BEST RESOURCES FOR BUYING THE BEST WINES
THE ART OF BUYING WINE
When it comes to buying wine, where should the blossoming (or seasoned) oenophile begin their search? The team at wine.net has combined our collective wine knowledge–and done plenty of new research–to bring you a list of the best guides for getting the best wines. Our list contains books, blogs, and apps, and is bound to have something for everyone. Along with a description of each guide, we have also included links to where you can purchase or download each resource. We are confident that our selections are the perfect guide for anyone who wants to learn more about wine, and we hope you enjoy reading about our picks when you’re looking for the Best Guides For Buying the Best Wines!
BOOKS & EBOOKS
Wine Folly: The Essential Wine Guide
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Our friends Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack (@WineFolly) are back! This book is the #1 Best Seller in the Wine category on Amazon.com, and is described as “an essential, hip guide to wine for the new generation of wine drinkers, from the creators of the award-winning site, WineFolly.com.” According to Amazon, “drinking great wine isn’t hard, but finding great wine does require a deeper understanding of the fundamentals. Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine will help you make sense of it all in a unique infographic wine book [that] combines sleek, modern information design with data visualization and gives readers pragmatic answers to all their wine questions…packed with information and encouragement, [this book] will empower your decision-making with practical knowledge and give you confidence at the table.” The best part? At only $15, this book is a steal, which means you should go buy it RIGHT NOW.
THE ESSENTIAL SCRATCH AND SNIFF GUIDE TO BECOMING A WINE EXPERT: TAKE A WHIFF OF THAT
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This delightful board book from master sommelier Richard Betts (@yobetts) is a must-have for any wine buff. Amazon explains that Betts is “one of fewer than two hundred master sommeliers in the world, but he’s no wine snob and he hates wine-speak. In the first book of its kind, he helps readers scratch and sniff their way to expertise by introducing the basic components of wine–the fruits, the wood, the earth–enabling anyone to discover the difference between a syrah and a sangiovese and get the glass they love every time. Humorously illustrated [and] with 16 scents, this irresistible gift puts the fun back in wine fundamentals.” Betts’ mottos is an excellent example of what enjoying vino is all about: wine is a grocery, not a luxury. Buy Mr. Betts’ book for $14 here, and head on over to www.yobetts.com to learn more about this fascinating and accessible expert.
THE WINE BIBLE
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Another affordable and exciting resource for buying the best wines is Karen MacNeil’s (@KMacWine) The Wine Bible. Ms. MacNeil is also the chair of the wine department at the Culinary Institute of America, and The Wine Bible makes it abundantly clear that she is a living and breathing wine encyclopedia! Amazon describes this book as akin to “a lively course from an expert teacher” that “grounds the reader deeply in the fundamentals while layering on informative asides, tips, amusing anecdotes, definitions, glossaries, photos, maps, labels, and recommended bottles. Karen MacNeil’s information comes directly through primary research, [and] she has tasted more than 10,000 wines and visited dozens of wine regions around the world.” The Wine Bible is only $15 on Amazon, and is the #1 Best Seller in the Wine Collection category. If you’d like to order a signed copy of The Wine Bible, click here, and be sure to check out www.karenmacneil.com and @KMacWine on Twitter.
HUGH JOHNSON’S POCKET WINE BOOK 2016
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A new edition of this handy guide to all things wine is published every year, and Mr. Johnson’s masterpiece has sold over 12 million copies since its inception. According to Amazon, this guide “is the essential reference book for everyone who buys wine–in shops, restaurants, or on the internet. Now in its 39th year of publication, it has no rival as the comprehensive, up-to-the-minute annual guide.” Mr. Johnson (@littlestjames) is considered one of the world’s preeminent wine writers, and his Pocket Wine Book was first published in 1977. He “provides clear, succinct facts and commentary on the wines, growers, and wine regions of the whole world. He reveals which vintages to buy, which to drink, and which to cellar, which growers to look for, and why. Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book gives clear information on grape varieties, local specialities, and how to match food with wines that will bring out the best in both.” This small but mighty reference is an essential addition to any wine lover’s book collection, and can be purchased here for a mere $14. Visit www.tradsdiary.com and @littlestjames on Twitter to learn more about Mr. Johnson.
