The simple truth about wine learning is that it’s all about the reps:
- It’s reading and re-reading the books.
- Tasting and re-tasting the wines.
- Apply what you read to what you taste.
I could end the email there, but I know there are questions. The biggest one is usually:
“How do I drink lots of different wines when I’m only one person?”
Well, I’m going to show you how you can drink 100 different wines in the next 6 months.
It’s an intensive wine education, and this type of immersion is exactly what helped me pick up wine knowledge fast.
But remember, drink responsibly, pace yourself, and spit! You don’t have to gulp it all down to taste.
Let’s dive in.
The Weekly Wine Group
This should be a cornerstone approach for those serious about learning more about wine.
Why? Because it’s exactly what the pros use.
So, here’s what you need.
- Find a group of people who want like to drink wine.
- Meet every week at a set time and make it a can’t-miss-priority in your calendar.
- Everyone brings a bottle of wine.
- Everyone tastes and takes notes.
Ideally, you’ll need someone to lead. This will likely be someone with/pursuing a wine certification. They will be the defacto expert.
Here’s what’s wild:
Even if it takes you 6 weeks to organize a group of you and four friends, you will still be able to try 100 wines in the rest of 2022.
5 wines per week, 20 weeks = 100 wines.
You have to love compound interest.
The Monthly Wine Group
More casual and perhaps more attainable, a monthly wine meetup is fun.
Here’s the problem: these typically turn into less studious affairs. It’s more about getting drunk and chatting than it is meeting and understanding new wines.
But, you can increase the focus in a couple ways.
- Work in flights. Taste 2-4 wines side-by-side.
- Use blind tasting. Hiding the wine label can heighten your senses and forces you to pay more attention.
Let’s say you limit this to 5 couples, each bring 2 wines to try.
10 wines per month for 6 months = 60 wines.
The Grand Tasting
The scale tips heavily towards falling-down drunk, but there are some big wine events that can help you “power-taste.”
While some are reserved for industry insiders, there are few available to the general public.
Even as a wine pro, these events are hard on the palate and the brain. You get lost in the volume of wine. Despite spitting, you end up tipsy and off of your game.
My recommendation is to use this as more of a fun community-building opportunity than wine learning.
One grand tasting: 30+ wines.
The Wine Socialite
When I worked at Vin Chicago, there were monthly wine events that cost only a few dollars. Those included 30 wines! Plus, they also had free tastings on the weekend (yes, it was one of the best jobs ever).
In your area, you should seek out wine tastings. They are a great place to build your wine community. LocalWineEvents.com is a decent place to start.
Also, check out wine shops and restaurants for classes, workshops, and dinners.
Early in my wine learning days, I discovered a Riedel glassware event at City Winery. For $90 a person, we got a lecture from Maximillian Riedel, a guided wine tasting of four wines, and two Riedel XL glasses.
One wine event per month. Taste on average 6 wines per event. 36 wines.
Planning Your Wine Calendar
As you can see, getting to 100 wines is easier than you might imagine.
- The Weekly Wine Group – 100 wines
- The Monthly Wine Group – 60 wines
- The Grand Tasting – 30+ wines
- The Wine Socialite – 36 wines
Using all these methods, you can see that even 200 wines is within reach in the next 6 months.
Can you imagine where you would be 200 wines from now?
Alright, this is getting me thirsty.
Which method(s) are you going to use? Hit reply and let me know.
This Week’s Free-Run Juice
*free-run juice is a wine term for the grape juice that comes from their own weight prior to pressing. These are weekly tidbits that came out from my own wine reading.
Drink Like A Billionaire On Any Budget
I love wine educators who don’t take themselves too seriously. Mark Oldman is exactly that.
If you’re considering tasting 100 wines or throwing a wine tasting party, this video is a much watch.
We go together like..Wine and Eggs?
So, this awful relic from patriarchy past resurfaced in my social feed. And needless to say, it’s a wild rabbit hole. Even a few years ago some people were trying it again.
Please, I repeat, please don’t do this diet.
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