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Learn more about wine!
2024 is fast approaching. Did you keep your resolutions this year? Whether it’s joining a gym or reading more books, those New Year’s resolutions can be tricky to maintain once a hopeful January gives way to a dreary February. This year, choose something you’ll have no trouble sticking to: learning more about wine! The world of wine doesn’t need to be intimidating, insurmountable or just plain confusing, if you’ve got the right tools. Learning about wine should be fun! But where to start? We’ve rounded up some ideas to boost your wine knowledge and, more importantly, wine enjoyment in 2024.
1. Try a new wine every week
One of the best ways to increase your enjoyment of wine is to discover new things. There are plenty of ways to do this, from choosing a new restaurant or bar over your usual spots, to asking for a recommendation from your local wine retailer. You could also check out a wine subscription box, with new wines sent to your door usually on a monthly basis, you’re bound to discover something new. Check out offerings from Bodeboca (The Box) and Wine is Social (Winelovers Club). Both of these come with detailed information cards so you can learn more about the wines you’re drinking. However you discover new wines, making a note of the name, or taking a picture of the bottle, and a quick note of what it tastes like will help you to better retain the memory. Notes can be as simple (“Loved it! Good with steak.”) or as detailed (WSET SAT style) as you like. You’ll soon be making your own recommendations!
2. Visit a wine region
One of the most immersive ways to learn about wine is to visit where it’s made. If you’re Barcelona-based, the DO’s of Penedes and Alella are easily accessible by public transport in under an hour. If you’ve got your own transport and would like to explore further afield, there’s Priorat, Terra Alta, the Empordá and many others right here in Catalunya; a weekend break in Rioja is around 5 hours away; and you can be stepping into the vineyards of Rousillon in the South of France in around 3 hours. Many wineries offer enotourism experiences such as tours and tastings, and you’ll have the best possible opportunities to ask questions of those who work the vineyards and make the wines. Take your head out the books once in a while and plan a visit. Who knows what you’ll learn! Check out this article by Gabriela for ideas near Barcelona.
3. Subscribe to a newsletter or magazine
Newsletters and magazines are a great way to get up-to-the-minute information on wine regions, styles, trends, and changes in the wine world. Many newsletters are free, and while some are focused toward trade readers, such as the Drinks Business daily newsletter or Harpers, others are more apt for wine aficionados curious to learn more. Wine Spectator has 9 free newsletters available, all with different USPs. Check out journalist Miquel Hudin’s newsletters (some content is free, some paid) for eclectic wine reporting. Cul de Cuvée is my favourite category for tongue-in-cheek wine news. If you prefer something more solid, check out magazines like Noble Rot (the quirky/ rockstar side of wine writing), Decanter (for classic reporting) or The World of Fine Wine (for vinous daydreaming).
4. Organise a blind tasting with friends
A group tasting is great way to spend an evening with wine-loving friends. Tasting blind encourages people to focus on the wines and identify what they like about them, without any preconceptions or expectations. It’s also a super way to pool your resources and to learn from one another. Blind tastings can have a theme such as wines of the New World, single varietal wines, sparkling only (our favourite!), or a focus on a particular country such as Spain or France. Alternatively, all bring a bottle you love, something delicious to eat, and just enjoy! If it’s going to be a regular get together, invest in some blind tasting ‘socks’ or bags, such as these from Vin Bouquet, though a tinfoil wrap will do the job. If you’d like the blind tasting experience for fewer people or just yourself, Amble Wine do a selection of blind tasting boxes with home delivery.
5. Take a WSET course
Are we bias? Perhaps! But we believe one of the best ways to learn about wine is through a WSET course. With its progressive qualification structure, taking your first step or your next step in wine education is a breeze. They provide you with solid foundations of wine know-how and understanding, so that however you go on to learn more about wine, you’re filled with confidence and knowledge to build upon. Wine Courses Barcelona offer WSET Levels 1, 2 and 3 in Wines in both English and Spanish. Our excellent pass rates at all levels are something we really pride ourselves on, but even more so the experiences of hundreds of happy and satisfied students who have passed through our doors since 2015. Will taking the next step be on your list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2024? We think this is one you’ll have no problem keeping! Check out upcoming dates on our online booking page.
We hope 2024 is the year you learn more about wine and we can’t wait to hear all about your discoveries in the new year. Keep in touch via Instagram @winecoursesbcn or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for any queries. Remember, wine is for sharing and learning about it should be fun. So get your friends and family involved, infect them with your passion, learn from each other, and always keep a corkscrew handy. All the best for 2024, the WCB Team x
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