Learn by Tasting
Is wine a mysterious elixir that requires an alchemist’s notebook to decipher? If you have ever read the tasting notes in a wine magazine, you may think so: “the lush cranberry of this pinot noir is accented with a touch of marshmallow and a hint of tobacco-spiced granite.” Descriptions like that make wine professionals sound like egomaniacs with Asperger syndrome or some crazy type of gustatory schizophrenia.
Learning about wine is actually quite easy; The trick is to stay away from the two most obnoxious trends in wine tasting. First of all, steer clear of the wine snobs. You know the type: they love to brag about their expensive wine collections. Not only do they sap the fun out of wine, they are usually totally clueless, too. Ignoring them is the first step to true wine knowledge.
Second of all, stay away from all those wine tastings that pop up around town. Most are really They are just advertastings for big-name wine brands: Even though you paid good money to go to the event, the wineries are also paying to be represented favorably. You’ll get a good buzz, but your head will be full of marketing nonsense.
There are two ways to really learn about wine, and have a good time. The first is to take some classes at a school that offers unbiased consumer-friendly classes. In Philly, that means the Wine School of Philadelphia: they are the only place we know of that refuses to offer advertastings. They also offer professional certifications, and some of their graduates have gone on to become winemakers.
The second option is even more fun: visit some wineries. Don’t be a consumer and just hang out in the tasting room, call ahead and get a tour of the winemaking facility. You will be surprised and delighted at how much you will learn about wine by knowing how it’s made.
The best part of a winery tour is that you don’t have to head off to California. There are hundreds of wineries within driving distance of Philly, and how they make wine is pretty much exactly how they do it everywhere else. Sure, the wines are different than what they make in Napa, but how they make them is pretty much identical.
Whatever path to wine enlightenment you take, just remember to have fun and not let the snobs get you down.
For more info; www.vinology.com