I want to learn about wine. Where do I start?

I want to learn about wine. Where do I start?

I drank wine long before I wanted to learn about wine. Then one day I drank a delicious bottle of wine. I immediately decided it was time to start figuring the stuff out.

Sure, I read a book or two. You need to look at a basic guide that will help you start to get familiar with the important wine regions and grapes of the world. For example, you'll learn that red burgundy is made from Pinot Noir (mostly) and white burgundy is made from Chardonnay (mostly). This is stuff you have to learn.

Jeff Patten
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Seven Rules for When to Open Meursault

Seven Rules for When to Open Meursault

In the world of fine white wine, perhaps no name resonates quite as much as that of Meursault. It's the kind of wine that everyone knows is pretty good. It is a safe choice. And it is often a very good choice. Maybe one day we'll get to a full guide to the intricacies of Meursault -- all the wonderful vineyards (many of which are classified at the village level and strongly over-perform), and the many fine producers.

For now, I'm just going to address one simple question: when is the right time to open up a bottle? 

Jeff Patten
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How Important Are Vintages?

How Important Are Vintages?

 A lot of people out there are obsessed with vintages. There are lots of forces at work here.

First, there are the wine geeks who have nothing better to do than sit around debating the merits of, say, 1989 Bordeaux versus 1990. Engaging in these discussions would seem to these folks to be a good way to demonstrate knowledge and experience.

Jeff Patten
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10 Top Vintages to Get Ready For Now

10 Top Vintages to Get Ready For Now

Collectors, how will you allocate your budget in the buying season coming up? Here would be my top picks based on what's available or coming into the marketplace these days.

Jeff Patten
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On Scoring Wine

On Scoring Wine

You may have noticed that, unlike many other wine shops and web sites, we don’t spend a lot of energy talking about scores and points.
Jeff Patten
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Decanting Red Burgundy

Decanting Red Burgundy

Decanting red Burgundy is a hot button topic. 

People get really worked up about it. Some dogmatically prohibit this practice - ever. The most important thing is to put the glasses and the decanter on the table first - then taste the wine. Do you pour it into glasses and start drinking it right away? Pour it into glasses and wait? Decant? Only by tasting the wine are you ever going to find out.

Jeff Patten
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Edges of Burgundy: Our New Blog Series

Edges of Burgundy: Our New Blog Series

Is Burgundy going the way of Bordeaux?  Prices certainly are going up every year.  The top producers’ wines are now out of reach for the vast majority of us.  In famous villages (Vosne Romanée, Chambolle Musigny), even relatively unknown producers don't come cheap.
Jeff Patten
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Top Ten Wine Regions to Watch

Top Ten Wine Regions to Watch

Ribeira Sacra, Alto Piemonte, and the tastiest, trendiest wines in the world.

Jeff Patten
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Stocking your Cellar without Breaking the Bank

One of my favorite topics is how to stock a wine cellar without killing your budget.  So many people assume that unless it’s a trophy wine, gets high scores in glossy publications, or has the words Grand Cru somewhere on the label, a wine does not belong in a cellar.  Undoubtedly a great cellar will contain plenty of those wines.  But some of my most memorable experiences with wine have been with rather modest wine that has spent a few years in a nice cool cellar.
Jeff Patten
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