DR. VINO: WINE TALK THAT GOES DOWN EASY
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Dr. Vino was created by Tyler Colman, who wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on “the political economy of the wine industry in France and the United States.” Dr. Colman has written two books, and his work has also been featured in Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, The New York Times, and Men’s Health. He also “teach[es] wine classes at NYU and The New School and previously [taught] at the University of Chicago. [Mr. Colman tastes] over 1,000 wines a year [and gives] talks and tastings for individuals, groups, and corporations.” His blog is focused on “mak[ing] wine recommendations as well as looking at the world through the wine glass, bringing in diverse perspectives, and lively reader contributions.” Dr. Vino is overflowing with wine maps (places to buy and drink wine), information about wine-related events, links to media, and hundreds of posts on everything from boxed wine, “wine o’clock,” one-hour booze delivery via Amazon, and the carbon footprint of wine. This blog is a veritable cornucopia of information and an essential addition to our list of the Best Resources for Buying the Best Wines. Visit www.drvino.com and @drvino on Twitter to learn more!
VINOGRAPHY®: A WINE BLOG
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Founded by Alder Yarrow in 2004, Vinography is “a respected source for non-mainstream wine writing, and one of the most influential wine blogs on the Internet. Featuring wine and sake reviews, restaurant reviews, editorials, book reviews, wine news, and wine event coverage, Vinography publishes new content daily to a global readership.” Mr. Yarrow is dedicated to remaining objective in his rankings and evaluations, and does not “accept advertising from wineries, winegrowers, or wine production companies.” Vinography estimates its number of monthly readers at just under 100,000, and has posted almost 2,800 unique articles. Mr. Yarrow speaks and presents about wine events around the world, and is also the author of The Essence of Wine, “a coffee table book of photographs and essays about the many flavors and aromas of wine, as well as…the Sonoma and Marin County chapter of the behemoth, Opus Vino, a comprehensive look at the world’s wine regions and their best wines.” Mr. Yarrow is extremely knowledgeable, and his blog is an invaluable addition to any wine enthusiast’s internet Favorites list. Learn more at www.vinography.com or @vinography on Twitter.
VIVINO: NEVER PICK ANOTHER BAD WINE
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The world’s largest wine app, Vivino is used by 11 million wine drinkers and allows you to “take a photo of any wine label and instantly learn that wine’s rating, reviews, and average price.” According to Vivino’s website, users can also scan any restaurant or bar’s wine list “to see the rating and review of each wine on the list, helping you pick the right wine every night out.” Vivino “tracks and organizes the wines you scan and rate, creating a fun chart to showcase your wine experiences. Discover new wines and see how you rank against your friends and the Vivino community.” Vivino’s CEO and founder Heini Zachariassen explains that “Vivino’s 12 million users provide us with the data needed to have the world’s largest wine library. Our users scan an average of 300,000 wines every single day and rate about 100,000 of those. By comparison, the top seven wine critics of the world have rated about 500,000 wines in their lifetimes. Vivino helps wine drinkers to discover new wines and to save and rate their thoughts on wines they taste. These tools ensure our users never have to drink a bad wine again.” Vivino is a must-have for any oenophile and is available as a free download for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. Learn more about Vivino at www.vivino.com and @vivino on Twitter.
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Another outstanding wine app is VinCellar, which is powered by Vinfolio and the “most complete, and completely free, cellar management tool” available. Vinfolio describes themselves as “your partner in fine wine,” and provides a wealth of resources for buying, storing, and selling vino. VinCellar provides “comprehensive cellar management tools and analysis, professional scores, drink dates, and reviews, community tasting notes, Facebook and Twitter integration, auction and retail price data, multiple scoring systems, mobile support, and seamless integration with Vinfolio.” VinCellar also gives you the ability to sell your wine via “the world’s largest online fine wine” marketplace. Your Vinfolio purchases are automatically added to your VinCellar account, and VinCellar is fully accessible via smart phone, tablet, and computer. Register at https://vincellar.vinfolio.com/do/vincellar/home and learn more by visiting www.vinfolio.com or @VinCellar on Twitter.