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Aug 26, 2008 12:45 AM

Want to learn more about wine - community style

Hey guys. Basically I've been making a conscious effort to learn more about wine and taste as much as possible. I have somewhat of an ulterior motive - I'm going to need a palate in the future when cooking. I enjoy wine more and more but I find it hard to converse with people in real life about the subject. The question is, Is there any way to find local wine clubs and/or wine classes? I've looked around on search engines but haven't come up with much. It would just be nice to be able to compare notes and or share wine with other enthusiasts.


Oh by the way I live on Long Island, NY

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  1. Look at to see if there's a chapter near you. I chair a chapter (in the DC area) and am active in a couple of others, and it sounds like you're looking for just what we do. Chapters do vary, though, so if there are multiple options near you you might want to try a few and see which is the best fit.

    1. Yes, you can check with the American Wine Society, but it's much easier (and simpler, IMHO) to check with good retailers near your home. I guarantee they can put you in touch with some people who have tasting groups in your area, or let you know that there are other people -- just like you -- who are looking for such a group. Who knows? You can get together and start a group of your own! It's easy, it's simple, and it's fun!


      1. I agree. Start with your local wine retailer and tell him or her what you are trying to accomplish. I think a wine appreciation club might be a bit much to start with if you are a beginner. It can be very intimidating when you're first starting out to walk into a room of "experts" who are talking fifty thousand feet above your head. Unless it's a club that is geared toward beginners, you might want to wait a bit before joining so that you avoid potentially being turned off by the experience.

        Also, depending on how much you've got budgeted for this wine learning experience, you might consider getting one or more of the Le Nez du Vin aroma kits. They're somewhat expensive, but very helpful in developing your palate. You can find the various kits here:

        1. I would strongly suggest a subscription to Decanter Mag and buy some good wine books. My favorite wine author is Jancis Robinson. Look for "Vines, Grapes and Wines" by her. Not sure if it is still in print but many moons ago... this was my bible.


          1 Reply
          1. re: WineUnleashed

            My reading recommendations are different.

            Wine for Dummies is an excellent book. Written by Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing Mulligan, it is clear and straightforward and organized. One of the best "Dummies" books ever written, and Ed (sometimes with Mary, sometimes not) has gone on to write French Wine for Dummies, Italian Wine for Dummies, and Champagne for get the idea.

            The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil is another good one. It's slightly more advanced, but very very good. I'd get both of those. Karen writes clearly, and entertainingly.

          2. Do you have a community college or something that might offer a beginner wine course? I took one (along w/ my wife and another couple) several years ago and it was very helpful. One night/week for 6 weeks, very informative, learned about everything from varietals and regions to glassware, tasted 10-12 wines per night. There was a good mix of people - young, old, couples, singles... might be worth looking into.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dan G

              This is absolutely what I would also recommend that you do first.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                WSET classes?


                Their Manhattan classrooms are near Penn Station. Classes are also offered at Stony Brook University in Southhampton as well.

                Sidenote: Mary Ewing-Mulligan, as Maria metioned, co-authored Wine for Dummies, is also an instructor at the Manhattan location.