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The 3 Things You Really Need for Better Wine Appreciation

Vinted on February 25, 2009 under learning wine, wine eBook, wine products, zen wine

Actually, I lied.

doubleazonecom-easySince you will also need a decent corkscrew and a wine glass, you actually need five things to better appreciate wine.  But no more than five, and those last two are just enablers (as we say in my office).

But first, a bit of preamble (as we also say in my office)…

When I tell people that one of my jobs is related to wine, they give me a strange look.  It’s the same look they give me whenever it comes up in conversation that one of my other jobs is as a musician (oddly, I receive very few disparaging comments on the fact that playing rock music and drinking comprise a contribution to my income).

It is not a look of admiration.

It’s more like the look I imagine that people would give the embalmed and glowing remains of an alien corpse if it was discovered on this planet and then put on display somewhere.  A look that says, “Hmmm… you are strange and perhaps you possess some strange powers that I do not understand…

But there is nothing strange, magical, or otherworldly about wine appreciation (or playing music – ok, playing music is strange but that has more to do with most club owners being weirdos).

Why wine appreciation has been put on a pedestal is beyond me.  I understand how it happened (a great write-up of which was the topic of a recent post by Alder Yarrow over at the excellent Vinography.com).  But I will never understand why it happened.

warehousecarlhcom-alien_autopsy_2It’s a myth that is perpetuated by many of the established wine magazines and some of their wine critic staff, because, like credit card companies finding suckers who are already in debt as potential new customers, or fake alien autopsy videos looking for true believers, it makes them money.

In fact, I can tell you from first-hand experience that wine appreciation is actually pretty easy. Look at me – I did it, and… well, you tell me: do you think I’m the smartest guy you know?

Didn’t think so.

If it helps, before you jump in and start buying vino by the case, just spend a day telling yourself that wine appreciation is NOT hard – in fact, it’s easy and natural.  I’ve done this before starting anything that I’d previously convinced myself was “too hard” to try.  Works like a charm (but maybe I’m just self-gullible?).

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase.

The 3 Things You Really Need (To Do) for Better Wine Appreciation:

  1. Taste.  A lot.
    No secret or mystic initiation rites here.  Just start tasting. Buy a bottle and taste.  There is no prep. work required.  Just do it.

    Yes, it’s that simple.

    Look at it this way – how else would you try anything new?  If I served you a dinner dish that you’d never had before, would you need to do any prep. work before you tried it to see if you liked it (or didn’t like it)?  The idea is totally preposterous.  If buying wine frightens you, then buy online from any of the great retailers that advertise on this blog – they’ll help you find something decent in your price range. The important thing to note here is that you have nothing to fear by jumping right in and tasting.

  2. Note what you like – and what you don’t like.
    This is easy as well.  When you taste a wine, write it down.  Pay special attention to what you like in the taste of that wine (remember, we’re tasting here, not guzzling), and what you don’t like.

    This will help you to do two important things: a) learn what floats your boat about certain wines so you can enjoy more like those, and b) learn what you want to avoid in certain wines because you don’t like those tastes.  For example, I don’t like mushrooms.  In fact, I hate mushrooms.  It’s fungus, for gods’ sake.  Or cream.  Don’t lke cream either – turns my digestive system totally inside out (whoops… TMI…).  Cream of mushroom soup is right out.  How do I know I want to avoid those tastes?  Because I tried them, didn’t like them, and I’ve got a mental note about that which helps me to avoid unpleasant culinary situations in the future.  Easy.  Wine is no different.

    If it helps, follow a system (I’ve outlined a simple one in my eBook).

  3. wkuedu-brain_dumpCome with an open mind.
    Here’s a question for you: would you eat only one thing every day for the rest of your life, if you had any choice in the matter? Would you eat nothing but steak?  Or wear only red clothing, forever, until you died?

    Probably not.  But if you limit yourself to drinking only one kind of wine (say, for example, oak-ladden and buttery Chardonnays), you are basically doing the exact same thing. There is a dizzying array of wine varietals, regions, styles, brands, etc., to be had in today’s marketplace.  Don’t handcuff yourself by limiting the enjoyment and pleasure you could have – your motto here should be “try anything at least once.”

