Beginners Corner

Snooth User: Mallory Malinoski

Wine Newbie, College Budget

Original post by Mallory Malinoski, Jan 5, 2012.

I've recently discovered my interest in wine since turning 21, and I've been learning some of the lingo through this great site.  I'm about to graduate from college in May, and I hope to leave my days of Franzia and refrigerated Yellow Tail out of a solo cup behind.

I have a lot to learn, but I just wanted some input from you on how to become a wine enthusiast on a budget.  Any suggestions on what to buy, where to store bottles without a fancy cellar, etc. would be much appreciated.  I do know that I am a fan of California Pinot Noir and Moscato, if that helps.

Thanks!

 

 

Replies

12
1
Reply by James Fab, Jan 10, 2012.

Hi Mallory,

Congratulations on your first step into the fun world of wine.  I think it's great that you are interested at such a young age- I know many people in their 30s and 40s who have not developed an interest or a taste for wine!

I guess I would say that you have a lifetime ahead of you, so don't rush it.  Start with what you like and go from there.  Tell us- what have you had that you enjoyed? While you are thinking about that, remember not to be embarrassed about what you like! In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with Yellow Tail- it's a great starting point!

Let's get the conversation going!

38
182
Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Jan 10, 2012.

Hi and welcome, Fox tell u lot of good advices!

 

That's mine

My only advice is to taste more different wines as u can, probably you don't appreciate very complex wines without some experience, don't spend your money for it, try to find some good cheap wines, u can find outhere thousands of good wines for a good price.

Try different varieties from different contry, start with "international" varieties like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir ..... Easy to find good wines, and u can try to understand how they change in different countries. If u need some advices about "what wine" here un can find everything u need.

20
2561
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 11, 2012.

So I want to say that giaccobbepavese is (in spite of his constant kind words) not some alias I use.  And then I want to say, he's dead right that there are THOUSANDS of good cheap wines, including tons from Northern Italy where he hails from.  When you feel like you have tried a lot of, oh, Cali Cab or Bordeaux blends, or are completely befuddled by the labeling of Burgundy (a wine that just confuses me--when they talk about "Burgundian" pinot, I think of how widely the pinots from Burgundy I have tried varied and think someone's pulling my leg), you have to try Lagrein or Schiava or those whites from Friuli that had to change their names.  Then you try the wines from Ciro in Calabria, which are kind of licorice-y and profound. And you don't have to spend a ton because almost no one is collecting these, or auctioning them in Hong Kong or anything.

And then you realize, "Yep, I'm a wine geek."

8
6
Reply by Mallory Malinoski, Jan 11, 2012.

Ah sorry for not getting to these quicker, the semester started up again a it's been a little hectic. I've read through everything you have suggested, and will try to get back to you with a better response tonight!

75
2407
Reply by JonDerry, Jan 11, 2012.

If only they would offer wine courses at college.  Anyone know of such a course in a US college?

3
3
Reply by asdean85, Jan 11, 2012.

Cornell University has one, called Introduction to Wines

484
2157
Reply by EMark, Jan 11, 2012.

Jon

I suspect that most colleges that have hospitality (Hotel, Restaurant, Travel Mgmt) programs have wines and spirits classes.  My wife is a graduate of the hospitality program at Cal Poly, Pomona, and she took it.  I don't know if you had to be an HRT major to get into the class, but I would not be surprised.  As I recall it was a once a week class and in the evenings I would make her tell me everything she learned that day.  Her class was a single quarter study.  So, as you can imagine, it was pretty much a high level survey.  Her instructor was Ralph Hutchinson who was fairly well-know in Los Angeles hospitality circles.  He, unfortunately, passed away at a fairly young age (much less that I am, now) about 25 years ago.  Dr. Bob Small took over the class after Hutch passed away.  Bob has retired, and the current instructor for this class is Dr. Margie Jones.  Bob and Margie are also very connected in the Los Angeles hospitality arena and both have acted as organizers and judges for the L.A. County Fair wine judging (which is not now called the L.A. County Fair wine judging, but I don't have the right name handy).

