5 Tips to Learning More About Wine

Whether you’re new to loving wine, or someone who has been tasting for years, there’s always more you can learn. However, the seemingly endless pages of fine wine at nice restaurants, hundreds of ways to describe wine, and varietals changing from year to year, can make wine education intimidating.

So, where do you begin?

In order to handle the wine list with confidence, discover what wine qualities you like, or simply expand your taste, we have a few ideas for you.

1. Get a wine-centric group of people to form a tasting group.

Glass in Hand 2Find a group of individuals who have the same interest in wine and plan to get together once or twice a month to taste and discuss preferences. Try to mix up the wines you are tasting to expose your palette to as many wine varietals as possible.

If you live near vineyards, have everyone meet at a winery’s tasting room (visit us at Regale!). The pourers will be able to enhance your depth of knowledge and bring new perspectives to your tasting group. They’ll be able to tell you more about each wine you taste, including where it was grown, how it was barreled, and how long it was aged, among other factors.

2. Find a favorite local wine bar. Get to know the staff. Become a regular.

Stop by the wine bar once or twice a week for a glass of wine. Become acquainted with their menu by trying different wines each time you visit. This will help you to identify characteristics that you like and dislike in wine.

3. Host a dinner party with a themed wine selection.

Pick a wine that you would like to know more about (for example, Pinot Noir). Have everyone bring a bottle of Pinot Noir so you can taste and discuss multiple bottles.


Take it a step further.
To take your themed dinner party to another level, have everyone bring a Pinot Noir from a different region. This will allow you to draw comparisons between wines produced in different types of land and soils (like the Willamette Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains). Take detailed notes to assess your preferences and compare with your guests.

Regale-99_preview4. Taste frequently.

(Our favorite tip!) Take advantage of the resources you have around you. Find a good local wine shop and get to know the people who work there. Each time you buy wine, ask for one bottle that is full bodied and one that is light bodied.

5. Follow wine experts.

Pay attention to what the experts are doing. This will encourage you to branch out from wines you typically drink and allow you to find new wines you never knew you’d like.
To increase your knowledge of wine, your best bet is to experience as much as possible. Each of these tips will help you to do so, but keep in mind that the very best way you can learn is to taste.

In addition to making these tips part of your wine tasting routine, be sure to have a few good resources to reference. This will keep you on top of wine trends and ongoing education.

Some resources we like:

  • Calwineries.com – A guide to wineries in California with information about terrain, history and more.
  • WineSpectator.com – A leading wine resource, with information on just about anything you ever wanted to know about wine.



How knowledgeable are you about wine?

Take our wine quiz to see if you’re on your way to becoming a wine connoisseur!

Regale Wine

The world of wine can be intimidating. With so much information, regions and varietals to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to begin. A beginner wine connoisseur might know key differences between a red and white, but it’s also important to understand the nuances between all wine types and varietals. See how much you know with Regale’s first wine quiz.

Can you answer these 10 questions about wine and the growing process correctly?

  1. True or False? Grape vines are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves during winter months.
    • A – True
    • B – False
  2. When at a restaurant and a small amount of wine is poured to taste, the purpose is to:
    • A – Confirm if you like the wine
    • B – Make sure the wine is not spoiled
    • C – Give the person who ordered the first taste
  3. Why should you drink dry wines before sweet wines?
    • A – To prevent dry wine from seeming overly dry
    • B – To create a “dessert” effect at the end of tasting
    • C – To have a full-bodied taste
  4. How long does it take newly planted grapes to bear fruit worthy of winemaking?
    • A – The following harvest season
    • B – About 3 – 5 years
    • C – About 15 years
  5. What is the difference between red wine and white wine?
    • A – Red wine is harvested later and therefore darker in color.
    • B – Red wine is made from a different kind of grape.
    • C – When red wine is produced, the skins of the grapes are left inthe wine during fermentation.
  6. Which of these wines is usually a little sweet?
    • A – Sauvignon Blanc
    • B – Chardonnay
    • C – Riesling
  7. Which of these red wines is commonly described as a little spicy or peppery?
    • A – Syrah/Shiraz
    • B – Cabernet Sauvignon
    • C – Pinot Noir
  8. What gives champagne its effervescence (bubbles)?
    • A – Champagne is aged in a steel barrel.
    • B – Bubbles are added during bottling for taste.
    • C – Champagne goes through a second fermentation process (usually with yeast and sugar).
  9. What word describes the apparent weight of a wine in your mouth (light, medium or full)?
    • A – Body
    • B – Tannin
    • C – Aroma
  10. What is the ideal temperature to serve red wine?
    • A – 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit
    • B – 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit
    • C – It varies depending on the body of the wine.

• Scroll Down for Answers •


How did you do?

  1. True – grape vines lose their leaves in the winter. (10 points)
  2. B – Taste is poured before serving to make sure the wine is not spoiled. (10 points)
  3. A – Drink dry wine before sweet wine so wine doesn’t seem overly dry. (10 points)
  4. B – 3 to 5 years for newly planted grapes to be worthy of winemaking. (10 points)
  5. C – When red wine is produced, the skins of the grapes are left in wine during the fermentation process. (10 points)
  6. C – Riesling is usually a little sweet. (10 points)
  7. A – Syrah/Shiraz is commonly described as spicy or peppery. (10 points)
  8. C – Champagne is effervescent due to its second fermentation. (10 points)
  9. A – Body describes the apparent weight of a wine in your mouth. (10 points)
  10. C – The ideal temperature to serve red wine varies depending on the body of the wine. (10 points)