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New Year's Resolution to Learn about Wine

Posted by Ellen Bhang  January 1, 2013 05:35 PM

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The New Year is your year to learn more about wine. Whether you are a longtime enthusiast or a brand new imbiber, 2013 is an opportune time to deepen your knowledge of this lovely libation. Drop by in-store tastings. Attend a wine dinner to see how a hot new restaurant is pairing wine with food. Read voraciously. Blogs, tweets and online wine media -- along with the good old-fashioned newsstand -- make wine information more accessible than ever. And if you thrive in a classroom environment, a four session Wine 101 at the Boston Wine School is a terrific way to learn the basics. Or, if you have four semesters to spare, you can pursue the wine certificate program at the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center at Boston University.

In the midst of your tasting and reading, how do you capture what you're learning? We're big believers in writing things down. An easy system we use is actually too simple to be called a system. Let's call it an approach that reinforces learning. Get a pack of index cards and keep a pen handy. Whenever a wine question occurs to you, write it on an index card. Later, research the answer and jot it on the back of the card. Or, when a sommelier imparts some wonderful wine fact to you and your dinner companion, jot that down too. Do this a couple of times a week, every week, and in no time, you'll have a growing stack of cards. Naturally, you can keep all of this information electronically. But there is something addictive about seeing your pile of index cards grow. Its increasing height reflects your growing wine knowledge. Try it! And let us know your progress throughout the year.

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Ellen Bhang

About By the Glass

Ellen Bhang writes about food and wine and reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe. Wine is the focus of her degree in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University. She can be reached at


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