Wine Education Guide

Wine — an ancient libation with two sides, one complex and the other simple. In a simple sense, it’s a beverage made of fermented grapes that can be predictable yet enjoyable. On the other end of the spectrum, however, wine can deliver complexity with a variety of flavorful, textural and aromatic interactions that delight the senses. Enter this wine education guide, which offers a look into resources for those just beginning their relationship with wine to those who have a history they long to build upon. Packed with over 40 helpful links, this guide is worth a look whether you’re a budding oenophile — connoisseur of wines — or a seasoned one.


General Wine Resources

This section includes resources that detail the history of wine, deliver the latest wine industry news and teach you how to confidently purchase wine that you’ll enjoy.

Where Does Wine Really Come From? – If you think you know where wine really comes from, you might want to think again. Read this interesting article to find out more.

The SOMM Journal – Check out this free digital publication, focused on the wine industry, which appeals to a wide range of professions such as chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists and wine professionals.

Wine – If you’re seeking anything — classifieds to top wine industry news — you can find it here. The classifieds section offers an expansive job board featuring wine industry opportunities.

Wine Buying Guide – From Consumer Reports comes this wine buying guide that will assist you in making informed choices when purchasing wine.


Wine Resources for Beginners

If you’re a novice to the wine arena, this is a good starting point. Here you can discover the basics involving ordering, opening, serving and tasting wines.

Learn How to Taste Wine and Develop Your Palate – An online guide that helps readers learn to taste wine in four basic steps: look, smell, taste and conclude.

How to Open a Bottle of Wine – Rather than embarrass yourself, learn how to properly open a bottle of wine. While it might look easy, there’s a process that has to be followed. This resource offers text, a video and still pictures to help you get it.

7 Basics to Serving Wine and Glassware – Discover how to choose the right glassware for serving wine and how to pour the beverage without spilling a drop via this tutorial.

9 Tips for Ordering Wine at a Restaurant Without Feeling Like an Idiot – Learn how to competently order wine in a restaurant with these top tips from three different master sommeliers.

Wine for Beginners – This comprehensive guide from Wine Enthusiast magazine is a great way to begin exploring wine.


Wine Tasting and Evaluating Resources

If you’re going to become serious about wine, you need to have a firm grasp on tasting and evaluating it. The following resources will help you become more knowledgeable about how to properly taste wine as well as the how and why of wine evaluation.

What Are the Steps to Tasting and Evaluating Fine Wine? – Depending on who you are — a pro wine taster or the average consumer — the proper order of steps to wine tasting prescribed here is basically the same: see, smell, sip and either spit or swallow.

Wine Tasting Tips – These tips embody the survey, swirl, sniff, sip and swallow approach to wine tasting. See how this approach differs from other recommended approaches.

Tasting Etiquette 101 – From Zinfandel comes this guide to wine tasting etiquette. While many of the tips are common sense, some might seem surprising.

How to Evaluate Your Wine – Knowing how to evaluate wine will help you judge if it’s a good quality wine or not. This resource is especially helpful if you make your own wine.


Types of Wine Resources

Wine types are designated by the specific wine grapes from which they are created. For example, Merlot wines are made primarily from the Merlot variety of grapes. Some of the following resources detail a few of the main types of wine while others offer more extensive lists.

Learn About Wine Types: An Easy Explanation of Wine Types – This guide will teach you about the different types of wine and add to your vocabulary so that you can make an informed decision the next time to choose to drink wine.

A Complete Guide to the Different Types of Wine – Learn about common wine terms, popular types of red and white wines and other types of wine.

Red Wine Information and Basics – Think of this as “Red Wine 101.” It offers everything you need to know about red wine and then some.

Wine Varietals A-Z – This resource houses an extensive list of common wine types and their descriptions — from Albariño to Zinfandel.


Wine Regions of the World

Most of the world’s wine — approximately 80 percent — comes from 10 countries. Even so, there are many more countries, some of which are still being discovered, that produce wine. Find out about the major wine producing regions of the world and also some of the minor ones.

Top Wine Regions of the World – This article contains a colorful infographic that details the top-producing wine regions in the world.

