Diving Into Wine offers you an easy, totally pleasurable way to enhance your wine knowledge. The portable guidebook covers the basics of wine appreciation, with chapters on Where Wine is Made, Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Storage, How to Taste Wine, and more.

The central part of the book covers sixty grape varieties that are used to make wine around the world. Start with one grape, take your notes and move on to the next. If you taste all sixty, you’ll definitely be the wine expert in your group.

You don’t need to know a lot about wine to start, just dive in and begin the learning process. Use the book as a guide to your exploration.

Resolve to increase your wine knowledge this year. If you just try one new wine a month, you’ll know 12 new wines by year’s end – that’s plenty of information to help you confidently navigate a wine list.

You can explore and discover wine at your own pace.

You will become the person who wants the wine list – not the one who fears it.

Below is a preview of Chapter One in Diving Into Wine, titled Wine & You:

Wine is a fascinating subject, but it can be a frustrating one as well. The range of easily available wines provides the drinker with an incredible and enticing variety of aromas and flavors. This sensory allure virtually compels winelovers to learn all they can about the reasons for a wine’s stellar characteristics. Too often, though, those with a kindling interest in wine find themselves awash in a bewildering barrage of facts about vintages, producers, grape types, wine laws, and who knows what other vinous trivia. Plus, there is truth in the stereotype of the haughty wine snob (your know-it-all neighbor or co-worker, perhaps). ready to scorn your wine choices with a dismissive wave of the hand. 

Given those social and information barriers, it is not surprising that the potentially interested wine consumer frequently turns to the relative safety of a well-known brand name and thereby never experiences the sensory delights that are literally within reach. How can an interested consumer learn more about wine without devoting inordinate amounts of time to the subject?

It is common wine wisdom that you are the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes good wine for you. There is truth in that axiom and in the final measure, it is indeed true – you know what you like and you should buy for your own taste.

All of us know, however, that our tastes can change with experience. It’s likely that very few espresso aficionados enjoyed their first cup of coffee, but they grew to appreciate the rich and bracing bitterness of a skillfully brewed cup. It is not unusual for those who are starting their wine exploration to be drawn to sweeter styles. After all, we are a nation that has grown up on sweet and/or fizzy beverages.

As our experience grows, though, most consumers find that their preferences expand. While we may not like every wine we taste, we can recognize absolute quality. If you never experienced seafood fresh from the sea or a perfectly ripe wild strawberry, it’s hard to state that you don’t like them. So, try as many wines as you can, and you will define your preferences so you can concentrate on an elaborate exploration of your favorites.

Let’s steer through the adjectives and get to the heart of the subject – wine is a beverage fermented from grapes that is meant to drink with friends, family, and food. It smells good, tastes good, and can enhance nearly any meal.

Usually people remember that a wine was good, but are unable to articulate exactly why. The interest is kindled and the question of why this wine, among all the wines available, was so delightful. Was it that this particular wine had an especially attractive aroma? or was it the flavor? or the finish? It is difficult to translate sensory experience into words, but it is necessary to do so if you want to recall characteristics of favored wines. To help remember specific wines, we will explore ways to assign words to the range of aromas and flavors found in wine.

Once your interest is piqued, you will want to learn a little bit of the story behind the wine you like. If you explore just one new wine a month, you will have a dozen in your repertoire by year’s end – plenty of information to successfully navigate through a wine list.

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