Skip Nav
Food News
I Went to the Pasta World Championship in Italy, and It Was a Carb-Lover's Dream Come True
Easy Iced Sugar Cookie Recipe
Recipes
Look No Further For the Perfect Cutout Cookie Recipe — This One's Flawless
Gifts For Men
Baking Gifts You'll Love Almost More Than Warm Cookies (Almost)
Fast and Easy
Don't Waste Your Leftover Mashed Potatoes! Use Them in One of These Recipes Instead
Recipes
Give Your Holidays a Much-Needed Kick in the Pants With These Booze-Tastic Cocktails

How to Develop a Taste For Wine

The 1 Thing That Helped Me Learn to Love Wine

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne

I'll be real: I've never been a "wine girl". I never snuck wine spritzers at high school parties, and in college I opted for sugary mixed drinks instead of the "two-buck chuck" that my friends often brought over for movie nights. I dreaded taking communion when I went to church because it meant sipping a bit of awful red wine with nothing but a flavorless wafer to chase it down. (Sorry, Mom!) Until very recently, I was weirdly proud of my distaste for wine.

Perhaps it was one too many $14 gin-and-grapefruit juices ordered at San Francisco's overpriced bars, or maybe I was jealous of the cute "rosé all day" sweatshirts that my friends donned for brunch, but about six months ago I realized that I wanted to love wine . . . I just didn't know where to start.

When I asked my wine-loving friends where to begin, most of them replied, "You just have to drink it until you develop a taste for it!" Since I'm not a glutton for punishment — I prefer enjoying my after-dinner drinks, thank you very much — this wasn't an acceptable answer for me, so I decided to come up with a system for my new venture into the world of wine.

ADVERTISEMENT

How I Became a "Wine Person"

For me, the key to learning which wines I like and dislike has been documentation. I keep a journal organized by types of wine, which I then fill out with information about wines I try, their prices, and whether I enjoy or dislike them. Here's an example of my wine-journaling process.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

This is a truncated version of the messy wine journal that I keep on my bar cart, which is filled with colorful tasting notes like "tastes like burnt garbage, I dumped the rest of the bottle" or "where has this f*cking rosé been all my life?" beneath each of my scribbled entries. Whether it's a cheap red from Trader Joe's that I use for my favorite wine-cooked spaghetti recipe or a pricey white that I'd only be able to taste when visiting Napa with my parents, everything I sip goes into the journal.

As my journal fills, so does my knowledge about which varietals I actually enjoy, versus which ones I should probably avoid buying in the future. I pay extra attention to the entries which reflect wines on both the cheaper and more expensive ends of the scale: if I like a $6 Cabernet Sauvignon and a $98 one, then it's safe to say that I'm a fan of Cabs in general.

When friends comment on the fact that I've transformed from a staunchly anti-wine drinker to somebody who can confidently order a glass of her favorite off the menu, I tell them about my journal. It might not work for everyone, but it's definitely been key in my journey to loving wine!

From Our Partners
Creative Wine Wrapping Ideas
Funny Elf on the Shelf Wine Glasses
Funny Wine Glasses
Vinglacé Wine Chillers
Shiraz on the Shelf Holiday Wine Gift For Adults
Cooper's Hawk Wine Advent Calendar
Best Gifts For Wine-Lovers
Wine Stocking Stuffers Under $20
Best Wine Gifts on Amazon
Best Wine Stocking Stuffers
Best Trader Joe's Wine
Mulled Wine Recipe
From Our Partners
Latest Recipes, Menus, Food & Wine
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds