Six Steps to Enjoying Your Next Sip

Posted by The Wine Whore |

People are often intimidated when they first get into wine. Others drink it for years yet still manage to completely miss the most important part of the wine experience: enjoying the wine.

Over the past year of my "wine whoring", my perspective on wine has changed dramatically. One thing is for sure... The more I learn about wine, the more I realize how little I know.

Of all the lessons I've learned, I find the following six steps to enjoying wine to be the most important:

1) Don't Drink Alone
You wouldn't show up at a party with a case of beer, hide it, and then drink the entire thing by yourself, would ya? Well, maybe that's a bad example. But the point is that the key to enjoying wine is to enjoy it with other people. Not only is it more fun to drink in groups, but it is also a great chance to hear how other people perceive the same wine you're drinking. Everyone has different tastes, knowledge, and experience in wine. Learn, live, and enjoy the fact that we are all different!

2) Drink as Much as You Possibly Can
No, I'm not suggesting that you binge drink and puke on the family dog. Moderation is essential to avoiding this sort of embarrassment. What I AM saying is that you should seek out different types of wine and enjoy them on a regular basis. If you pair your wine with your everyday meals, after a few months you'll find that you've gone through quite a few bottles.

3) Travel
The best way to learn about wine is to go right to the source. I learned more about Bordeaux by visiting this region for a few days than many people learn during their entire lifetime.

Don't let your budget stop you from getting out there. In most cases, you don't have to travel far to find a winery since every state in the U.S. has one! Visit and support your local wineries and plan trips to other areas known for their wine. If you can swing it, plan a wine tour overseas. Who knows, you may find a new favorite varietal, region, or type of wine.

4) Eat More Food
The more I drink, the more I realize that food, beer, wine, cheese, etc... all have similarities. Just look at Stilton and Sauternes... I know it sounds like a ridiculous combination but it actually tastes AWESOME! Like a symphony of the senses, food and wine can be combined in many different ways. Experiment with different combinations and don't be afraid to think outside the box. Often the most bizarre or unlikely combos offer the most rewarding results.

5) Ask for Suggestions
I like to keep a list of all of the wine suggestions that people give me. When it's time to go to the wine shop or out to a nice dinner, I print out the list and choose the ones that have gotten the best props. This works much better than trying to find Wine Spectator's over inflated and often out of stock top 100 selections.

6) Have an Open Mind
This is by far the most important lesson I've learned when it comes to enjoying wine. Don't ever rule a bottle out for ANY reason. PERIOD!

Am I missing anything?

(This message brought to you by The Wine Whore)

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Veronique Deblois said...

I completely agree with you on this post, especially #6. Too often, people tend to stick to what they know without giving interesting wines a chance.
Good post, as usual.

Rachel said...

Great suggestions. I especially like suggestion #4 about looking for flavor similarities in other things like cheese, wine and beer. You should add coffee to that list, by the way.

I also think keeping a log or journal of grapes, blends or vineyards you like helps. I always tell myself to do this but never actually do it. I wind up wandering around the store wishing I could remember.

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you Veronique! #6 was my favorite too! There's just too many good bottles of wine out there to be monogamous! :)

Good call Rachel! I could totally see how coffee should be on this list. Funny thing is that the more I enjoy wine, the more I appreciate other things in life... that's pretty cool!

Also, I realized a few months ago that my blog should be exactly that: a journal of grapes, bottles, blends, and vineyards that I like. It's changed the content slightly from the way it was when I first stated but the difference now is that I am writing this for ME. I don't want to have to keep my notes in 20 different places. Instead, I wanna be able to go back in 5, 10, 20 years and be able to see what I was drinking today! Pretty cool stuff! :)

Chris Broholm said...

This is perfect! Missed it, but will RT it now!

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you Chris! I know there is a lot to wine, but for me, these steps are the most important!


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