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# Beginners Wine Resources

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09 Jul 2008, 08:48
Does anyone have any books or websites to recommend on wine? I'm certainly a beginner, but wouldn't mind being at least somewhat educated on different regions, types of wine, what goes with different meals, etc. before B-School starts and the recruiting process kicks into gear.
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Senior Manager
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09 Jul 2008, 14:24
I know this is going to sound ridiculous, and my dad (who has a wine cellar) has laughed at me in the past for suggesting this. But Wine for Dummies is actually a really handy starting guide.

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09 Jul 2008, 15:07
Go to trader joe's - ask them to point you to their selection of "two-buck chuck". Though I hear inflation has pushed it up to "3 buck chuck" in some areas these days...

In all seriousness, try buying (relatively) cheap wine (say the \$10 range) of different varieties and from different regions. this should give you a rough idea of what each variety is like - then you can try the higher priced bottles of those you liked more.

just be sure to take notes!

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09 Jul 2008, 15:26
Look for books by Robert Parker. The difinitive critic. The end.

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09 Jul 2008, 16:10
Peli, I strongly disagree... and I say this as someone whose dad subscribes to the Wine Advocate and owns every book Parker's ever written (I've read a lot of 'em). There's no doubt Parker's the most highly-regarded wine critic around. But do you think he's the right place to start for a beginner? A lot of people (me included) think he places far too much emphasis on heavy-duty cabs and big and bold Bordeaux. I would think that a neophyte might want to start with a more broadly-based resource and figure out on their own whether those big wines are what they really like.

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09 Jul 2008, 17:54
Now I know why your dad laughed at you in your prior post. The thing is, the OP didn't ask about a good way to find wines that s/he might enjoy. He asked for a resource to get educated on regions, types of wines and so forth, and Robert Parker's guides are great resources.

I definitely agree that he favorsbig powerful wines, but I also think that his opinions on regions and vintages are the standard. Looking back, I wish I would have just bypassed all the other junk, and jumped directly to the best source.

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09 Jul 2008, 19:06
Peli, shouldn't the definitive critic be European? I mean Many more centuries in the business???
Just joking! Hehehehe

Well, if you want to impress other fellas with how much you pay for a wine, it's easy, but if you want to pay fair for a good wine you will have to really study a bit. For instance a VERY good French wine would cost you around EUR200 - retail - while at the same price range you could buy a Top Notch Portuguese or Spanish wine that would even beat the French one. Still France and Italy produce wines with much more quality than their Iberian Counterparts, but I'd rather pay 50% less and drink twice (not on the same day, usually )

Read some Wine Spectator, go to Amazon and read some of the reviews on the guides too. Start drinking some, don't buy for the price and please don't just drink Cabernet these grapes grow anywhere, try Malbec, Pinot Noir, Trincadeira, etc...
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09 Jul 2008, 19:31
pelihu wrote:

Lordy

A guide like Wine for Dummies would be a good place to start. It's a very easy read and gives a straightforward summary of exactly what the OP is looking for: regions and types of wine, what goes with different meals, etc.

Maybe I'm biased. Problem is, I started out coming from the opposite direction. Parker's work was my initial guide to the wine world. All I wanted to drink for a long time was heavy reds, and it took a while for me to look beyond his ratings and explore other wines.

Kwam, I'm in total agreement on Spanish wines. Definitely some terrific stuff out there.

Terp, maybe it's best if you went to a bookstore, took a look at some of the offerings, and decided for yourself

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09 Jul 2008, 19:58
kwam wrote:
Peli, shouldn't the definitive critic be European? I mean Many more centuries in the business???
Just joking! Hehehehe

Well, if you want to impress other fellas with how much you pay for a wine, it's easy, but if you want to pay fair for a good wine you will have to really study a bit. For instance a VERY good French wine would cost you around EUR200 - retail - while at the same price range you could buy a Top Notch Portuguese or Spanish wine that would even beat the French one. Still France and Italy produce wines with much more quality than their Iberian Counterparts, but I'd rather pay 50% less and drink twice (not on the same day, usually )

Read some Wine Spectator, go to Amazon and read some of the reviews on the guides too. Start drinking some, don't buy for the price and please don't just drink Cabernet these grapes grow anywhere, try Malbec, Pinot Noir, Trincadeira, etc...

Well, to get right to the point, even the French regard Robert Parker as the last word on wine - so much so that they knighted him - twice. The second time he received France's highest honor.

Here's a blurb: "Robert M. Parker, Jr. has been the author and publisher of The Wine Advocate for nearly a quarter of a century. In 1999, Parker became the first wine critic to ever receive La Croix du Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (The Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor), France's highest honor, conferred on him by President Jacques Chirac. In 1993, President Mitterand had given him France's other national honor, knighthood in the National Order of Merit."

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09 Jul 2008, 21:12
for a beginner, i would recommend "Windows on the World Complete Wine Course".

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-World-Com ... 1402751419

it's not too expensive and it's pretty informative.

RVD.
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10 Jul 2008, 17:01
My dad's definitely a wine expert. He's done some courses and read some books, but his advice is: Nothing beats drinking wine. He's been at it (at an average of 1/2 bottle a day) for the past 50 years, and he says he's tired of engaging in conversations with posers who read books and talk about "tobacco secondary aftertastes" but would not differentiate a Syrah (Shiraz) from a Malbec at a blind tasting.

I, on the other hand, enjoy a nice red every now and then but prefer single malts, so I can't comment too much on wines.

The B-school scene, though, seems skewed more towards pretending to know than actually knowing, so you can skip the drinking part and go straight to the books.

Hope it helps. L.

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14 Jul 2008, 22:42
wines for dummies is actually suprisingly good.

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Senior Manager
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15 Jul 2008, 23:20
I would recommend MacNeil's "The Wine Bible" and Robinson's "How to Taste" to anyone just getting started with wine. While Parker's resources on the subject are excellent, it's not for the beginner.

http://www.amazon.com/Wine-Bible-Karen- ... 1563054345 (I only wish that she would publish a new edition)

http://www.amazon.com/How-Taste-Guide-E ... 743216776/

Last edited by trader1 on 16 Jul 2008, 05:39, edited 1 time in total.

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16 Jul 2008, 05:30
terp06 wrote:
Does anyone have any books or websites to recommend on wine? I'm certainly a beginner, but wouldn't mind being at least somewhat educated on different regions, types of wine, what goes with different meals, etc. before B-School starts and the recruiting process kicks into gear.

Terp, here are some good free websites to also get you up to speed:

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/varietal-index.aspx
(Nice comic sketches and descriptions of the most popular varietals. Quite funny and entertaining if you're already an experienced wine taster though! there's also more information on the site, but mainly focusing on north american wines)

http://www.wein-plus.com/wineguide/
(this website has a ton of information (and maps!) covering the wine varietals common to the major wine-producing regions of the world, and you can also do customized searches)

http://www.wineontheweb.com/usefulwines ... sites.html
(comprehensive listing of various wine sites for the beginner to expert)

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Re: Beginners Wine Resources   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2008, 05:30
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# Beginners Wine Resources

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