Monthly Archives: September 2012

What Makes a Good Wine? (And my goals to find out!)

Years ago my grandparents had the basement storage unit in their Paris apartment broken into. It was filled only with bottles of wine (as I like to imagine all Parisian storage units are) and the thief stole all of them except for the few less expensive bottles that he or she left in the middle of the room as if to say, “I know good wine”.

But what makes wine “good”?

I know what I consider good glass of wine (and at this point I base that on two very broad things: taste and price), but give that same glass to some of my more discerning friends and family members and I’m sure they’d disagree. I hope to answer this question eventually, but for now it seems wholly subjective. When I have more of a knowledge base and  vocabulary I will better be able to tackle the concept of quality in wines and pinpoint what aspects of a glass make it better or worse.

My goal in the next couple of months is to learn how to intelligently taste a wine, describe its attributes and identify what makes a wine “good”(at least according to the experts). On the weekend of December 1st I will host my own wine tasting for friends to demonstrate what I’ve learned. 

wine in Paris

Bottles of wine at my grandparent’s house


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Filed under Beginner's Guide, What Makes a Good Wine?

The Pragmatic Dilettante’s Guide to Wine

After the recent death of a friend and wine aficionado, I am partaking on a journey to take a deeper look into the complex world of tannins and vintages. On a budget and with the help of a few close friends, Vintage 1969 aims to be the “pragmatic dilettante’s guide to wine”. I will attempt to demystify the world of wine for all of you out there who have occasionally been embarrassed to admit that you really can’t taste that hint of blackberry.

The blog will focus on my experiences as well as the learning process, with a knowledge base built organically and through stories. A post may be about a night with friends and a few nice bottles, a trip to a vineyard, an interview with an expert, a tasting down the street or simply a story about wine.

It is my hope to not only find solace in this exercise, but to spread the joy of wine that was the passion of a truly wonderful man.

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