How to Be a Better Wine Lover

5 things you should do this year


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5. Taste Some Natural Wine

Natural wine is a construct, a name that people have used to help define their approaches to wine. The problem is that there is no official definition of what makes natural wine natural, so natural wine advocates tend to bash one another to promote their definition.

This is sad because the idea of natural wine in almost all of its guises is a good one. We owe it to ourselves to become familiar with these wines- not what they are (let the geeks hash that out), but what they taste like.

The wine that used to be an accident has today become a scientific/industrial product. Somewhere in between lies some ideal. That ideal may or may not be to your liking, but you should really investigate what’s going on. For example, the use of indigenous yeasts is increasingly in vogue. I love the way these naturally fermented wines express themselves, more complexity, less fruit and a different texture all await you!

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  • One of the few headlines, ever, which would have been more appealing with the absence of the word "wine"...

    Feb 15, 2012 at 10:54 AM

  • Snooth User: Pansyford
    987539 35

    This is great! Here are 5 more suggestions on how to be a better wine lover (this may include things some people do regularly but are likely new ideas for others)
    1. Visit a near (or far away) wine region and taste wines in the area that they were made in
    2. Do a blind tasting with your friends to learn more about what kinds of wine you like and see if you can identify what kind of wine each one is
    3. Prepare a dish (or buy one) and try it with two or more very different wines to learn more about what makes a good wine pairing
    4. Open a decent bottle of red and try some each night for 4 nights. Note how the wine changes over the course of time after opening
    5. Pick a varietal that you like and try wines made with that grape from different regions of the world (cab from california, chile, australia and bordeaux for example)

    This is so fun! Looking forward to reading what other ideas wine lovers have!
    Best, Molly

    Feb 15, 2012 at 2:41 PM

  • Snooth User: LMuir
    860340 0

    Thanks for this article. I recently became a wine collector. However, my collection does not date as far back as the 1980s. ( tooyoung to drink then). I appreciate your inspiration. Any further tips for wine collection purchases when next I visit South Italy and South France would be extremely valuable.

    Feb 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM

  • Snooth User: jsncruz
    1001336 68

    @ Pansyford
    "4. Open a decent bottle of red and try some each night for 4 nights. Note how the wine changes over the course of time after opening"
    I've tried this, and I know I shouldn't be surprised, but the changes were actually quite obvious. The wine I opened was a bottle of Fortant de France by Skalli (cab, '09) and on the second day, the fruitiness was a bit dulled, and I could smell the alcohol a little more. On day 3, it tasted like a generic for-cooking-red-wine. Well, perhaps I didn't store it well? It has a screw cap and I placed it in the fridge.

    Feb 17, 2012 at 1:34 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 233,913


    Those are great recommendations. I might have to write and article around them! Molly's 5 more things to do to be a better lover!

    Feb 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

  • When I wrote my book about the 571 most common grape varieties I had to taste varietal wines en masse - and now I have found another 10 from the Valais valley in Switzerland and some in the Leth vineyard in Wagram in Austria. It is an exciting world!

    Feb 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

  • Snooth User: gerrad
    79282 57

    not sure id bother wasting a decent bottle by not drinking it in 4hrs let alone 4 days..but i see your point. keeping open wines in the fridge is the best way to 'keep' them if u must. alternatively, i could just save you all the time and suggest that for the most part decent red wines (read; somewhat aged and pricey) do not respond to 'a couple of days open' as well as some younger more 'robust' wines might do (read; young and tannic as hell). [its because of the greater colour, tannin and redox ability of young wines-mostly] essentially, if you dont finish a $10 bottle, no foul -it may even be better by tomorrow-, but a $30+ wine...should be drunk completely -now! i dont really see the point in recognising the various degraded states that wine acheives over time..except for one; knowing how long the bottle-of-wine-you-just-bought-by-the-glass, in a bar somewhere, has been open! i always ask the staff..' what bottles of which wine were opened today'. all good suggestions otherwise, although there may be some confusion over varieties and varietals- they arent the same thing.

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

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