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Wine Appreciation

as a hobby

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.

Ernest Hemingway

Wine appreciation is a hobby that involves learning about and enjoying wine with your senses. It can enrich your life by enhancing your dining experiences, expanding your cultural and artistic horizons, and connecting you with other wine lovers. To get started, you just need to taste and drink different wines and explore the world of wine through books, blogs, apps, events, or courses.

Helpful content to start wine appreciation as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

Videos

Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube | Expensive wine is for suckers
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YouTube | How Sommeliers Can Taste Which Year Wine is From
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YouTube | Sommelier Compares The Same Wine From 7 Different Countries | World Of Wine | Bon Appétit
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YouTube | Red Wine Vocabulary | Wine Folly

Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | Wine Tasting 101: Look, Smell, Swirl, Sip

https://open.spotify.com/episode/6U6bd0zKU7EjIlrak4eTea?si=QeG8OGBkTNGFwvgRyn_ZrA

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Spotify | Welcome to Wine Blast with Susie and Peter – Trailer 2020
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Spotify | 1: Aldo Sohm
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Spotify | 1: Wine Forgery and True Wine Crime with Pete Hellman

In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price
and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.

Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings. Journal of Wine Economics

Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Acidity: The liveliness and crispness in wine that activates our salivary glands. Acidity balances out the sweet and bitter components in wine.
  • Aroma: The smell of wine, especially young wine. Aroma can be influenced by the grape variety, the fermentation process, and the oak aging.
  • Balance: A term for when the elements of wine – acids, sugars, tannins, and alcohol – come together in a harmonious way.
  • Body: A tactile sensation describing the weight and fullness of wine in the mouth. Wine can be light, medium, or full-bodied.
  • Bouquet: A term that refers to the complex aromas in aged wines, which develop from the chemical reactions of fermentation and aging.
  • Dry: A wine that is lacking the perception of sweetness. Dry wines have little to no residual sugar left after fermentation.
  • Finish: The taste or flavors that linger in the mouth after tasting wine, also known as aftertaste. The finish is an important factor in assessing a wine’s quality and character.
  • Legs: The streaks of liquid that form on the inside of a glass when wine is swirled. Legs indicate the alcohol level and viscosity of wine, but not necessarily the quality.
  • Oxidation: The process of exposing wine to air, which changes its color, flavor, and aroma. Oxidation can be beneficial or detrimental depending on the type and age of wine and the amount of exposure.
  • Tannin: A natural compound found in grape skins, seeds, and stems, as well as in oak barrels. Tannin adds structure, complexity, and bitterness to wine, as well as acts as a preservative. Tannin is more prevalent in red wines than white wines.
  • Terroir: A French term that refers to the environmental factors that influence the character of wine, such as soil, climate, topography, and human intervention. Terroir is often used to explain why wines from different regions taste different.
  • Varietal: A term that denotes a wine made from a single grape variety, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. Varietal wines are usually named after the grape variety.
  • Sommelier: A trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specializes in all aspects of wine service, as well as wine and food pairing. Sommeliers often work in fine dining restaurants or wine bars, and can also attain various levels of certification from wine education organizations.
  • Master Sommelier: A master sommelier is a wine specialist who has passed the highest level of certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, an international organization that promotes excellence in beverage service. A master sommelier has proven their knowledge, skills, and abilities in all aspects of wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, and hospitality through a rigorous four-part examination that covers theory, service, and tasting. The exam is very challenging and has a low pass rate. There are only 269 master sommeliers in the world as of 2021.
  • Oenology: The science and study of wine and winemaking. It covers topics such as grape cultivation, fermentation, aging, bottling, and quality assessment. Oenology is also spelled enology in American English. Oenology is a branch of viticulture, which is the science and study of grape growing. Oenology is related to sommelier, which is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specializes in wine service and pairing.

How to start wine appreciation as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

Books

Get read(y).

How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

Articles

Further reading.

Websites

Go-tos for information.

