Becoming aware of and understanding your wine style is an important step in your journey towards enjoying the finer things in life. Wine is equally about people, history and nature as it is about passion, life, love and friendships. Wine is also about enjoyment, tradition, and even climate conservation. Your journey can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be.
Along the way you’ll learn the value of the quote “life’s too short to drink bad wine”. You’ll likely have a lot of questions (thank goodness for Google). You’ll definitely have to experiment and remember that wine is an adventure. Always challenge yourself to taste new wines, discover new bottles, and be open minded.
More than likely you’ve also probably already started your very own wine journey. Maybe wine is already your beverage of choice? Or maybe you simply enjoy a glass at family gatherings, holiday celebrations and business lunches. Either way, the theme around when you have a glass of wine is the same – to celebrate, to compliment food, and/or to enjoy a moment.
Beginner’s Guide to Wine: 5 Things You NEED to Know About Getting Better Acquainted with Wine
Open Your Mind
1 Your first step in starting or developing your wine journey is with an open mind and commit to the learning curve.
Start Your Wine Story
2 Think about previous positive wine experiences and try to remember exactly what type of wine you were drinking. This will help you to figure out the start of your story.
Many times wine enthusiasts will ask about your first wine experiences. What got you into wine, how you became a wino, etc. So pay attention to your wine story, from the beginning so you can tell it. Also so you can be aware of how your palate may or may not change over time.
As a deeper follow-through to this point, think about some of your memorable wine experiences even as a child. It can be as simple as “our family drank red wine on holidays” to “my grandfather would always serve me a sip of port” or “I drank a lot of white zinfandel in university”. Don’t be ashamed of your memories. part of falling in love with wine over and over again is about accepting your story. Do not judge what your story, think about how wine has impacted your life in whatever way and use that as a starting block for your curiosity to shine through.
Find Your Wine Style
3 Thirdly, I always ask people what their favourite wine is and why – is it big and bold reds, fresh and elegant whites, big full bodied chardonnay, bubbles etc. Go broad with your style and then refine and educate yourself that you enjoy first, you can branch out after that with wines that are same, same but different. This gives you focus to start.
Connect With Wine Friends
4 Odds are you hang around with people who love wine and people who love wine LOVE talking about wine. They almost all love learning about a different region, grape or producer. Meetings don’t have to be often, but you can start a chat group and talk about wine, travel and food, or wine and movies, etc. It’s a great way to stay connected with humans you respect, give time to a fun hobby and learn along the way.
Practice Tasting Wine
5 The final step is really to start tasting wine and figuring out what you like, dislike and love. Learn the 5 easy steps to tasting wine, and use them religiously, start a wine journal or keep track of wines you love and why. Over time your preferences are likely to change, so take note and appreciate the journey! Check out my article here for a more indepth look into ‘The 5 Easy Steps to Tasting Wine’.
5 Easy Steps to Tasting Wine
1 Sight – Look and appreciate the colour of the wine. All wine gets colour from grape skins, so wines can come in many different colours
2 Swirl – Be sure to swirl the wine in beautiful wine glasses to release it’s bouquet – the appreciation of the aroma is what we are after here.
3 Smell – Talk about what you smell in the wine in your glass. Take a look at an aroma wheel to help guide you.
4 Sip – Enjoy the wine on your palate, never judge on your first sip and take note of the tannin, bitterness, oak, sweetness and acidity.
5 Savour – Judge the wine from both a science and art perspective. Do you like it? Is it unusual? classical in style? Is it delicious?
Finally, remember to throw wine parties, take photos of the labels of wine you like, be a wine adventurer and start experimenting when you shop for wine. Find your own rating system and soon enough you’ll build your own wine confidence starting with owning your own palate!