Do you still pay attention to the old method of pairing wine and food?  You know the one: Red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, chicken and “the other white meat”, pork?   Probably doesn’t work that well, especially if you’ve become either a preferred red or white drinker.

So what are gonna do now?  How do you approach it?

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If you’re at all like me, you’ve no doubt been in a situation where you could use some quick wine advice.  Be it at a restaurant, wine shop, winery, etc., you want the ability to make an informed decision or to just know a little bit more about the wine you’re tasting or prepared to buy.   And if you’re even more  nerdy about it like me, you probably have a “cellar” (something a bit above double-wide status, but below a McMansion) of wine at home where you keep them logged in a database.  Naturally, you probably don’t have access to the database when you need it – at the point of sale.  Those days may change if you have a trusty smart phone/iTouch/iPad, where there are of course, apps for that! (more…)

The leaves have turned and the weather has done the same – the holiday season is now upon us.   As if there weren’t enough reasons to drink wine already, the holidays offer an excellent, if somewhat challenging, opportunity to expand your wine experience and knowledge.

Family, friends, food and the general festive atmosphere offer perfect opportunity to enjoy all types of wine — everything from sparkling wine (e.g., champagne), to whites, to reds and dessert wines.   Perhaps the most challenging task will be what wine to pair with your meal, followed up only by what to bring to a (dinner) party, with the goal of helping yourself look smart while not breaking the budget. (more…)

I’m pretty sure that whoever came up with the concept of the wine club also invented the time-share.  The feeling of the consumer is roughly the same:  A bit of buyer’s remorse followed by the realization that it’s the gift that keeps giving (and charging).

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Toward the end of a typical tasting at a winery comes the inevitable question:  To buy or not to buy?

For most, it depends on whether or not they actually liked the wine.  For some, it may come down to how much to buy (or how much they can afford to buy).  And for others it may come down to a simple cost-benefit analysis.

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I mentioned in a previous post that among the best ways to learn about wine is at the wineries themselves.  Naturally there are some potential barriers to maximizing your knowledge in this fashion – chief among them is access to a variety of wineries that might fit your needs.   Getting to most wineries usually involves a planned trip, with planned times and locations.  So unless you plan to spend a week or so in a particular area you have to be rather surgical with your plans.

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The best way to learn more about wine is of course to jump right in and taste different types and styles. There are several ways (not including by yourself) to accomplish this task:

  • At a (wine) bar
  • With Friends
  • At a wine shop or other purveyor of fine wines and spirits
  • At a winery

Four of the five listed above involve friends.  Yes, wine tasting is a very social activity – and the social aspect very much enables one’s growth of wine IQ.  But two of the above methods are hands down better options for learning than the rest:  Tasting events at a wine shop and/or at a winery.

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