Wine is a cultural and artistic expression. Wine is not just a product of nature, but also a product of human creativity and culture. Wine reflects the history, geography, climate, and traditions of the people who make it and drink it. Wine is also an art form that requires skill, passion, and vision to create. Wine can inspire you to learn more about different cultures, regions, and styles, and to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the world.

Movies

Nothing like a film for inspiration.

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YouTube | Somm Official Trailer 1 (2013) – Wine Documentary HD
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YouTube | Sideways (2004) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

FAQS

Get a clue.

Is wine appreciation an expensive hobby?

It depends. You can spend a lot on rare or high-end wines, travel, or accessories, or you can enjoy wine on a budget by exploring, learning, and tasting different wines at home. You can also discover new and affordable wineries and collections that are not yet well-known. Also, don’t assume that more expensive wines taste better. A study by Goldstein et al. (2008) found that people who don’t know the price enjoy cheaper wines more than pricier ones. So, trust your own taste and preferences, and you can appreciate wine without breaking the bank.

What are the basic types of wine?

The basic types of wine are red, white, rosé, sparkling, and fortified. Red wines are made from black grapes that are fermented with their skins, which give them color and tannin. White wines are made from white or black grapes that are fermented without their skins, which give them a lighter color and less tannin. Rosé wines are made from black grapes that are fermented with their skins for a short time, which give them a pink color and some tannin. Sparkling wines are wines that have carbon dioxide bubbles in them, which can be produced naturally or artificially. Fortified wines are wines that have distilled spirits added to them, such as brandy or port.

How do I taste wine properly?

The proper way to taste wine is to follow the steps of see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. See the wine by holding it against a white background and observing its color and clarity. Swirl the wine by gently rotating the glass to release its aromas. Sniff the wine by putting your nose over the glass and inhaling its scents. Sip the wine by taking a small amount into your mouth and swirling it around your tongue. Savor the wine by swallowing or spitting it out and noticing its flavors and aftertaste.

How can I explore new and interesting wines?

– Go on winery tours: Learn about winemaking and taste different wines from the source.
– Attend tasting events: Sample different wines in a social setting, and learn from experts or peers.
– Read books and magazines: Learn about the history, culture, science, and art of wine, and get recommendations, reviews, and tips from wine writers.
– Follow wine blogs: Follow wine blogs to get insights, news, and discoveries about wine from passionate and knowledgeable bloggers.
– Join a club: Get curated selections of wines delivered to your door, along with information and suggestions. Join online communities where you can share your opinions and experiences with other wine lovers.
– Attend auctions: Find rare or vintage wines that are not available elsewhere, or bid on wines that you already love. Learn from the experts who run the auctions, or mingle with other collectors and enthusiasts.
– Visit festivals: Taste wines from different regions, producers, or styles, and enjoy the food, music, and atmosphere. Meet the people behind the wines, and learn more about their stories and passions.

What are the different types of wine glasses and why do they matter?

Wine glasses have different shapes and sizes for different types of wine, such as red, white, sparkling, rosé, and dessert or fortified wines. The shape and size of the glass can affect how the wine smells, tastes, and feels in your mouth. Different types of wine glasses are not essential, but they can improve your wine drinking experience by allowing more or less air, aroma, flavor, and bubbles. Wine glasses can be made from glass or crystal. Glass is cheaper and more durable, but heavier and thicker. Crystal is more expensive and delicate, but lighter and thinner. Crystal can also refract light better, making it more sparkling and elegant. Some crystal glasses contain lead, which can leach into the wine over time. However, there are also lead-free crystal glasses that are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Apps

Smart assistance.

Products

Essentials to have.

Courses

Get smart.

Near You

Get together.

Wine is a social and personal experience. Wine is a drink that can bring people together and create memorable moments. Wine can enhance any occasion or mood, whether it’s a celebration, a date, a meal, or a relaxing night in. Wine can also help you discover your own preferences and tastes, and express your personality and style. Wine is a drink that can connect you with others and with yourself.

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Tips

Additional advice for beginners.