Wine doesn’t need to be intimidating. And more sommeliers or beverage directors at restaurants go out of their way to make you feel comfortable with the wine list. Same thing with a reputable wine store; not only should they welcome your business, but it’s their business to introduce you to great wines and offer customer service by being engaging and helpful.
I’ve put together five tips for quick wine knowledge:
One, befriend your local wine merchant. Find a store you like and frequent it, establishing a relationship with the same person there so they get to know your tastes and they can introduce you to some great stuff. Peter at Marty’s Liquors in Newton is that guy for me.
Two, attend a lot of tastings. Visit your liquor store when they hold them. You’ll only know what you like after you try a lot of wine. And you wouldn’t dream of imbibing it all, would you; there’s always spitting as the professionals do.
(Check out the Boston Wine Expo January 21 & 22, 2012; it's a great opportunity to sample dozens of wines.)
Three, once you find a wine you like focus on the producer--the winery that makes the wine. Get to know them as you would anything you’d have a passion for—where are they located? Where do their grapes come from? You’ll gain confidence through knowledge, and enjoy it all the more.
Four, if you are dining out with a group and are nervous about ordering wine, get the wine list ahead of time and discuss what you’re looking for and your budget with the beverage director. It takes the sweat out of being put on the spot.
Five, take a class at the Boston Wine School with Jonathan Alsop—his down-to-earth, irreverent approach along with his deep knowledge will not only put you at ease but you’ll have fun. Imagine: Wine = fun.
Thanks for listening to "Talk with Francesca" Sunday, November 27th AM-1510. For restaurant recommendations and more recipes, please check back with PressureKooker. If you're looking for the chili recipe, please click here. And keep cooking!