Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Dec 21, 2011 10:24 PM

Recommendations for Wine Magazines

I'm a relatively newbie to wine purchasing/tasting/pairing. I have been thinking about subscribing to a publication. Any recommendations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Right up front I would say the best way for you to dive into the world of wine is to taste, taste, taste. Find a good store in your area that has tastings and a good staff and get to know them. There is no substitute for your own palate.

    Wine Spectator is a big, shiny nice magazine but it does have its detractors. Though I would contend that it is a good place to start if you are newbie. The Wine Advocate is another option. There are lot of other options.

    Another place to look to for information are wine boards and blogs. Spectator and Parker both have wine boards but you have to have a subscription or pay to play. Wine Beserkers has a ton of information.

    1. Are you advanced enough to know what kind of wine you like? There's lots of niche publications.
      For Burgundy, Rhone and Germany, there's Claude Kolm's Fine Wine Review:
      For Rhone Varietals, there's Jeb Dunnuck's Rhone Report:
      For Port and some other stickies, there's Roy Hersh's For the Love of Port:
      K&L sells wine but they also send out a monthly flyer for free that has some interesting articles.
      For general circulation, there's also The Wine Enthusiast
      Allen Meadows writes about Burgundy and some California pinot noir in Burghound. He's arguably the most respected wine critic in the world (since Robert Parker has so many enemies).
      Decanter has more of a British skew on wine:

      3 Replies
      1. re: SteveTimko


        I would not recommend most above for a newbie. Burgundy is not a good place to start by any means as Port for that matter. I would go with Wine Spectator as they cover more wines a newbie would certainly drink as they are not spending over $20 a bottle often. Wine Enthusiast is one of the few times I will not promote points as their wine reviewers are all over the map and anything receiving a 95 point score I usually avoid.

        1. re: wineglas1

          Roy Hersh was offering a free issue of For the Love of Port on his Facebook profile. Anyone who likes wine could read that and learn a lot about wine, not just port.
          Claude Kolm also discusses entire regions. It's educational.

        2. re: SteveTimko

          Claude Kolm's The Fine Wine Review has just converted to a blog that is free to all: .

        3. Thanks for the replies. I have been a wine drinker for many years but haven't really been much into points, reviews, etc. I mostly go by what I like to drink. Since I live in Oregon, I lean towards OR pinot noirs. I've been to several wine tastings at the local wineshops and even wine dinners (pairings) and love visiting the amazing wineries we have in Oregon. I've recently ventured into CA cabs and French wine. Still, the CA cab scene and French wine still intimidate me. I travel a lot so I've checked out wines on my travels and often bring them home with me. Last I checked, I'm outgrowning my wine storage cabinet. I think I'm mostly a compulsive wine buyer.

          HoosierFoodie: Thanks for the recommendations on mags. I'm leaning towards Wine Spectator. I do surf blogs and wine boards to get an idea of what others' are drinking. I would love to hear what ya'll are drinking too! =0)

          Steve: Thanks for the links. I'd love to learn more about the international wine scene. Although I've traveled a lot, I usually rely on recommendations from sommeliers or wine shop owners. I would love to learn more about French wines so your link will help.

          wineglas1: Thanks for the WS vote and the warning about WE.