Lifestyle

Best Online Sources for Upping Your Wine IQ


The ways in which we can learn about wine are increasing all the time—through dedicated web sites, online publications, podcasts, books, industry reports and social media. In part 1 of this series on wine know-how, I offer up a few sources of virtual inspiration, information and (sometimes) entertainment.

Online publications, some of which duplicate their print components, others of which are digital-first, are the most accessible source of current information. Many have paywalls or subscription models, but also offer select free content.

Decanter. Founded 1975, the granddaddy of UK-based wine magazines is authoritative but not stuffy, with some of the world’s most respected critics on board. Focused on reviews, trends, country-specific features and wine-related travel. Some online content is free, but most of the juicy stuff is accessed via a “Premium” paid subscription.

Harpers. The UK-based site provides regional news, analysis and trade information (research, legislation, markets). Some older content is free, but most requires a subscription.

Jancis Robinson, The “Purple Pages” by the master of wine, educator and author is considered one of the foremost authorities on all things wine. Free content on some of the basics. Discount membership with a membership in GuildSomm.

Meininger’s Wine Business International, a leading news site of analysis, trends, marketing insights, regional updates and regional “Power Lists.”

PUNCH. If there’s a drinks site for brainiacs, this is it—a James Beard Award-winning digi-mag with long-form features on drinks culture, overlooked and under appreciated products, trends and traditions.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate. Love him or hate him but credit Parker (now retired) for talking to the (rich) masses about wine. A roster of dedicated critics are regional experts and much of that content is behind a paywall, but there’s select free content on the site and in the “Wine Journal” vertical.

Seven Fifty Daily. Geared toward the wine and spirits trade (sommeliers, buyers, importers and distributors), the site covers business trends, products and regions, and general interest topics such as climate change, sustainability, work/life balance, education, certifications, professional development.

Shanken News Daily. From the publisher of Wine Spectator, this online news site is for the industry and also publishes “Impact Databank Reports” for a fee.

The Drinks Business. Highly informative UK-based magazine with a focus on global business news and trends, acquisitions, producer profiles, fine wine and the auction markets.

The Drop. A new low-key online magazine that combines approachable “how to” content, advisories on discoveries and category explainers.

VinePair. Driven by user-friendly features, a lot of listicles and fun illustrations.  

Vinous. News, articles, maps and education tools, and incorporating Delectable, the  formerly independent ratings app.

Wine Business Monthly. Focuses on content for wineries and grape growers: trends, technology and techniques. Also available in print.

Wine Industry Advisor. As you’d expect from the title, one of the go-to sites for insider news, trends, movers and shakers and the business of wine.

Winemaker.com. A hobbyist site for the DIY winemaker, with articles, resources and technical information.

Wine-Searcher. A comprehensive site of news, articles and regional guides covering grapes, styles and appellations.

BLOGS

Vinography. A straight-forward blog of wine and book reviews, news and news roundups, photography.

The Wine Anorak. Wine scientist Jamie Goode authors a no-nonsense blog of reviews, science-oriented features such as technical aspects of tasting, agriculture/viticulture and viniculture. A great source for aspiring wine geeks/students.

The Wine Economist. Authored by a former professor of economics and now wine traveler and global speaker, Mike Veseth’s site is an easy-to-digest compendium of global trends, tasting notes, book reviews and profiles. Think “Freakonomics” for the wine geek.

The Wine Wankers. This blog by two Australians is as cheeky as its name suggests. “We’re all about wine; without the wankery,” they claim. Looks like it the site hasn’t been updated since pre-pandemic, but it’s still a merry read and a reminder that wine should be fun.

Tim Gaiser.com. Authored by a straight-talking master sommelier and educator (Gaiser is the former education chair and the education director for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas), the site includes his “musings,” but also industry profiles, and tips on tasting, food and wine pairings.

The Academic Wino. A blog by scientist and oenophile Becca Yeamans-Irwin that takes a lighter look at heavyweight research in enology and viticulture and more lifestyle issues like wine and health, social and psychological impact of wine in our culture/society.

Wine Folly. An approachable primer for wine novices (and great graphics and maps for more advanced oenophiles). Co-founder Madeline Puckette is author of a James Beard Award winning book inspired by the site.  

OTHER

I’ll Drink to That podcast. Long considered an industry must-listen, former sommelier Levi Dalton has interviewed luminaries and ordinary folks from all walks of the wine life.

GuildSomm. The site of the Guild of Sommeliers is oriented toward students studying for sommelier and other wine exams. Non-industry folks can join for an annual fee of $150, which gives them access to extensive study guides, maps, training tips and e-learnings.

Mark Brown Industry News Update. An insider, must-read daily e-newsletter that compiles select and topical news and stories about all things beverage. Subscribe: mbrown@buffalotrace.com

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. A source of industry news, data and reports on the business of drinks.



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