On Becoming a Wine Person

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As a middle-western American who really likes chicken nuggets and Coca-Cola, wine is not the first thing that my palate understands. Sure, from time to time I have enjoyed some “sweet berry wine,” as Dr. Steve Brule calls it. It is basically booze juice. But I wrote it off at some point as a too-sweet treat that gave me headaches.

Then I read Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler and realized I was really missing out on something special by dismissing wine. Danler, who is somewhat of a sommelier herself, wrote about wine in such an intriguing way that I found myself craving it every time I picked up that book.

After Sweetbitter, I was left wanting to read a natural history of wine. (Something like, A Natural History of the Senses but about wine in particular would have been perfect. Maybe Diane Ackerman could write it, or Michael Pollan could do a follow-up to Cooked called Fermented or something. Just free ideas, writers!)

I browsed around for highly rated wine books and blogs and was really disappointed with what I found. This “WINE. all the time” blog by Marissa A. Ross from Bon Appetit was the least stodgy wine blog I could find. Apparently she has a book coming out in 2017, so I will definitely be reading that next year!

Until then, the best wine book I could find was called Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to WineIt’s a beautifully designed, well-organized book that teaches you about each type of wine, its flavor notes and the different regions that wine comes from. I would highly recommend it for anyone in the same boat as me. Just from reading this book I know 100% more about wine than I used to (which was 0%).

I plan to pick a random page in the book every so often and do a wine tasting for that type of wine. Hopefully after a year or so I will be very well-versed in different styles of wine. For now, I can’t stop ordering rosé after Scotty and I tasted several kinds on our podcast. It’s the perfect in-between wine for people who still don’t know if they like white or red wine better.

I hope to share the results of several wine tastings on this blog, so follow along if you’re into wine! And please do recommend any wine books or blogs (or bottles!) you enjoy.