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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