Why You Should Keep A Wine Journal

Happy Friday,

If you’ve been here long enough, you should know that I have a few core beliefs about wine.

One of them is that wine has the ability to connect us through stories. But as we lubricate our minds with drink, we tend to forget some of the details. Even breakfast seems foggy after a few glasses of wine.

That’s why you need something to help you remember. You need a wine journal.

A wine journal does 3 things for you:

  • It strengthens your relationships with others
  • It validates your learning
  • It provides access to better wine data

A wine journal strengthens your relationship with others

You know which friend is valuable?

That friend who can recall all the details of those hazy nights. While we can Google any old random wine fact, we can’t Google what wine we had with Christmas Dinner in 2017.

Your wine journal can be the friend with a perfect memory.

And more importantly than what you drink, you can remember who you drank it with.

That’s the stuff outside of the bottle, and that’s the valuable moments and memories you can make to have lifelong friends who enjoy wine with you.

A wine journal validates your wine learning

When you keep a record of what you drink, you get the benefit of a timeline and a benchmark.

My early wine notes sucked.

They were a mess. You can tell I was confused and lacked confidence. I remember been unwilling to write down something without being “correct.”

Once I got beyond this beginning dilemma, my confidence grew and my descriptors get more descriptive. From lemon? to fresh lemon zest.

But without a journal, you’re hopeless to see progress.

You’re three sheets to the wind without a sheet of paper to validate your learning.

A wine journal provides you with better access to data

Not only can you see your improvement, but you can see your patterns. More important than tasting notes are your impression of the wine.

  • Did you like it?
  • Did you dislike it?
  • And why?

These are the essential questions that allow you to see trends you wouldn’t notice by winging it.

You’ll see which Pinots you liked because you can see what common characteristics they shared. This can help you discover new wines too.


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.

Steve De Long’s Wine Tasting Notebook – Worth The Squeeze?

My First Wine Notebook was from Steve De Long. It’s still one of my favorites.

There’s a lot of wine tasting notebooks, and I prefer the ones that are easiest for beginners to build habits.

Why write when you can circle?

Steve De Long has a knack for visualizing wine information. I love his Wine Grape Varietal Table and his wine maps.

What I love about this wine notebook is that it’s portable and captures the essentials for each wine you taste.

If you want a physical template for your wine journal, this is the perfect place to start.

Pass The Wine, Please?

Since I was a kid, I was a sucker for Rube Goldberg gadget. I enjoyed this insanely complicated way to pass wine across the table.


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