Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

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JordanL
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Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#1 Post by JordanL » January 13th, 2019, 10:03 am

On my 21st birthday, my parents took me to a tasting menu with a wine pairing in the Napa area and it completed changed the way I thought about food and wine. Finished up my undergrad (at UC Davis of all schools... one of my biggest regrets now is not caring about their V&E department in my time there).

Fast forward two years, I move to NYC, started going to some amazing small wine stores (shoutout Nolita Wine Merchants and Wine Therapy) where I got to learn more and more about wine, and now I have completely fallen in love with it. I love going to wine bars, I love checking out different wine stores and trying to learn as much as I can from the people there.

Unfortunately, not a lot of my friends are that into wine and sometimes I feel like I'm talking to a wall when I talk to them about wine, but I do anyway. I did go to a meetup once where most of the people were in their 30s and older and I really enjoyed their company.

A question I want to end on...

I assume a lot of you guys are older than me... When did you guys start getting into wine, and if you were in my position (25-year-old, would be financially irresponsible if he was spending even over $50 on a bottle of wine regularly, what would you be doing to maximize your enjoyment of wine?)
Last edited by JordanL on January 13th, 2019, 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
jordan lee

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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#2 Post by ericleehall » January 13th, 2019, 10:05 am

As far as I can tell most members here don't even open bottles until they are older that you! :-)
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Merrill Lindquist
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#3 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 13th, 2019, 10:25 am

Jordan... there are some of us who are not guys! There are not many of us women here, but yes, I am old enough to be your mother. But there is a wide range of age, not much range of gender, and certainly a wide range of what people here pay for wine.

I would advise you to experiment, try to attend an offline or two, and don't go heavy into any one type or style of wine if you are building a cellar.
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Chad Richardson
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#4 Post by Chad Richardson » January 13th, 2019, 10:33 am

First...welcome! I probably started down the rabbit hole at about your age...though I'm 2X that now :(
Sounds like you're already doing this, but visit all the tastings you can to get exposed to as many different wines/regions/experiences as possible. And meet all the other wine-geeks you can. There are a lot of small "private" tasting groups out there...if you meet the right folks and get into some groups, you can get a much more focused experience with a group of like-minded people. Cheers!
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#5 Post by Brian Gilp » January 13th, 2019, 2:37 pm

My introduction was via my girlfriend’s parents when I was about 18. My parents didn’t drink so wine wasnt something I had any experience with, just cheap beer. My girlfriend’s parents took us out to dinner a few times and always ordered a bottle of wine and I was smitten. It was all I could do to not drain my glass before the food arrived. After that, it took a few years before I really started my journey. We had a wine appreciation course at the University where I went to school/ worked. I took the course once but would visit specific classes when the prof told me it was worth showing up.

After that, it was a weakend job in the tasting room of a local winery. But it wasn’t long before I was taking off from my day job to bottle, rack, or whatever was happening. Blending trials was probably my favorite and quite eye opening. The winery job lead to a number of tastings and other educational meetings.

This lead to making my own wine. By now I wanted to really understand the process and felt that I had to actually make my own to fully grasp the process. Which with a large delay led to my own vineyard.

Along the way, I read and drank a lot. I really enjoy learning about grapes and regions more than I do about the top wines out there but still felt I needed to taste them on occasion to understand why many consider them great. So the occasional splurge was in order but more often it was a tasting where I could try things I couldn’t afford. At the time, pre-auction tastings were a thing and a specific Chicago wine company tasting proved to be a critical point in my journey.

I don’t regret the occasional splurge. Those were vital to my journey and my understanding. They helped focus my interest both to specific regions but also away from some. It’s also very nice to have cellared some things from my early years to try decades later. Due to a local wine shop that never raised prices and didn’t have a customer base that loved the same wines as the owner, I got to purchase a number of 91 & 92 Étude and Insignia for a song and drank the last just a few years ago with the next generation of enthusiasts.

The hobby can take many forms and you really only need to follow the one you find interesting. My brother found wine much later than me and took a completely different path yet finds as much interest in it as I do.

Enjoy the journey.

