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Snooth User: zap111970

Brand Spanking New But Ready To Learn

Posted by zap111970, Nov 23, 2010.

I have recently started to delv into the complex and seemingly endless world of wine. I have so much to learn! I love to have a challenge but will be seeking guidance on a regular basis. Any and all recommendations for a beginner will be gratefully accepted. Suggestions on beginner wines to starter wines for collecting and anything else anyone thinks I should know would be wonderful. I look forward to learning from and chatting with many of you.


Reply by outthere, Nov 23, 2010.

Collecting as a beginner, in my opinion, is a waste of money as your palate will change and by the time the wine is ready to drink you my not like it any longer. Drink what you like and ask questions based on what you are currently drinking. Your tastes will change slowly. No sense in us suggesting something we like if it won't fit your flavor profile.

Welcome to Snooth!

Reply by spikedc, Nov 23, 2010.

Hi zap,


being a complete beginner myself i have found the guys on this site a real help and in the few weeks i've been a member my appreciation of wine even with my limited experience has increased tremendously.

I have always liked a glass or two especially red but now i am starting to really smell,taste and savour. I've even started keeping notes about what i'm drinking. Recommendations i've had so far have been good Yalumba wines have been great especially Octavius Shiraz which i tasted at a wine show (bit expensive though) i have since tasted Yalumba Scribbler much more affordable for me but just as nice. I also like Spanish and South African wines, bought some Spanish Monastrell recentley (not tried it yet), and i will always have a soft spot for South African Boschendal. Chilean wine was also pleasant loved the 2008 Errazuriz Pinot Noir Wild Ferment.

Just beginning my adventure and enjoying every moment !

Reply by dmcker, Nov 23, 2010.

Welcome, zap, to Snooth.

Drink, drink more, drink more again. That's my reccomendation at this point. Try anything that catches your fancy, and remember what you like and don't like about them. Keep searching in the like direction.

And ask any question you like in this forum. Someone's sure to give an answer, or two....

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Nov 23, 2010.

Welcome Zap

I concur with Dmcker - drinking is the best way to learn

If you need any advice on Aussie Wines give me a yell

Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 24, 2010.

It's unanimous:  Drink wine.  I also agree with outthere that you should not jump right into cellaring.  Wine is about drinking and enjoying.  You only want to cellar when you have more information about what you will enjoy drinking when it's ready.  Go to tastings at wine shops and compare how wines have aged.  Even then, the experience is imperfect, because vintages differ a lot.  Keep in mind that wines that you like young you might not like older and vice versa.  Expect your palate to change--and don't assume it won't change back.  Mostly, like what you like because it appeals to you, not because Eric Asimov, Jon Rimmerman, Robert Parker or James Laube like it.  Learn to understand what they and others like and why so you can filter it, but don't rely on their recommendations or point scores over your own taste--you are the one drinking in your house.  Make mistakes.  Buy at different prices, and don't be afraid to declare a wine drain-worthy, or best for vinegaring.  Find a good wine shop near you and spend a little money, but talk to the owner or folks who work there--tell them you are kind of a beginner, and what you like and don't like.  Make sure they respect your choices and your budget, or walk out.  (Most will, but just saying.) Let them suggest a few things that might stretch your taste a little, but tell them the next time if it wasn't for you and why.  If a description sounds ridiculous to you (like, what DOES "asian spice/ spice box" mean?  And what kind of melon are they saying this tastes like?) assume it is nonsense until proven otherwise.  But be open to the fact that wine tastes and smells like lots of things, and it tastes different at different times--after decanting, with food, the next day, twenty years from now. (I don't mind wet carpet as much since I have discovered grenache that, well, smells a little like wet carpet but tastes like heaven.) Have partners who share your experiences and vocabulary.

One last bit of advice:  Drink.  Wine.  Lots of different kinds. From all over.

Reply by wineydoc, Nov 26, 2010.

drinking wine is the easy part!!  not drinking too much wine, so you can REMEMBER what you liked about it, now that's a little harder!! 

a wonderful reference that i found is the wine catalog from Total Wines and More.  the catalog part isn't it.  it's the entire chapter on different grape varietals, good descriptions of each, so you can get an idea of what you may expect to taste in a certain kind of grape.

i also liked "Wine for Dummies, " and "Swallow This."  of course i can't recall the authors, because then this would actually be helpful advice.  they describe two completely different ways of tasting & describing wine.  i'm just a little cerebral.

other tips:  don't go to a wine tasting when you're sick.  everything tastes different.  avoid a very strongly spiced meal before going to a wine tasting.  it will alter the way the wine tastes, even if you try to cleanse your palate.  learned both of these the hard way. wasted the taste of 10 perfectly good wines by doing this.  don't let Michelle go wine shopping alone.  oh, wait, that's not for you, that's for my husband.  ;-)  $$$

i'm new at this, too, so i don't have much else.  have fun!!

Reply by wineydoc, Nov 26, 2010.

oh, i do have one more.  as far as cellaring is concerned:  if you find an Old World style red wine that you've heard a lot about, everyone you know likes it, you think you like it after tasting it, but it's still seems a bit too young--acidic tasting--and it's on sale and too good to pass up, buy another bottle or 2 and store it for another year, 2 years, 5 years.  try it then, and see what you think.

if you decide to try to make wine, like we've done, store back a few bottles, and open one each year, to see how it ages.  you'll be surprised!

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