There you have it.

Wine Appreciation = Super Simple. No go out there and enjoy yourself!

Check out more 1WineDude.com articles on Learning Wine & Zen Wine Appreciation.

Cheers!

(images: doubleazone.com, warehouse.carlh.com, wku.edu)

Shop Dude! Wine, Accessories, and Tools for Wine Learning Available on 1WineDude.com


I’ve been getting some reader feedback that the various items we’ve got for sale via 1WineDude.com are arranged in a, let’s just say, less than optimal fashion.

Another way of putting it, is that the current layout is too friggin’ confusing! So I’m offering this post to (hopefully) help clear up the confusion.

Looking for Wine? Looking for Wine Gifts & Accessories? Looking to up your Wine IQ?

Dude’s got you covered!
1WineDude.com has all manner of items for sale through our Affiliates.
Checkout the links below and get yourself all wined-up!…

Get Wine


Domaine547.com is an on-line place without pretensions, where you can drink, learn, & communicate about wine. 1WineDude.com readers get a 5% discount on their wine orders! Just enter the coupon code “dude” during checkout.

WineQ.com offers hand-crafted wines sold by small, family-owned wineries in California. You can queue up your wine orders (a-la netflix) and shipping is free for orders over $35.

The Wine SpiesTheWineSpies.com – Every 24 hours The Wines Spies features a single exceptional wine for sale. The wines are chosen on a quantity-limited basis, and are offered at a great price.

MyWinesDirect  125x125 Burgundy logoMyWinesDirect‘s wines are carefully selected by experts, then approved by panels of wine drinkers just like you – to ensure that every wine’s a winner. They try to make buying, serving and drinking wine fun, easy and enjoyable, while giving you the knowledge to experiment and the confidence to discover your own likes, dislikes and tastes.

WineLegacy.com is a premier online wine retailer featuring a superb selection of quality, hand-picked fine wines and wine gifts from around the world, shipped right to your doorstep.

The Wine MessengerThe Wine Messenger offers wine clubs, and collections of wines based on geography and winemaking styles. They also have a handy wine facts section that let’s you learn and shop by varietal or country. Pretty cool.

Morrell Wine: Taste You Can TrustMorrell is a kickin’ family-run shop out of NYC that sells wines and spirits from pretty much everywhere. They’ve been in business for 59+ years and perform their own tasting and evaluating before selling to you.

Get Wine Smarties


How To Taste Like a Wine Geek: The 1WineDude Tasting Guide is a practical & fun approach to tasting & enjoying the world’s greatest beverage! The tasting guide is written just like the 1WineDude.com blog – accessibly and without snobbishness. It’s available in both Printed & eBook formats.

DeLongWine.com offers two great products to help you learn more about wine: a Grape Varietal Table that shows wine grapes in a visually related way, and a nifty Wine Tasting Notebook that helps you to keep track of your wine adventures.

Get Wine Stuff


Get sweet wine gear at Dude’s CafePress shop.
We’ve got all manner of schwag available, like t-shirts, hoodies, caps, mugs, coasters, mouse pads, baby onesies – basically anything but wine. Dude’s printed Wine Tasting Guide is also available at the shop.


1WineDude Recommendations – The Dude has Essential Wine Books, Interesting Wine Reads, Wine Accessories (like corkscrews and stemware), and even wine-sippin’ Music selections, all available on his Amazon.com store.

Get Even More Wine Stuff


Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try these wine-related offers on for size:

Hope this helps! Cheers!

In The News: US Wine Consumption on the Rise – *Again*

Vinted on January 18, 2008 under wine eBook, wine news

There’s a great little article by Janice Jones in today’s Sierra Sun about the rising tide of wine consumption in the U.S.

According to the article, the U.S. has surpassed Italy and is now on the heels of France to claim the title of the world’s largest consumers of wine by volume (at 2.77 gallons per wine drinker per year). Though I think Luxembourg still holds the title in terms of wine consumption per capita.

