Extensive Guide for the Complete Wine Beginners

You need a bit of direction to gain a lot of wine wisdom and confidence. The guide is aimed at offering you an outline of ways to improve your wine knowledge even if you are a beginner. To be a wine-savvy is not a thing for everyone. However, it's a good way for wine drinkers to gain their sense of taste and enhance their social experience.

Wine has significant benefits and knows more about wine quality and buying wine. Of course, knowing how to identify wine quality helps you understand how to differentiate exquisite tastes, and you will never be the same again.

Ways of Improving Your Wine Knowledge

Change How You Drink

Immediately change how you partake your wine. Bear in mind that your aim is to change the way you buy and drink wine to make better-informed decisions and enhance your level of awareness. Remember your goal each time you taste your wine. To change your wine drinking:

  • Practice the right wine tasting process every time you take a glass of wine
  • Set up comparative tastings to enhance your tasting ability
  • Identify your vintage and origin always
  • Seek out new wines to e expand your tasting experience

Embark on a Personal Wine Challenge

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is still room to learn. Learn how to describe acidity and tannin in wine in different wine varieties and available styles. Start by sampling the wine in your local wine shop. Taste the 9 wine styles and know how to define the scope of your wine. Each of the 9 styles gives you a different taste experience.

Learn the wine etiquette involving storing, and tasting wine to ensure that you taste it the right way as a winemaker intended. Wine etiquette is somewhat specific and peculiar, which makes it extremely fragile. Tasting wine is done in 4-steps, i.e. look, smell, taste, and think. Use this strategy each time, and you become increasingly more aware of the difference in each wine bottle.

Enhance your knowledge by digging up contextual information regarding the wine like what part was that wine made, where and the wine varieties growing in that region. Associating the wine with the place of manufacture expands your understanding beyond the label and producer. You can explore similar regions with the same attributes, such as wine varieties, climate, tradition, etc.

Develop Your Wine Taste Sense

Learn to pick out the flavor and aroma in the wine. It helps you identify the pesky wine faults. The tasting experience enables you to identify the great quality too. The perceived acidity or crispiness in the wine is key to wine longevity. The acidity helps balance the flavors present in a single sip when drinking your wine. Therefore, the acidity must be right, which also requires serving your wine at the right temperature. What kind of scent do you get from the wine? Also, note how the wine feels in your mouth, is it heavy, or light.

Wines that feel lighter on the palate are beginner-friendly because of the alcohol content and mellower flavors. Consequently, wines that feel heavier in the mouth have higher levels of flavoring and alcohol. The bitter taste is because of a lack of sugar and the presence of tannin or lack of residual sugar in the final product. Check out Wine Cellar HQ to get a clue for more refined wine tastes. Taste how the wine feels in your mouth, and note down the roughness, smoothness, lightness and heaviness. Tannin gives the wine a dry taste. Higher tannin makes the wine rougher and more bitter. Wine texture relates to the smoothness or roughness in your mouth.

Pick Your Wine According to the Function

There are many wine varieties to pick from when you have an event. Wines make a perfect companion for an exciting night out or a quiet stay-in. It can be a thoughtful gift or a classy gift to give on a special day. Plus, wine is a timeless collection of memorabilia or curate. The nature of the function is vital to choose an appropriate wine gift. For instance, if it's a big party or a classic party, you can go for champagne as it has sweet and bubbly flavors which makes the wine easy to drink by everyone including beginners and connoisseurs.

Intimate gatherings like weddings and birthdays require options like light-bodied wines. Also, choose your wine considering the food pairing qualities. Certain types of wines pair better with particular food types. If you are planning a special dinner, then it's good to pick the right wine that pairs well with your meal. For instance, white wines pair well with lighter foods like vegetables and fish. Red wines pair well with richer meals like the meat dishes. Ensure your wine has the right intensity and flavor as the food.

As a beginner, learn wine tasting and wine pairing. The two are like a match made in heaven. Grow your knowledge of wine for an exquisite taste and enjoy the best wine varieties.

5 min read

Lessons Learned and the Power of Turning 50

Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.

I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.

I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.

Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.

My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.

I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.

When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.

So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.

Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.

And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.

This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.

I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.

I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.