Friday, April 24, 2009

Red red wine

I like the vino tinto. In our house, we are both big fans of red wine and have spent a good portion of the last few years trying to learn more about this elixir. There is something perfectly warm and inviting about a good red wine at the end of a busy day; when I can disengage from the blackberry and our munchkin is tucked into bed.
Prior to my first Napa visit I accepted my deep lack of knowledge about wine, and I thought it best to get wise in a hurry. I have had a long term interest in wine, but I also started off drinking white zinfandel AND thought I was a classy lassy all the while sipping that pink nectar so believe me, there is room for education.

Since I have already scheduled time tonight to enjoy a sip with friends, why not give an ode to wine today?

As my preferences for certain varietals and vineyards become better defined, I still have much to learn. I have read Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits and there is an overload of info. Years ago, as a gift, I bought a book called Sommeliers Guide to Wine and it looked so succinct and smart, I bought one for myself. And then, because I was just so busy, I promptly tucked it into a shelf not to be looked at again. Until two months prior to my inaugural trip to Napa. I dusted it off and read it cover to cover. Hmmm, I am only just beginning to understand the nuances of the world of fermented grapes.

While in Napa I received two other book recs: Karen McNeil's Wine Bible and Windows on the World which breaks the learning into courses on varietals and geography. I even read Wine for Dummies and I'm not too proud to say it. They write these books for a reason, and its a great starting point for people wanting to advance a few steps beyond "I like the red kind."

How to keep up with all of the info? Its a chore. The best tip I heard early on is once you try the wine, if you like it, write down the name and details of the wine. If you don't, don't write it down. That sounds simple enough. However, as your likes and dislikes grow you will forget the details of what you don't like and buy it again. Oh, it can happen. Have fun pouring that one down the drain.

There is a science to wine making, and to some its an art. I recently hosted a wine tasting and was pleased to discover, hey, the wine books actually help. I actually knew a thing or two beyond "wine tastes so good". And trust me, I am already well versed there.

But there is so much more to learn. And the infinitesimal fraction I know, I would love to pass on. Go forth, and sip with delight.

Here is a link to the ten best wine websites. These sites cover everything from sites to help educate to online wine retailers:

And here is a great link to a wine lexicon with definitions and pronunciations, especially for all of those French and Italian wines you want to know more about:

And here is a link to the top 100 wine blogs and you can sort through at your will. I have looked at (too) many of these and some of them are great. And no, I don't think all merit that status but perhaps one will be a treasure hold of information for you.

1 comment:

Mr London Street said...

I agree, there's nothing like a lovely French red.

Nice blog!