How to elevate your wine game
A few simple steps to help you go from wine-no to wine-know
Wine is an awesome beverage that has existed for thousands of years. There is no need to be afraid of it, and yet for some reason, we all are. It sucks because there are many in the industry who want to maintain a sense of snobbery around wine that does not really have to be there. You do not have to be a wine snob to enjoy wine, all you need to do is trust your instincts and your own tastes. When you do these small things you will find that you can elevate your wine game and a source of great fun for all your friends.
Explore America’s Boutique Wineries
Buy wine from small producers! Most wine in the United States is made by a handful of wine companies that have hundreds of brands. More often than not those wines are manipulated like crazy and are not actually that good. But there are more than 8,000 small wineries in the United States alone from just about every state. There are wineries that cover a broad spectrum of styles, philosophies, and approaches. The one thing that these wineries have in common is a love for wine and a passion for making incredible wines.
Trust your style
A lot of folks in the wine business are always trying to tell you to trust the taste of someone else, a sommelier, a tastemaker, or an influencer of some sort. And if it's not a person then it's an algorithm! These people have purposefully made wine confusing in order to sell a solution that you don't need. All you need is to be able to trust your style.
Style is a combination of taste and values, what you like, and what is important to you. You don’t need to be well versed in wine terminology to understand what your style is either. Basic descriptions about a wine’s body (how it feels in your mouth) and its taste are the best places to start. Do you like your wine really fruit-forward or do you prefer something that is a little more savory, or even funky? Are you more into lighter wines or fuller wines? Combine that with things in your life that are important to you. Maybe environmentalism and sustainability are important to you, then natural wines are something you should explore. If you crave the best of the best look for wines that are crafted with excellence in mind. Sometimes it can be a combination of different factors that will help you find a wine that suits your tastes and says a lot about you as well.
Let your geek flag fly
It all starts with the basics, but the more wines you explore the more you will find yourself wanting to take note and remember things. As you explore and open up to new things you may find yourself diving deeper and deeper into a something and seeking out wines that exemplify it. You may find yourself picking up on one little detail about a wine, like the vineyard, only to find there are dozens of wineries who makes wines from that same vineyard and each one has a different take on it.
You may find yourself trying to discern the difference between Pinot Noir clones in Oregon. Or you could really get into Carbonic Maceration, find that the wines are super juicy and look for that everywhere you go. Take notes, get nerdy, and when you see those details they will make you smile. Let that geek flag fly, because if it excites and interests you then go for it!
Ditch the wine club
Its time to graduate from the wine club! Wine clubs are for the most part designed to get bottles out the door rather than please you the end consumer. Even some of the best wine clubs have something happening behind closed doors that doesn't have the consumer in their best interest. They are selling bottles that are the best deal for them, not the most interesting to the consumer as they claim. In many cases its a ploy to get your credit card information and keep charging you as long as possible.
Many modern wine clubs aimed at millennials have promised to be “vine to table” businesses, but in reality they are buying leftover or excess juice and then packaging them with different brands. Meanwhile just about every modern food and wine brand seems to have a wine club associated with it. It can be a big mess, and you have to ask yourself whether you are really getting anything interesting, valuable, or different.
Companies like Vynlyf are there to help you explore new wineries, discover new wines, and through clever use of combo packs will give you the opportunity to try something new and interesting. They are a new company but they are there to guide you and help you elevate your wines game no matter what your own personal taste and style is.