For the last few years I’ve been in craft beer mode- going to Breweries, attending tastings and what not. I would like to expand my horizons to wine as well.
Does anyone have any suggestions on where I should start?
What books to read?
What decent wines to taste (between 10-25$ price range)?
Have there been wines you have enjoyed this far? Any varietals that you find you prefer? Red or white, even?
Ask at any of your local retailers if they do tastings anytime. If they have a message board, see if any tasting groups have posted a message. Other than that, you can watch the notes on Wine Talk. I’d also recommend Robert Parker’s “Wine Buyer’s Guide”, a paperback that must be in its 6th edition by now. It has a wealth of information about the wine regions of the world and the wines they produce, as well as ratings for the producers.
http://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Zralys-Windows-Complete-Course/dp/1454909099/ref=la_B001JS9CQK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389482933&sr=1-1 A great reference book if you are totally new to wine.
In the 10-25$ range your options are endless.
Find a good store. I am sure if you give us your locale, you will get pointed in the right direction.
Have fun! And welcome to Berserkers. Be sure to share your journey with us all.
Thanks Guys- Im looking forward to my journey in Wine. I live in New Jersey ( not exactly the best state for craft beer), and we have Gary’s Wine and Liquors which is a big outlet store, so I’m going to check their website for tastings.
Right now im drinking Cupcake Vine Yards- Pino Grigio Left over by my Fiancee…i would never buy something called “cup cake”.
Oh. And I focus on Berserker Day that is coming up. Lots of sweet deals.
In my view, the first book you should buy is the World Atlas of Wine. (http://www.amazon.com/World-Atlas-Wine-Hugh-Johnson/dp/1845336895/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389491496&sr=8-1&keywords=wine+atlas). Just figuring out where your wine came from and what that means for the wine is an enormous part of wine appreciation, and this book is very helpful in that regard.
As others have said, going to as many tastings as possible should be your goal. If you’re anywhere near Wine Library, they’re one of the best. And of course there is an embarrassment of riches in NY. Some of the shops in NY–especially Chambers St. and Crush–do a great job putting together mixed cases for reasonable tariffs that will expose you to some very diverse, interesting, and tasty wines. And the great thing about Jersey is that, in most places, you can BYO almost everywhere.
Also, you will learn a lot about wine if you hang around this board. It may seem impenetrable at first, but there’s an extraordinary wealth of knowledge here for everyone from beginners to in-the-business pros. (There’s also a pretty solid beer discussion.)
Be very careful. I was a beer snob who detested wine. Now I am at 8,000 bottles and counting. This is WAY more dangerous than beer! Beer is a gateway drug. This shit is for REAL!
Lots of ways to get started. I read a lot of books and took a class on wine appreciation which for me was great as it exposed me to not just the wines of different areas but the history as well. This however did lead me to exploring many regions and even to this day, 20 years later, I know a lot about many wines/regions but have not really mastered any.
My brother kind of backed into wine via port. Discovered he loved it. Focused only on that originally. Then he found southern rhone. Concentrated on it for a while with books, the internet, and purchases and by trusting his local merchant. He knows both regions better than I know any region. Yet he knows very little about bordeaux, burgundy or California.
Then there are the guys who are not content to just read about or drink wine but end up planting grapes and making their own wine as they want to understand wine at the more basic level and how weather, soil, choices, and all the other variables work together and result in the end product.
It really kind of matters what interest you and what you want to learn to know how to suggest a way to get started. What interested you about craft beers and what beers did you especially like? This may suggest what path you prefer and even flavor profiles that could point to specific wines/regions.
Where in New Jersey do you live? I live in the Pennington area. New Jersey actually has quite a growing craft beer industry, some of the brewers up North are turning out tremendous beer. Check out Carton and Kane. They both self-distribute so finding it can be a little bit of a challenge. I run craft beer dinnners at the restaurant where I work every month. Check out http://newjerseycraftbeer.com/ . Back to wine. There is much to explore in that price point so determing what you like is going to be fun. Pick a grape and buy a bottle from a couple different regions such as a Sauvingon Blanc from the Loire, New Zealand and U.S. Do you lke the wine, which region style do you prefer? Cross it off your list for now and try something new.
If you’re near a Gary’s you can’t be too far from Wine Library in Springfield. One of the best stores in the state and they often have tastings on Saturdays.
Hey guys thanks for the replies. I currently live in Morristown, NJ. Last weekend i was actually at Cricket Hill Brewery in Fairfield. Very good. The Black IPA was delicious. I’m excited to try out some different wines tomorrow. Ill let you know what i picked up to get some feed back.
Jesse, I have taken the same path as you. I absolutely detested wine for most of my adult life. I’m sure it had to do with what I’d tried. Beer was always my thing, mostly stouts and porters. I even go to a yearly Brew Swap with the National MINI Cooper club every May. This year at the MINI Cooper event I will participate in the wine night for the first time and am pretty excited.
I started out with Grenache as that is the varietal my friend gave me that for some reason suddenly tasted good to me. I have been mostly reading and learning at this point and haven’t had much chance to taste as much as I’d like as I’m kind of pursuing this on my own. I did find a local wine school that has an 8 week course (one night a week) that I am considering.
I have ordered a few books and are expecting them in a few days so hope that will help.
So what beers where your favorites? I’d love to hear what beers and then what wines you like just to see if is similar to my experience.
Ha! I started off as a wine & Scotch guy that got into beer when I realized how much cheaper it was.
I’m in much the same boat as you - I started out being a huge fan of beer and whisky and am now learning about wine. What was your favorite style of beer?
Sour beers were and still are always my favorite. I have found that some funky syrahs like Cayuse and Reynvaan seem to scratch that same itch… which is unfortunate because both have waiting lists to get!