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WINE 101

Beginner's Guide to Wine

Whether you're just getting started with wine or work in the industry, this page contains many useful resources that will round out your wine knowledge. Let's get started!

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Wine Basics

Most wine is made with grapes, but they're not like the ones you find in the grocery store. Wine grapes (latin name: Vitis vinifera) are smaller, sweeter, have thick skins, and contain seeds. There are over 1,300 wine grape varieties used in commercial production but only about 100 of these varieties make up 75% of the world's vineyards.

Today, the most planted wine grape in the world is Cabernet Sauvignon ("cab-err-nay saw-vin-yon"). Find out more about the basics of wine (and which ones to try) in the following sections:

What do I do with my hands?

Serving Wine and Choosing Glassware

Wine is a peculiar beverage. It's handy to know the best practices for serving, handling and storing wine – including choosing the right glasses for your occasion.

The Basic Wine Guide

Develop Your Sense of Taste

Learn how to pick out flavors in wine and identify pesky wine faults. Additionally, your tasting practice will help you spot great quality too! Definitely check out this how-to video on the 4-step tasting method that's used by professionals. (Don't worry, it's easy to learn!)

Handling Wine

Wait, is that a book I see?

Wine Folly

The Master Guide (Magnum Edition)

If you're looking for an amazing wine guide book definitely check out Wine Folly: The Master Guide. It's packed with wine basics, how to guides, types of wine, terms, wine regions, and amazing maps to help you find great quality wines around the world.

WINNER! 2019 James Beard Awards - Beverage Book

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How does one find the best wine values?

Buying Wine

The wine marketplace is constantly changing. It's also a big market. There are over 100,000 labels registered with the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) each year.

Despite the vastness of options, there are some tactics you can use to find more of what you like. Consistently.

Why Learn About Wine

Enhances Social Experiences

At its heart wine is a beverage best enjoyed in the company of others. A little bit of wine knowledge goes a long way by opening doors to new flavors and styles. Exploring wine is an inexhaustible adventure for which you'll need to enlist your friends and family.

Confidence Buying Wine

No one likes to go to the wine aisle and feel overwhelmed. Have you bought wine based on arbitrary ratings, ambiguous tasting notes, or the label? How would you like to walk in, confidently find your favorite wines, and leave 100% satisfied?

Improve Ability to Taste / Smell

Tasting/smelling wine doesn't have to be an exercise in snobbery. It only takes a brief pause to develop an awareness of what you're drinking. Knowing what you like will make it much easier to consistently find similar wines. This isn't limited to wine, learning a few basics can improve the taste/smell of just about anything.

Personal Challenge / Satisfaction

The wine world is immense. We like to see this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Do you have a favorite sports team, fashion designer, tv chef, or movie director? What if I told you that there are celebrity winemakers and that if you found your favorite winery/winemaker you'd never have to drink bad wine again?

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