Wine Education Resources
Last night I attended a wine tasting class at Savvy Cellar in Redwood City. While it was very basic, it was still fun and educational nonetheless. I had hoped to go to their vintners class last week (which they canceled – boo), which discussed the winemaking process and the 20 or so choices wine makers make in order to develop the wine. I am angling to learn more about the behind the scenes in the wine world so I was sad not to attend the originally scheduled class. However, the intro to tasting class still helped reinforce all those aspects of wine I had previously enjoyed.
Here are some of the resources I used to learn more about the wine tasting process and develop my palate:
Wine for Newbies This podcast by William Wilson is a great place to start. Wilson walks the newbie through the basics of tasting, the big six grapes, basic viticulture, and additional varietals. Each podcast is about 15 minutes. Not the most detailed account, but a great place to start!
Wine Library TV Another podcast, however this one is focused on wine tasting. The host, young and quirky Gary Vaynerchuk, has become an internet superstar over the last two years. While there is little to no “basic education” on this podcast, it is a fun way to expand your horizons in the wine world and pick up on terminology and learn about whats hot now. Did I mention that he has an exquisite palate and his descriptions can amuse you for hours? Since he has done hundreds, here is a suggested starter episode that discusses learning to pick up aromas. Dont forget to sniffy-sniff!
Wine Aroma Wheel This $6 wheel is a great starter tool and shows an assortment of regularly encountered aromas by categories. Follow the directions on the back of the wheel to set up your own aroma tasting.
Wine Aroma Card This is a free pdf from Vinography that is very similar to the above wheel, just without the tiered categories.
Wine Snob If you are going to start tasting and learning, everyone will tell you that you need a wine journal. Of course as an Apple geek, I forgot how to write by hand years ago and I now take advantage of this great iPhone app. Not only can I quickly enter my tasting notes on the go, but I can take a picture of the label (to enter name etc later) and it will organize the wines for me.
Wine Spectator School Wine Spectator has created a great online resource. I urge you to check out their free resources at the above link. If you are feeling like a big spender, check out one of their online courses. Their tasting chart is the first thing you should print!
Book: Great Wines Made Simple by Andrea Robinson There are a lot of great books out there, but this one is a great place to start. Robinson focuses on the Big 6 varietals and really gives great explanations on aromas, geography and terminology.