20 Epic Wine Regions to Visit Before You Die – Find wine recommendations for each region as well as recommended side trips while in each area.

10 Overlooked Wine Regions – From the CNN Network comes this article that details wine regions overlooked — from Sicily to Michigan.

Wine Regions of the World – An interesting look at some of the wine regions of the world.


Wine and Food Pairing Resources

Whether you’re simply looking for the perfect bottle of vino to uncork at dinner tonight or you’re preparing for a more elaborate occasion, these wine and food pairing resources have you covered.

Mastering the Art of Wine and Food Pairings – Start here to learn the six elements of wine and food pairing, and then view some suggested wine and food pairings categorized by wine type.

Matching Wine and Food: An Introduction – Read this article to understand the main takeaways for matching wine and food from well-known wine critic and journalist Jancis Robinson.

Food Then Wine – Use this handy resource to find out which type of wine will go well with any type of appetizers, condiments, meats, side dishes or desserts.

Wine and Food Pairing Guide – The wine and food guide gives a quick overview of the various types of wines and then details what ingredients and foods to pair with each type of wine.

Pairing Wine With Ethnic Cuisine – If you’re planning to enjoy some ethnic cuisine — Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Pacific Rim, Japanese, Thai — this article offers helpful pointers for choosing the right type of wine to pair with your food selections.


Wine Sommelier Resources

As a knowledgeable wine professional who is well versed in all aspects of wine service and wine and food pairing, a sommelier must undergo specialized training. What follows are some of the best sommelier resources on the Web.

Court of Master Sommeliers – Known as the premier international examining body for Master Sommeliers, this resource provides the highest-quality educational resources for those interested in becoming a certified sommelier.

Tips to Pass the Sommelier Certification – The tips presented here are based on the Court of Master Sommeliers exam, but they can be applied to any wine education courses for sommeliers.

Catch and Release: Using the Deductive Tasting Grid – Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser gives his detailed advice on the basics of the deductive tasting grid and how to use it.

How to Blind Taste Wines Like a Sommelier – This post offers a list of practice wines and step-by-step instructions for blind tasting them.

Wine Whisperers: Building a Relationship With a Sommelier    – Find out why it’s important to develop a relationship with a sommelier at your favorite restaurant.


Wine Podcast Resources

In the vast world of wines, there’s much to learn. Why not make it easier on yourself? Listen to one of these helpful podcasts that can teach you anything from choosing wines that interest you to hearing advice from some of the world’s best wine experts.

Wine for Normal People – Enjoy wine talk in a fun, easy-to-digest way that will have you learning how to choose better, more interesting wines that you will enjoy.

The Wine Crush – This one-hour program, hosted by Laura Lawson, is upbeat, silly and dashed with tasteful sarcasm. It’s appropriate listening for both novice and expert wine drinkers.

I’ll Drink to That! Talking Wine With Levi Dalton – Host Levi Dalton — former sommelier — hosts this podcast from his living room where he interviews some of the most famous and knowledgeable wine personalities today.

Weekly Wine Show – Take a journey each week as you explore new wine knowledge and recommendations.

Wine to Five Podcast – Join fun-loving hosts Steph and Val for this podcast that encourages wine drinking at any time of the day.


Wine App Resources

Simply take a photo of a wine bottle label with any one of the following apps, and the app will pull up all kinds of information about the wine. Beyond that helpful feature, you’ll find that these free apps can give you plenty of information on wines and the wine industry.

Vivino – This free app offers information on wine tasting notes and ratings, wine rankings and comparisons, price comparisons and more.

Wine Searcher – This app offers much of the same information as Vivino, but it also offers an ability for wine collectors to search for certain bottles. In addition, you can also find information on wine trends, news and interviews with winemakers.

Delectable – Add your own notes and ratings for wines you’ve tried, and find ratings from well-known sommeliers as well as the average wine drinker.

Drizly – This app is actually an online market that allows users to order wine and other spirits for pre-paid store or home delivery from Drizly’s partner stores. An added plus is that delivery can happen the same day in over 70 U.S. cities.