News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Features

January 20, 2013

GRAPE SENSE: Want to learn more? Wine tastings aren’t just for snobs

Wine tasting sounds like something for wine snobs. Consumers who buy wine at groceries and liquor stores should do a little more wine tasting to expand their palate and knowledge.

Often novice wine drinkers shy away from tastings and wine events because of lack of knowledge. Still, human nature suggests learning more on a topic increases the enjoyment.

There’s nothing wrong with buying your wine in the aforementioned retail outlets. But to increase knowledge and expand the palate a wine shop is the best ‘next step’ for wine beginners or those who want to learn more.

“Go to a wine store where they have a person to help you,” said Dean Wilson, an Indiana distributor and former retailer. “A real wine person will educate you. Somebody in the retail market, who learns your palate, will guide you into other things to try.

“It is like Education 101, don’t be afraid to taste new things. Trust your wine professional and go to as many tastings as you can.”

Wilson suggested American consumers are actually hungry for wine knowledge. Sales figures over the past 15 years show significant increases in American wine consumption. And, there has never been a better time to try more and different wines.

“Consumers want a good deal,” Wilson said. “Consumers realize they don’t have to spend a lot of money on a bottle of wine. If they try something new and like it, then they can start trying different [price] levels of that wine.”

As a distributor, Wilson knows the wine market. He said the bulk of wine sales rests in the $9-$15 price range. The market “sweet spot” was just under $10 in the 1990s and then increased. The 2008 economic collapse dropped the sales point back below $10. Today, consumers are willing to pay $14-$15 a bottle.

You can expand your palate and education with a wine professional or a group of friends who enjoy wine. How many people do you wish to invite? Do you want wine education or enjoyment? Do you want to do specific wines or just have everyone bring a bottle?

You can make any wine event more fun by trying to pair wines with just the right food. Or have everyone bring 100 percent varietal wines in a brown bag and then try to guess the varietal. You could come up with geographical clues from the wine region to make the game even more fun.

If you have a friend who really knows wine or maybe you know a wine professional, give them a call. Most wine retailers, wholesalers, and wine journalists really enjoy sharing what they’ve learned from their experiences.

Drink wines at your normal price point. But maybe throw in one bottle of something special, and a little higher priced, near the end of your gathering.

“It’s like we tell our kids, ‘How do you know you won’t like it, if you don’t try it?” Wilson suggested. “That’s also true on wine.”

Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, writes about wine every other week for 21 Midwestern newspapers. You can ask him questions at: hewitthoward@gmail.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Raw: Aftermath, Artillery Shells Hit Donetsk Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Jury Awards Ventura $1.8M in Defamation Case Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity