My "Go-To" wine book
What wine book should I buy if I am just starting out?" This is probably the most common question I get. To begin a wine book collection, you need a no-nonsense book that is friendly, approachable, and brimming with all kinds of information to get you started on your wine journey. I wholeheartedly recommend Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible. Even though my wine book collection has been multiplying in leaps and bounds, I must confess that I crack open The Wine Bible as my first reference.

Tasting Away
How are you ever going to learn about wine if you don't taste and taste and taste? It is a very daunting task. May I recommend Local Wine Events ( and Red White Boston (if you are in the Boston area), to keep you abreast of a multitude of tastings. The best part - many events are free or have a nominal charge.

Slashed Champagne Prices
It is a sign of the times. Vineyards have been forced to slash Champagne prices in response to the recession. Yes, I know that there are many excellent contenders in the sparkling wine category. But, the allure of the Champagne bubble and the toasty, brioche aroma is hard to resist. So - when you are in the Champagne isle, remember these words of Winston Churchill: "In victory, I deserve it, and in defeat, I need it".

The Yum-Yuk™ Test
This is a guide for people who are overwhelmed by the enormous selection of wines available. The founders of the test report that people have a particular sensitivity to food, wine, music, and other things "sensory". By taking the Yum-Yuk™ Test (, you will discover your taste sensitivity quotient. This will assist you in your wine selections. It is also a really fun!

Keeping a wine journal
It is so difficult to remember the wines you have enjoyed. So many people come to a wine shop and say, for example, "I had a wonderful red wine with a flower on the label." A wine journal can easily be kept in any word processing program. Write down your impressions of the wine, when you drank the wine, with whom you drank the wine, and what you ate (if that is the case). You can also download a label through a rapid Google search and paste it into the journal.

What is the most delicious wine you ever tasted? Is it the one that rated a 99 and cost you your whole week's salary? Or is it the magnificent, basket-wrapped Chianti that you shared with your loved one during an early romantic date? Keep in mind that the stunning rosé you sipped with your Boullabaise in Marseilles may taste slightly different back home. Quoting Dottie and John from their former Wall Street Journal article, " Your enjoyment of any wine is an extension of yourself, your emotions, your experiences and your circumstances when you drink it."