of wine… and of life
Congratulations. Regardless of your age or where you’ve come from, you’ve come to a crossroads where you want to know more about wine and you won’t stand for less. Wine is a powerful tool on a social level, but it also provides an endless world of exploration that can transport you–with your senses–into history, science, geography, and travel and life experience. In short, wine is real deep.
Professional: A career handling life’s most passionate substance
Excellent! The wine and hospitality business is a growing industry in need of passionate people looking to innovate for the future (space wine anyone?) as well as preserve traditions of the past. Knowing wine on a fundamental level can give you a sounding board with some of the world’s biggest people. It can also make you a lot of money in sales, consulting, and business.
Which type are you?
- The next part is all about how to get into wine…
- The Most Important Stuff to Know About Wine
The practical basics of wine include understanding what wine is on a fundamental level (e.g. acid, tannin, alcohol etc.), knowing how to taste wine, being confident opening a bottle, knowing when to decant, serving wine, and knowing how to store wine properly. This is the groundwork and foundation of your wine knowledge and skills. Learning the fundamentals will separate you from all the people who just float along… you know who I’m talking about, the floaters.
“The single most important thing to know is how to taste wine.”
Tasting can be learned quickly in 4-steps and in practice, it will change the way you taste anything from French fries to pommes Anna. It doesn’t matter what are you start, the effects are profound. You’ll be able to pick out wine flavors with exacting detail, identify spices used in your meal, and accurately assess quality. Most people never learn to tune their taste buds and they’re seriously missing out! After you learn this technique, you might be called picky eater and drinker, but is that really a bad thing?
Learn the 9 Styles of Wine
There are at least 1,300 different varieties and hundreds of thousands of unique wines that come out every year; it is impossible to be wine-omniscient. Instead of hitting those numbers head on, the best strategy is to approach wine with the 9 major styles. Try all of them, a few times. It’s the most powerful way to train your palate and understand the breadth (and depth) of wine.
“It’s a shame that when we’re finally of age to imbibe, no one helps us learn how to drink.”
Wine is a profoundly deep topic that will perplex your human brain… in a good way. Once you get through the basics, a door will open to your own path of discovery. Here are some exploratory topics to get those salivary glands working:
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- Find your favorite wine regions
By Madeline Puckette, WineFolly