Millennials are reshaping the wine industry in a big way. From online clubs that build wine convenient and affordable, to mobile appsthat have built communities of amateur wine critics, Gen Y-ers are taking a practice that’s traditionally associated with the elite and turning it into an accessible hobby.
We’ve come a long way in proving that wine is not just for old folks and high society. Still, many people don’t know how to start. Here are a few suggestions to level up your wine game.
Practice with friends
The evolving wine culture is such that you don’t have to be a sommelier( a professional designation that requires studying and passing rigorous tests ). You can impress friends with your wine savouring abilities by developing a more refined palate through practise. Andwho doesn’t want to practice drinking wine?
Developing a relationship with wine can be a personal and lifelong journey, akin to traveling, says Amy Lieberfarb, founder of Sip On This Juice. That journey starts with simply being mindful of sensations and flavors. Eventually, with enough practise, flavor profiles will start to correspond to regions, grapes and soils.
One of the best ways to practice is to get together with friends and play ablind tasting game. To do this, pour an unknown bottle into your glass and look for clues to discern grape varietyand region. The best bitis that there are no wrong answers. All that’s necessary is a vocabulary of descriptive words and the intestines to tell your friends that you can savor boulders. Yep. Rocks.
Get out of your consolation zone
The best bottles of wine are not inevitably the most expensive. By go looking for lesser known grape varietals or regions, you can save money and explore a region you’ve never heard of before.
If you’re not sure where to start in selecting new wines, there are several apps out there that are dedicated to wine enthusiastshoping to become more discerningdrinkers. Vivino is one of my favourites: it’s the Yelp of the wine world. You can take a photograph of a bottle or a restaurant menu, and it will quickly inhabit a score and reviews. Just remember that savouring is subjective and you should take reviews with a grain of salt.
Eventually, you’ll come to know what you like about the wine that you’re drinking. If you like fruit and spice, for example, you might look for a Spanish wine from the Rioja region, or an Argentinian Malbec. If you are more into earthy notes, but don’t want to expend a ton of money on Pinot Noir from California or France, but you might try Pinots from Oregon. Don’t be afraid to explore!
Turn your wine hobby into an investment
We havelived through the crash of 2008 and can understandably be skittish when it comes to investing. Turning a hobby into an investment could be an appealing way to bridge the investment gap, and wine can be a great bet if you have a few tips on expanding your cellar on a budget.
Most people don’t know that the top wine investments have actually beat gold for the past ten years, says Alex Westgarth, proprietor of Westgarth Wines, a high-end wine distribution company that specializes in investment-grade wines. Wine doesn’t change hands the same way that stocks do, so new investors may find it more approachable you don’t get the fluctuations you get with the stock market.
Alex let me know that first-growth wines tend to yield the biggest payouts for investors. If you’re expending on a budget, he says, Buying the most inexpensive first-growth wines with the highest ratings is a good way to start.
Plainly told, look for inexpensive wines with high ratings, and stock up while you’re doing your routine wine shopping. An important point: recollect not to drink your investment. And proper storage is essential, if you plan to resell.
Visit a vineyard
To immerse yourself in wine culture, there’s nothing quite like visiting a vineyard. The enthusiasm and passion of the vintners is contagious and learning about the art and science of the wine-making process will give you a greater appreciation for the discipline, and the wine.
As a perk, wine country is pretty muchalways beautiful. Rolling mounds punctuated by seas of lush green vines make for an enjoyable getaway. You’ll learn what grapes thrive in the region you’re visiting, depending on its climate and soils.
While exploringthe earth and the weather is interesting, it’s the tastings that they are able to build the trip-up. Ask to try different vintages of wines from the same vineyard. It’s astonishing how fluctuations in temperature from one year to the next can render an entirely different flavor profile.
There you have it. A handful of ways to reach depths in your relationship with wine and they all involve a bit of studying. So, next time someone questions you for drinking too much wine, just tell them that it’s part of your is committed to your continuing education.