A: The short answer to this question is: taste more wine.
The longer answer is a bit more complicated and depends, ultimately, on your personal preferences.
If you want to keep things informal:
-Investigate wine. Listen to wine podcasts, read books and connect with wine professionals you trust in person or on social media.
-Practice tasting wine. Look at your wine, smell your wine, and taste your wine with a more analytical mind. Go to a wine tasting, visit a local winery or taste flights (a range of small samples) of wine at a local wine bar.
-Pay attention to the wine you’re drinking, take photos of the labels to remember, or jot down notes of the grapes and styles you like so you can try them again.
If you’re interested in something more official:
Take a Wine Appreciation class with Bishop’s Cellar: A shameless plug, but my colleagues Kathryn and Alanna have been offering fun and friendly introductions to the world of wine for many years. Learn more here.
Study wine with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET): The Wine & Spirit Education Trust provides globally recognized education and qualifications for professionals and enthusiasts. Regular WSET classes are run locally by Autour du Vin.
Become a certified sommelier with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS): CAPS is a pan-Canadian association which brings together individuals within the sommelier profession, restaurant services, and other sectors of the wine industry. There is an Atlantic Chapter that runs the sommelier program locally, the certification takes about 2 years to complete fully.
IMPORTANT: Regardless of how you decide to pursue wine education, please remember to be patient with yourself. Becoming an expert in something, especially something like wine, takes time. You study, you taste wine, you talk about wine, you read about wine, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Eventually things start to make sense. Wine education is a lifelong pursuit.
How great is that?
Do you have questions about wine, beer or spirits that you’d like us to answer? Send your questions to [email protected] to be featured in a future segment!