It is a new year! Time for new beginnings? Sometimes it is time to do what you really wanted to do in the first place! Following a passion takes a lot of dedication. Just like going to the gym, practicing guitar, and creating new works of art– the only way to make it happen is to physically manifest it!
If your passion is to learn more about wine, here are the tools to cementing the abyss of wine information by creating a more educated you in 2016!
Tasting and Tasting Groups – Walk the Talk– Actually see it, smell it, sip it, spit it… and repeat. And don’t forget to write it down! Focus on the fruit, wood, earth, acidity and body of the wine. It’s all there, but if you don’t keep tasting wine, you won’t find it. Seek out tastings- at your local wine shop, winery or join tasting groups. We feature wine tastings (free) Wed-Friday nights from 5- 7pm AND Sat and Sundays from 12pm -4pm. Jens and I have a wealth of information to share with you- for free. Check our schedule here >>
You can also form your own tasting groups- just be careful to keep changing it up and make it blind so you are not biased. Call us if you would like us to set up blind tasting wines for you. Or if you like blind tastings, our Thursday tastings are blind- be prepared to think!
Wine Club – Busy schedule? That happens, but it doesn’t have to restrict you. Join a wine club that offers a diverse selection of wines from around the world so that you are out of your element. Many local wine shops have wine club programs. Our clubs >> at Portalis focus on education and diversifying your collection. Wines from around the world, with exceptional value as well as classic styles- Jens is keen on providing these for all of our guests.
Books — Read and visualize it. The perspective and voice of one wine professional is different to another. Invest in some solid works, and continue to read new works. Here’s a short list:
- Hugh Johnson and Janic Robsinson- The World Atlas of Wine
- Jancis Robinson- Wine Grapes
- Madeline Puckett and Justin Hammack– Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
- Karen MacNeil- The Wine Bible
- There are several more if you want an formal list, I can compile one for you.
Maps, maps and more maps– Speaking of visualizing it- sometimes it being there is really what allows it all to sink in. Read the maps, check out the rivers, mountains, terrain… and the stories of the winemakers. In somm school, I drew every single map with notes on the environment so that I could memorize the diversity in which each region provides the varietals.
Apps– ahhh… technology. A blessing, a useful tool and a wealth of information; however, be wary of validity and choose what best suits your needs for retaining information! Here’s a listing and a few links for descriptions on each!
- Hello Vino
- Wine Spectator- Wine Ratings
- WSET Wine Game
- Delectable wine
- More >> | More II >>
Wine Shop Classes | Education— And there’s nothing like the tried and true- class room style education! Not only do local wine shops offer classes, but there are several certified programs in the area for more advanced studies:
Seattle Wine Shops that Offer Classes
Formal Education – Time for a new path? Perhaps you are ready to commit to this vast world of knowledge and ever changing details? Consider the following groups:
- NW Wine Academy (South Seattle)
- Court of Masters (Sommelier | World Wide)
- International Sommelier Guild (Sommelier | World Wide)
- Master of Wine (MW | World Wide)
For an entertaining definition of what’s what, Wine Folly >>
Have more questions? You can find us in the shop from 11-7pm Tuesday thru Saturday, Sundays till 5pm.
Happy New Year!
Jaci Kajfas, Sommelier &
Portalis Wine Shop Manager