Wine is a funny thing. What other consumable product do we agonize so much over each time we buy it? Will it be red or white? Cabernet or merlot? Chardonnay or sauvignon blanc? This brand or that brand? One bottle or two? Were that not enough, we’re fickle too! After finding something we like, we’re satisfied for a short period of time and then we’re off looking for something new.
The fact is, serious wine lovers are always on the lookout for new wines, or new wineries, or the latest “hot” label, or even a new varietal. Where do they get the information to find these wines? They read recommendations that come from one or more sources: magazine, internet newsletters, wine store newsletters, or all of the above. Nearly all of these sources use the 100-point scale to rate reviewed wines.
The magazine format is available by subscription or at the newsstand. In addition, most magazines or newsletters have their own websites as well. Some of the sites require subscriptions to either the print version, the internet version, or both. The following sites have both print and internet versions:
- Wine Spectator
- The Wine Advocate – subscription only; not on the newsstand
- Wine Enthusiast
There are also a number of internet-only wine newsletters where writers/reviewers post their reviews. Most are subscription only, including:
In addition, there also are a number of discussion forums (aka, bulletin boards), where members discuss wines at length. Lurkers are able to visit these sites, but posting or participating in the discussion requires [usually free] membership. These include:
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t include mention of projects operated by your own Wine Dudes! Rusty owns the site Prince of Pinot, and I own the site Grape-Nutz. Both sites review wines and wine events, and include comprehensive tasting notes as well as information about the wineries themselves. In addition, we both participate in GrapeRadio, which, while not scoring wines, does post podcast interviews with winemakers, owners, and other wine personalities.
Don’t want to get all that involved in wine? No problem, just select a few to try. Sure, you may accidentally select a clunker now and again, but the vast majority of wines in the marketplace today are very good to excellent. It’s really just a matter of degree.