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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#6 Post by Randy Bowman » January 13th, 2019, 7:11 pm

Different people are sucked in at different ages, depending on a large variety of elements like location, people, weather and money. My first wife's family was part owner in a winery with other family members. The family was Italian so wine was served with everything, probably even with cereal at breakfast. I liked the high but not the wine. Rarely drank wine after that until I was 29 and had my first Silver Oak Cab. I now have 40 years in the rabbit hole, the last 17 owning a wine store. I have also learned why Italian wine goes with Italian food.

Jordan, you still have 12 states and 26 countries worth of wine to explore. You will really be in trouble if you become a foodie too. Think exponential spending on wine/food.

Enjoy!
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#7 Post by JordanL » January 14th, 2019, 1:39 am

Thank you everyone who responded! I feel very welcome and look forward to spending a lot of time here.
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#8 Post by Jason T » January 14th, 2019, 5:13 am

Hey Jordan, welcome. You're definitely one of the youngest; I'm 40 and even I feel like a kid around here (and since I just cracked 40, feeling like a kid isn't a bad thing!).

My intro to wine was similar to Brian's in that it came via my (then girlfriend) wife and her parents. They were big into wine, went to lots of wine dinners and tastings, and she poured at tastings for some extra coin. My parents and extended family were not into wine at all. 'Wine' was white zin at Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. So this was all a bit of a revelation.

I found out I liked it, but was intimidated by what seemed like an insurmountable learning curve. Then I found out there was a great deal I could learn not just by tasting but also by reading (and that there's a lot of great stuff to read), and got the bug from there.

What I now realize is that while there's infinitely more to know about wine than I'll ever get my head around, I don't need to know it all to enjoy wine. That said, to me, putting in the time isn't like 'work' because I enjoy it so much. Continuing to taste and learn has given me a framework for learning more, which helped with the intimidation factor quite a bit.

Then I came across this forum and became obsessed - read almost every post from the beginning of the forum to present, starting in May 2014. My knowledge and appreciation of wine grew exponentially as a result.

I'm jealous that you've found wine at such a young age. I was in my early 30's, and I wonder where I'd be now, both in terms of the progression of my knowledge, appreciation and palate, as well as the progression of my cellar.

Jordan, like you, not too many of my friends are into wine. Though I've become a bit of evangelist; I've increased a couple family member's enjoyment and gotten a couple friends hooked. Maybe that happens to you, maybe it doesn't, or maybe you make friends via the wine bars or tastings. It will happen, but it takes time, and with that a bit of patience.

If I were you, a couple things I'd do to maximize my appreciation - one is, I'd look for tastings in my area, whether put on my wine shops/liqour stores or otherwise. Some of these are free, many are not. It's a great way to explore wines you'd otherwise have to purchase a bottle of to try. I'd also look for tasting groups in your area that fit your budget.

And from there I'd just think about what is it that I want out of this thing and ensure my buying patterns match that. For example, would I rather drink well, but less often, or just 'pretty-well' and more frequently? Do I expect to have a greater income potential in the future such that I don't have any need to focus on squirreling wines away now?

Regardless, remember that no matter what it's just a hobby, and you shouldn't take it too seriously, or stress too much if you bought a bum bottle or came across a prized bottle that's out of our reach. There's always more wine!
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#9 Post by Jeff P » January 14th, 2019, 6:31 am

JordanL wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 10:03 am
On my 21st birthday, my parents took me to a tasting menu with a wine pairing in the Napa area and it completed changed the way I thought about food and wine. Finished up my undergrad (at UC Davis of all schools... one of my biggest regrets now is not caring about their V&E department in my time there).

Fast forward two years, I move to NYC, started going to some amazing small wine stores (shoutout Nolita Wine Merchants and Wine Therapy) where I got to learn more and more about wine, and now I have completely fallen in love with it. I love going to wine bars, I love checking out different wine stores and trying to learn as much as I can from the people there.

Unfortunately, not a lot of my friends are that into wine and sometimes I feel like I'm talking to a wall when I talk to them about wine, but I do anyway. I did go to a meetup once where most of the people were in their 30s and older and I really enjoyed their company.

A question I want to end on...