What is most interesting about the article is the picture it paints of just how vast our wine choices are here in the U.S. – 7,000 different brands (with the $20 and under category making up most of the market).

That’s just… HUGE!

How’s a wine consumer supposed to navigate that kind of territory?…

Janice offers some sound advice on this: keep track of what you’re drinking, so you can build up your ‘Wine IQ’ and form the vocabulary to accurately describe what tastes you like – and don’t like – in your wine. Preferably by using a notebook and writing down your wine experiences. Which is exactly what the Dude’s Wine Tasting Guide eBook. Yeee-haw – vindication!! ;-)

In a way, the Sierra Sun article underscores why I wrote the eBook in the first place – to help people better navigate the crazy (but utterly wonderful) wine by building their own personal wine taste ‘map’. Without that map, and considering the vast array of wine brands available, their multitude of styles, and the increasing ‘pressure’ to somehow get on board the rising wave of wine popularity in the U.S., you may find the journey into the world of wine so daunting that you never even take the first step.

And that would suck – because the journey is really an amazing one.

Cheers!

The 1WineWine Dude Tasting Guide! How to Taste Like a Wine Geek – Now Available (Printed & eBook Versions)!

Discover how YOU can become a Wine Guru!


Want to know more about wine?
Want to get more enjoyment out of every glass of wine that you drink?
Want to feel more confident when you head out to buy your next bottle of wine?
Are you ready to Taste with the Big Boys?

The Dude is here to help!

I’m happy to announce that my Wine Tasting Guide, How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: The 1WineDude Wine Tasting Guide is
now available!

Preview a sample of the guide at LuLu.com.

My Wine Tasting Guide details the same practical tasting approach that I used to increase my own knowledge about – and enjoyment of – wine (the greatest beverage in the world). Some of the highlights:

  • A step-by-step guide to tasting wine like the pros (only without the spitting or the snobbishness!).
  • The story of how I overcame my own personal fear of wine, and was able to go from total WineDunce to the 1WineDude (and how that journey helped to form my tasting approach).
  • A practical example of the tasting approach in action.
  • Printable Forms for capturing your own wine tasting experiences.
  • Links to lots of helpful resources, wine accessories, & more (for further wine learning).

The Guide is an expansion of the wine tasting advice that I touched on in one of my previous blog posts. I received such strong positive reactions to the post that I decided it would be fun to create a reference that went into more detail about how my tasting approach developed, in the hopes that it would help others to get more enjoyment out of wine.

The Guide is targeted at those that are either new to wine, or who enjoy wine now but really want to get more out of it and are not sure where to start. If you’re one of those people – now you have a place to start!

The eBook is available for $7.95 USD. It’s in PDF format for maximum portability. If you need a PDF reader, you can get one for free for both PCs and PDAs from Adobe, and other software providers (my personal favorite is the light-on-the-resources FoxIt Reader).

Reviews:

  • This ebook, combined with a sample half case or case of wine, can start novice wine geeks on their way to becoming confident wine buyers.” – Kathleen Lisson, CSW & Wine Century Club member
  • Succinct information about how to taste wine, what to look for, and how to really determine which wines suit your palate best. Using his scale, I can confidently state ‘I Love It!’ when reviewing 1 Wine Dude’s e-book.” – Douglas Trapasso of Chicago Pinot

Purchase Options:
1) Buy the eBook version at Payloadz.com (PayPal & Google Checkout) – $7.95 USD. Go Get It!

2) Buy the eBook version at LuLu.com (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) – $7.95 USD. Go Get It!
Support independent publishing: buy this e-book on Lulu.

3) The printed version of my tasting guide can be purchased at Cafepress.com for $10.95 USD. Go Get It!

4) As of July 2008, the Tasting Guide has gone Kindle! If you’re hip to Amazon’s ultra-cool techno reader, you can grab the Kindle Edition of the guide directly from Amazon.com for $7.95 USD! Go Get It!

Cheers – and Happy Reading!

Affiliate Program
If you’d like to sell my eBook on your blog or website, I’m offering a whopping 47% of the sales to affiliates! You can check out the details here.

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Contact: joe (at) 1winedude (dot) com

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