I am sure that schools that are big in hospitality have at least a wine class if not more in-depth studies.  Leading candidates would be Cornell, Michigan State, and UNLV.

I would think that the CIA in St. Helena would offer classes that could be completed in a few sessions, and I would not be surprised if the CCA in San Francisco had something.

I belong to a Wine Connections group on LinkedIn, and over there a lady introduced herself as an instructor for a wine class at UCI.  Frankly, I did not know that UCI had a hospitality program, but there you have it.

 

20
2561
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 11, 2012.

Could ASDean stand for Arts and Sciences Dean and be an official of Cornell?  Or just another grad of that place "far above Cayuga's waters?" It's no secret that I went there, and I can vouch that the class existed even in the days before we knew how fermentation occurred. ;-) Never took the class--I was somehow convinced that I should graduate in 4 years, not five, even after spending a semester out of school.  Ouch!  Should have slowed down and found time for that class.  But it usually filled up and was hard to get a spot in, and it didn't count towards anyone's major requirements or distributions unless they were in the Hotel School, as it was called.  Not chem, even.  Undeniably popular anyway.

Emark, I lived over the hill from UCI in the mid 70s and I have to say it's changed so much nothing really surprises me.  But if I am going to go to a wine school, Cal Poly SLO sounds like the nicest environment.

484
2157
Reply by EMark, Jan 11, 2012.

Fox, I agree that the SLO environment has advantages over both Pomona and Irvine, but I don't think they have a program.

You sat out a semester and still graduated in 4 years?  That is very impressive.  I was tickled that I was able to do it in 4 years.  I needed 124 units to graduate, and I graduated with 124 units.

3
3
Reply by asdean85, Jan 11, 2012.

Fox, I am also a Cornell grad from a long time ago, and like you said the class was very popular and hard to get in, so I wasn't able to take it either. Wish I had, as it would've probably instilled a love for wine in me at a much younger age.

-Alvar

190
235
Reply by shsim, Feb 15, 2012.

EMark, I always thought Calpoly SLO had a program since they have a strong agricultural program but I have not checked out yet so I cannot be 100% sure!

UCDavis also has a good viticulture program! I look at what books they are using sometimes at their bookstore! There are also a number of specialised wine school around that are coupled with culinary cooks. I have been wondering how good those are... Anyone have any ideas?

Hello Mallory, I am a phd student so I am on a budget as well. It is tough but its doable! You just have to remember clearly what you have to spare and not to go overboard. It is definitely helpful to get a few friends interested and share the wine experiences together and look out for good deals online or at your local wine stores! There are a couple of wine stores in San Diego that has happy hour and they pour decent wines!  Enjoy!

484
2157
Reply by EMark, Feb 16, 2012.

Shsim

I'm pretty sure Cal Poly SLO does not have a hospitality program.  Now, my information is somewhat dated and may, actually, be wrong.  I'll ask around and let you know if I learn anything different.

190
235
Reply by shsim, Feb 16, 2012.

EMark, I think you are right! I was curious and went to check out their programs and they only have the agricultural program but not a hospitality program. I always thought they a viticulture program! Oh well, now we know.

20
6113
Reply by dmcker, Feb 16, 2012.

Hospitality vs. viticulture may be the issue here.

UC Davis arguably has the most famous college courses in the world.

Cornell has maybe the most famous hotel course in North America, whatever it's called now.

You can definitely get a BS in wine and viticulture at Cal Poly SLO. Irvine has access to good beaches, but SLO's are better in several ways and I, too, definitely prefer the ambience up north. Probably a few classes worth auditing for us amateurs, too....

190
235
Reply by shsim, Feb 16, 2012.

dmcker, that was what I was thinking too! It would be fun to take an actual class on viticulture. I searched online for places around san diego, but the closest I got is wine smarties for a WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust Certification Course) and indulge wine school which seem pretty fun!

