This is probably the most common response I get when I ask my clients, friends and family “What is your greatest wine wondering? What do you want to know?”
“Where do I Begin?”
The world of wine can be incredibly intimidating, the sheer volume of information out there from so many different books, websites and courses is enough to make anyone say, “WHY BOTHER?” and I get it. Everyone is at a different point in their wine ride, some just beginning, and others have begun the never-ending journey to wine nirvana.
This first thing you have to ask yourself is why do I want to know more about wine? Do you want to make better choices when you order in a restaurant or online? Do you want a career in wine? This will help inform how and what you learn. A career in wine would almost definitely require some qualifications but if you want to become more confident in ordering wine in a restaurant then that’s a bit easier.
For a career in wine and spirits you need to get to grips with some seriously nerdy things like the Latin names for different kinds of vine species (Vitis Vinifera etc) but this information doesn’t help at all when deciding which Shiraz will go best with your sirloin.
There are some super basic things which can help you feel more confident. Always ask if you don’t know. I’ve been sat in restaurants with Masters of Wine and they ask the same questions that most people do ‘How oaky is this?’ & ‘What’s that like, any good?’ Because there are millions of different wines out there, no one can be expected to know all of them!
So, don’t be afraid to ask, a good sommelier will always be willing and able to help.
I find myself asking more questions about the New World wines, from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Chile etc because there are fewer rules around what the winemaker must do as opposed to say France or Italy.
The very fact you’re reading this blog post tells you that you’re going in the right direction. You’re searching for answers, actively trying to learn new things. That’s a great start, so keep reading, tasting and asking questions and you’re on the great path! Hopefully, over the course of these blog posts you’ll enjoy your myWINEjourney!