The long and difficult journey to wine connoisseur

A few years ago I recall seeing an article about professional wine tasters and reviewers. The article claimed that, to train, they often blindfolded themselves and exposed themselves to differnt scents such as dilluted vinnegar, carrots, ginger, grapes, raisins, et al. Can anybody provide a web site that provides a list of things like this, how to go through the “training program”, the assosciated attributes of the wine based upon the smell or taste, what foods go with what wines, etc?

You can find some information here:

Online Wine Tasting Course

Go to the home page at the website above for more information.

I found that page by starting here:

The Comprehensive Directory of Wine-Related Websites

I always recommend that people interested in learning about wine start with Wine for Dummies. A very good broad overview, covering most of your questions.

As far as getting more specific information, you can check any of the major websites: (mostly a commerce site, but they also have message boards)

There are lots of others, but I like the last one. There’s tons of information, such as:

If you’re interested in specific information on identifying wines by their particular taste, try this site:

You can also often find useful information on wineries’ individual sites. These are pretty good: (Kendall Jackson – look especially at their “Education” link)

Also, just for the hell of it, try picking up a wine magazine. The current Wine Spectator has an article on sausages, and which go well with which wines for snacking purposes. An abridged version of the article is on their site, also:

Another idea would be to join a wine tasting group. Many outreach colleges have formal classes, and if you go to a wine merchant, you can find all sorts of flyers and stuff posted inviting people to seminars and such. Cost is usually fairly reasonable, between $40-60, to cover the cost of the wine.

If you can find the time, go visit a winery, or better yet, a winery region. You can learn a hell of a lot by tasting a whole bunch of wines in a short period of time. It’s pretty amazing to taste a Cabernet Sauvignon back-to-back with a Merlot, or an Amarone. Ditto for a big, buttery Chardonnay next to a spicy Gewurztraminer, or a grassy Fume Blanc. You find out pretty quick which ones you like, and which ones you can pass on.

And one final note: There are no hard and fast laws about pairing wine with food, or even what makes a good wine. Yes, there are guidelines, and rules of thumb, and the “professional” ratings wines earn from the “official” magazines (you usually see “points” on the shelf label) tend to be fairly consistent. However: Nobody can tell you what you yourself like best. If your favorite wine is a Beaujolais Nouveau, then that’s perfectly fine. Or, for example, even though you’re “supposed” to have white wine with fish, I’ve found that broiled salmon goes best with a nice Pinot Noir.

Hope this helps, and welcome to the world of wine.

Great info thus far guys! I was about to post the same question, threemae. You must have read my mind. :slight_smile:

Una (who is, unfortunately, a vino barbarian)

Wow, thanks for all of the tips. Looks as though we have a certified, bona-fide vinophile here with Cervaise.

TASTE: More Than Just Swallowing

Is that suggestive or what!!!

a variety of info