I assume a lot of you guys are older than me... When did you guys start getting into wine, and if you were in my position (25-year-old, would be financially irresponsible if he was spending even over $50 on a bottle of wine regularly, what would you be doing to maximize your enjoyment of wine?)
I'm slightly older than you and started around same time.
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#10 Post by Dan Hammer » January 14th, 2019, 6:50 am

Jordan,

There's an Offline forum on Berserkers. That's where a group of us meet for wine dinners. Some have a theme, others don't. I can recall my first offline. My cellar held under a dozen bottles then. I brought something I thought was good. It was a 1999 Anderson Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet. Cost was $35, and it was the most expensive bottle I owned. It was a good bottle; but was surrounded by much better bottles. When you attend one of these events, bring something good. Don't cheap out.

Here's a link to my Di Fara's offline that I do annually. You can sign up for the waitlist, but you'll probably have to wait for the thread next year. We're a friendly bunch here. Some bark, but we don't bite. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=156785

Welcome to Wine Berserkers.

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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#11 Post by JordanL » January 14th, 2019, 6:32 pm

Dan Hammer wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 6:50 am
Jordan,

There's an Offline forum on Berserkers. That's where a group of us meet for wine dinners. Some have a theme, others don't. I can recall my first offline. My cellar held under a dozen bottles then. I brought something I thought was good. It was a 1999 Anderson Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet. Cost was $35, and it was the most expensive bottle I owned. It was a good bottle; but was surrounded by much better bottles. When you attend one of these events, bring something good. Don't cheap out.

Here's a link to my Di Fara's offline that I do annually. You can sign up for the waitlist, but you'll probably have to wait for the thread next year. We're a friendly bunch here. Some bark, but we don't bite. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=156785

Welcome to Wine Berserkers.

Dan
Oh wow!! Would have loved to come but that waitlist is looking a little deep. Are there other WineBerserker offline meetups?
jordan lee

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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#12 Post by Christian H » January 14th, 2019, 8:05 pm

I just joined...im 45...its not about age...its about passion...enjoy the ride my friend..

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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#13 Post by Dan Hammer » January 15th, 2019, 8:10 am

JordanL wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 6:32 pm
Dan Hammer wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 6:50 am
Jordan,

There's an Offline forum on Berserkers. That's where a group of us meet for wine dinners. Some have a theme, others don't. I can recall my first offline. My cellar held under a dozen bottles then. I brought something I thought was good. It was a 1999 Anderson Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet. Cost was $35, and it was the most expensive bottle I owned. It was a good bottle; but was surrounded by much better bottles. When you attend one of these events, bring something good. Don't cheap out.

Here's a link to my Di Fara's offline that I do annually. You can sign up for the waitlist, but you'll probably have to wait for the thread next year. We're a friendly bunch here. Some bark, but we don't bite. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=156785

Welcome to Wine Berserkers.

Dan
Oh wow!! Would have loved to come but that waitlist is looking a little deep. Are there other WineBerserker offline meetups?
Once in a while. A few are posted, and a few are not posted. Keep an eye on the forum.
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#14 Post by Frank Z » January 15th, 2019, 2:39 pm

I'm also 25, so you're not alone! Just be sure to taste as much as you can (I use a coravin to go back and forth between bottles), attend events and tastings, visit wine regions often to get to know the people and winemakers behind the labels you're interested in, get on allocation lists (if applicable), and learn and read about wine whenever you have free time! :D

I started getting interested into wine after I finished my masters degree when I went to Napa for vacation, and I fell in love with it (both wine and Napa). Since then, I've reached out to people and built connections (even though I'm not in the wine industry). I strongly recommend to have an open mind, as you may find yourself enjoying something you otherwise might not have thought about. And most importantly, don't forget to have fun! :)
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Re: Does being 25 make me one of the younger members here?

#15 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » January 15th, 2019, 5:08 pm

If you weren't old enough to drink when WB was established, that would certainly put you in the young category. newhere [berserker.gif]

A brief history:

There are people here who just met in person and formed wine tasting/dinner groups that predate the internet, and early adopters go back to Prodigy boards or other things that popped up in the early days of the internet. Most of the OG members transitioned over from the Mark Squires/Robert Parker board and/or were already part of other smaller chat boards. I do miss the participation of the UK crowd from the Squires days, who have their own thing going.

That being said, there are plenty of enthusiastic and knowledgeable younger members and everyone's participation is valued. Until otherwise determined by a jury of your peers.

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