Four ways in-home wine tastings help release your inner wine geek
We get it: You love wine. You subscribe to Wine Spectator, the staff at your neighborhood wine shop know you on sight, and you're contemplating an addition to your home to accommodate your burgeoning collection of bottles.
Learn the basics of wine -- without ever leaving the house.
There's more to being a wine lover, though, than simply drinking everything with a score of 90 points or more, or waiting to see what arrives in your wine-of-the-month club. Embracing a wine lifestyle (one which involves an ongoing pursuit of finding and consuming truly great juice) takes time, effort, and most important of all: practice. Just like any other hobby or pursuit you've undertaken -- be it skiing, yoga, or karate -- you wouldn't expect to develop any real skill or ability without getting a little instruction, would you?
Lest you think otherwise, wine education is a ton of fun. After all, where else can you legitimately claim to be learning something while simultaneously consuming an alcoholic beverage? Delving a bit more into the academic aspect of being a wine lover can be incredibly rewarding: It involves exploring the history and stories tied to the grape varieties and styles you're obsessed with.
Wine education also serves to hone your palate, which in turn helps you figure out what makes for a quality wine versus cheap plonk (and helps you score smokin' deals at the wine shop). Last, but certainly not least, it can provide an entree to the oh-so-delicious world of food and wine pairing, which is where the magic really happens. In short, all of this is about learning the answer to the question of "why" you love wine, versus focusing simply on the fact that you do. Now that you're officially ready to unleash your inner wine geek, read on for the lowdown on how in-home wine tastings can be a great way to help you become the master of your own personal wine domain.