One thing I have noted over the years of interacting with wine lovers is that they are interested in more than just drinking the bottle’s contents. The want to know more. So this article is a gift for those thirsty for the who, what, when, where, why and how of this grand elixir of life.
I have curated some Web wine sources that are both accurate and entertaining.
To slake this thirst for wine knowledge, until relatively recently, one had to purchase double encyclopedia-sized books that could encourage hernias. To add to the pain, these were penned by pretentious Eurocentric so-called experts, who were many times sponsored by special interest groups from European wine regions.
Nowadays, the Web offers a plethora of misinformation about wine. Therefore, I have curated some sources that are both accurate and entertaining. So here we go.
Let’s begin with podcasts. I am absolutely compelled to start with a one that offers quality wine education intermingled with gut-busting, intelligent comedy titled, “Wine for Sophisticated Homies” by sommeliers Jason Booth and Ben Draper. One episode and you’ll be hooked. It’s even better listening with friends and some vino. So wine lovers, download this one right away. A few other podcasts worthy of a download are “The Wine Enthusiast” and “Guild of Sommeliers.”
Next up is Google Search. Ever wonder why the First Growth Chateau of Bordeaux sells its wares for $1,000 a bottle while another Chateau a few kilometers away struggles at only $10 per bottle? Well, just punch in the name of a commune, such as Margaux, go to Maps and then Satellite View and play around with the zoom, 2-D, 3-D, compass and movement functions. This will show the relationship of the Margaux Château to the river and other communes; the aspect, topography and soil differences — and so much more. These are the important facets of terroir, that along with wine making, determine why some wines are truly great and their neighbors are less so.
Wine-searcher.com absolutely rocks. Use the menu bar to open Regions, News, Grapes, Styles and more. This is real, vetted, insightful information and the money values are the most comprehensive and accurate. Be sure to look only at U.S. merchants, throw out the Auctions, as well as the lowest and highest few listings.
Let’s not forget our friend Wikipedia because over the past few years, it has really upped its game in the segments on wine regions.
The major wine magazine Web sites, such as winespectator.com and wineenthusiast.com, are also excellent resources — full of videos, quizzes and stories about the personalities that make the wine world go round. As a bonus, most of the good stuff is available on the free versions; you don’t have to subscribe.