75
2407
Reply by JonDerry, Feb 16, 2012.

Yeah, it seems WSET is about the most logical or practical course to take if I was going to take one at this point in my life...

20
6113
Reply by dmcker, Feb 16, 2012.

There have been a number of discussions in the past on these boards about the value of WSET. Everyone has different needs and aims, but personally rather than spend money on that program, and if I lived in the vicinity, I'd look for a good community college course, or audit something university or grad level where winemakers or other industry pros were studying (even better in schools near or in winemaking regions). To me it's a question of getting to know the others taking the courses as much as any lecture notes or lab activities. Both can stay with you but the human network can often reach much further. Similar to going to business school or even professional conventions, I guess...

BTW, as I'd surmised in an earlier thread discussing this topic, UCLA extension also offers courses...

Couldn't find anything equivalent at UCSanDiego extension, though there are lectures on topics like "Thomas Jefferson on Food, Wine and Politics", and it also looks like most of their events make regular and plentiful use of the beverage!

0
2
Reply by micarron, Feb 17, 2012.

I'm a beginner much like Mallory though at the age of 59, yet still on a college budget as I recently retired. I just moved to Central Arizona which is becoming an important wine making center and since I always liked a good wine I thought I would join up and see what's happening and try to learn as much as I can. I have had both good and bad experiences with wines, mostly through restaurants via recomendations by friends, and thought that a little cyber-socializing about wines could improve both my tastes and knowledge. Just reading through the replies to Mallory's thread here I have gleaned a bunch of info already. There are at least six wineries and four tasting rooms here in town and within 15 miles so the opportunity to explore the wine world is pretty convenient. I have at first the question of where to start for choices (other than attending the wine tasting establishments). I seem to prefer a lighter, guess you would call it a younger wine, both whites and reds, as opposed to the heavier body of a Merlot (though I bet I will acquire a taste for those bolder and dryer wines over time)

Suggestions?

Not too sweet, would probably remind me of my first experience with wine in college when my roommate and I convinced an older dorm mate to secure a gallon of Gallo Spanada which we promptly inhaled and properly rid our bodies of the next morning....

75
2407
Reply by JonDerry, Feb 17, 2012.

Mica, i'd probably look for some Spanish tempranillo, they're often called Rioja's due to that being the most prominent region. Have you tried many italian wines? Chianti classico's have a similar texture and price range.

If you'd like to stay in the states, how about California Pinot Noir? Only problem there is price. Tough to get good Pinot for cheap. Maybe CA Grenache? See if you can get some Jaffurs Grenache if you can go up to around $25 - 30 a bottle.

Would avoid experimenting in restaurants, it's just such a crap shoot, it's expensive, and so many restaurants have poor selections anway, I just don't recommend it unless you know the wine or region. Maybe find some restaurants that allow you to bring your own wine, it's usually a much better time.

The only thing i've heard about AZ wine is through Blood into Wine, seems like they still have a ways to go in getting wider acclaim. Will take time for vines to mature, and to get to know what grapes and blends perform best there i'd imagine.

0
2
Reply by micarron, Feb 17, 2012.

Jon- Thanks for the info. I'll look for the Spainish Rioja's, seems like every store from WalMart to Safeway is in the wine business nowadays so I should be able to find a selection I would think. No, have not tried any Italians yet so will put them on the list to try also. I will be going to the tasting rooms to try the local vineyards offerings, luckily four of them are on the main drag in our Old Town area so the experience at least will be fun.  If you ever hear of anything on Alcantara or Echo Canyon wineries (Az) let me know. Echo Canyon is a private members only winery and the Alcantara I will have to reserve a time to visit their tasting room at the winery but again, sounds like fun at any rate.

Michael



Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Top Contributors This Month

125836 Snooth User: dmcker
125836dmcker
111 posts
1498622 Snooth User: Really Big Al
1498622Really Big Al
65 posts
324443 Snooth User: outthere
324443outthere
61 posts

Categories

View All





Snooth Media Network