5 Ways to Be a Better Wino in 2014

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I was listening to an America’s Test Kitchen Podcast, because thats what food and drink geeks like myself do and they started talking about a few tips to help you be a better wine drinker in the new year. I realized that I had already been doing some of them for most of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I am no wine sommelier, I am not too far removed from the days when I considered Mad Dog 20/20 to be a fine and affordable wine but I do like to pour a glass of grapes from time to time.   Here are the tips and how I have implemented them into my wine drinking regime:

1. Find a local wine shop and be loyal: This year our son started going to the Little Gym of Durham. On my way in on our first day, I noticed large white writing on the windows of the building next to the Little Gym and it read “PORK KNOX”. I couldn’t wait until the class was over so I could go see what the hell this Pork Knox was all about. It turned out to be a small cooler with local pork products inside the small wine shop called Wine Authorities. What I discovered in Wine Authorities was a very easy wine buying experience that takes the mystery out of buying very affordable wine from small winemakers in the States and around the world. I would always find buying wine intimidating which would lead to me buying a familiar large maker i.e. Gallo. Each bottle at Wine Authorities has  a large index card size explanation of each wine and what it pairs well with and lists the price in big red numbers. After your purchase they can print tasting notes about the wine. If you live in Durham I also suggest Cave Taureau Wines, find a place that you like and support them with your business. If you live Raleigh, Wine Authorities has opened up a second store and are having a party to celebrate, click here

2. Buy a mixed case at a time: In my time visiting Wine Authorities I began buying by the case. The first good reason for this is most places offer a 10-15%  discount when buying by the case. I never buy a case of one wine but a mixed case and the reasoning leads to number 3.

3. Keep more than one bottle open at a time:  To become a little more wine savvy you must be able to compare wines. When you have two bottles open and change after a glass it may help highlight what you like and don’t like about any single wine. After hearing this tip I started doing this and the difference even within the same type of grape became very apparent.

Makeshift wine cellar in the bottom of the cupboard

Makeshift wine cellar in the bottom of the cupboard

4. Make a wine cellar: The term “wine cellar is used very loosely here.  When I think wine cellar I think of an extravagant cave with fine wine being aged to perfection. America’s Test Kitchen suggests that any cool dark place where you can store your wine will do, a corner in the basement, closet or pantry. The whole point here is not really aging but storage, I took one of the boxes from a case and now store them in the bottom of the pantry.

5. Keep track of your wine drinking habits: They suggest doing something as simple as taking a picture of the bottle of wine and sending it to yourself with notes about what you liked or didn’t like about a specific wine. Last year, I started using an app called Vivino. With Vivino, all you have to do is take a picture of the label of the wine with your phone and the app searches a database to find it. From there you can add where you bought it, read other users comments and make comments as well.

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Vivino app has helped me keep track of wine likes and dislikes

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Categories: Wine and Drink


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One Comment on “5 Ways to Be a Better Wino in 2014”

  1. Brittney
    January 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Great tips!

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