Walter's World of Wines

Wine tastes good.

People consider me something of a wine expert; this is not true. I'm just someone who likes wine and knows a few things about the beverages he drinks. Wine experts are people who have special climate-controlled cellars and spend the annual gross national product of Botswana on wine and are on a first-name basis with people with names like Francois who live in Burgundy and own nice restaurants. I'm not like that. I'm too poor to be like that.

Nonetheless, a basic appreciation of wine is something that is easily in everyone's reach. With a little basic knowledge, one can go into a restaurant (nice ones, even!) and confidently order wine to match with dinner. A little knowledge can overcome the fear of new things that keeps most people from ordering something other than White Zinfandel (which is a terrible match for many foods, and frequently low quality in general) at restaurants. It's not hard. Give it a try. You'll find out about all sorts of tasty beverages. Your pocketbook will hate you for it.

That having been said, one should first start with learning a few basics about wine. Equally importantly, one should understand how to read a wine label, which is significantly easier than reading your average Nutritional Facts label. If you're curious, know that vintages sometimes matter.

You'll probably also want to know a bit about matching wine with food, since wine is a great way to spend lots of money at a nice restaurant. For other dietary restrictions, you can try kosher wines.

The rest is simply a little experimentation on your own. If you're interested, you can try wines from the various wine-growing regions of the world and see how they compare. I have made information available about some of the wines I've tried from the following places:

In addition to the geographic regions, I also have pages that collect the above wine reviews into several categories:

Finally, for you teetotalers, I have sampled a few non-alcoholic wines.

My comments on specific wines are presented in what I hope is a concise, easy-to-understand format. Red, white, and rose wines are distinguished by colored icons. The general format is:

White Fake Vineyards, "Pretentious California Boutique Name" Wine-Varietal 2000 (Napa Valley)
1 January 2000 From the garage of Michel and Jean-Phillipe, punk rockers from Belgium, made in the style of their grandmothers, who never made wine. Available only at pretentious nouveau riche wine shops.
$ too much / bottle

Or, for Old World wines:

Red Chateau Jacques Cousteau, "Le Eau du Bidet Geographique Nationale," Somewhere-in-France 2000 (AOC Somewhere)
1 January 2000 This stuff is fine French swill. Nobody should drink it. Ha, ha, ha. Oui, Pierre? Oui, Monseiur Chang.
$ too much / bottle

They are conveniently indicated by color-coded bottles.

You can also learn about my favorite wines, both for quality and price. The prices I cite are the prices I paid (or the price cited by whoever paid for it), and can vary depending on where you live.