Hi! My name's Mick
I’m a family guy based in Sydney and I have a passion for life-long learning. I’m glad you’re here, because it means we share an interest in learning more about the wonderful (and sometimes confusing) world of wine.
I know what it is like to be surrounded by friends or family who talk about wine like it’s a foreign language! When I started out, I knew a couple of kinds of wines I liked but didn’t know why, or how to find others like them, or really why they tasted the way they did.
When I started studying wine making at university I knew very little about it. Suddenly I was surrounded by people who were talking about all the expensive wines they had tried, what ‘vintages’ they liked and how they had them with certain foods. I felt like I didn’t know a thing, I couldn’t really participate in their conversations very much, I didn’t want to say anything because there was a pretty good chance I would look foolish. There were some fantastic aromas and flavours coming through from the wines we shared but I didn’t know how to separate the sensations out, think about, describe and remember them and relate them to everything that was being discussed by my friends and lecturers. I didn’t know how to start ‘cracking the code’ that is wine appreciation.
That’s why I’m here to help you learn about the basics of wine appreciation, so you can join in conversations around wine, buy better value wines with confidence, stimulate your mind and enjoy your wine on a whole new level.
Wine can be confusing
It wasn’t that long ago that I was visting the local wine store and buying a half-dozen wines almost randomly – I thought that if I picked up enough different wines I would find one that was actually good value for money and actually delivered all the promises made by the back cover. Most of them just tasted like ‘wine’ to me, even though I’m sure there was a lot more to each that was going over my head.
What’s more, every time I had a glass, say with dinner with family or friends, it seemed like an opportunity lost – an opportunity to expand my horizons, learn something new and become more confident in my own wine ‘radar’. However, after trying many wines (and spending plenty of money doing so) I didn’t feel much more of a wine connoisseur – my appreciation hadn’t really advanced.
Accelerated wine learning
Then I discovered a way to build my wine appreciation to a level I couldn’t have imagined, through a simple yet powerful ‘comparative’ wine tasting approach. I was comparing wines against each other and also comparing my impressions with those of others. This, combined with being guided through each aspect of wine in a simple, deliberate, focussed way, lead to an acceleration in my wine learning. The experience made me realise that this is something anyone with an interest in wine can use – and benefit from. It doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact it was a lot of fun (obviously; tasting wine is not exactly a chore!).
Then I noticed something sublime; after just a few weeks of learning through this technique I was discovering new sensory experiences in everyday life that I had never noticed before. My sense of smell was suddenly amplified – I could smell someone wearing perfume from the other side of the street! I found myself smelling flowers, fruit, bread – just about anything I could get my hands on that might relate to wine. It transformed my everyday experience – it made me more appreciative and ‘in the moment’, even when I wasn’t sniffing a glass of wine.
Learning about wine hasn’t always been straight forward, and there were plenty of things that I was afraid to admit I didn’t understand – what was terroir (other than a French word)? What is a wine palate? (sounds like something a fork lift carries around); What sort of wines age best and why? Why is Pinot so expensive?
After learning about wine and building my ‘sensory vocabulary’ in this systematic yet simple way, I can now discuss wine with confidence. Now I make the most of a wine that I taste; I feel in-tune with my senses and trust what they are telling me (not just what I think they should be telling me); now I have the words to discuss wine confidently with my friends, family and colleagues. This approach to wine learning has changed my whole wine experience, making it more of a true discovery every time I taste a wine, making it more fun, more social and a life-long skill that keeps building and developing. And making me more confident in my wine purchases.
I want to help you to get the same results – I am developing this site to help you navigate the world of wine and build your own wine senses, knowledge, confidence and enjoyment. To get access to exclusive resources, tips and guides for appreciating wine, sign up below. You’ll also get a free copy of the PDF guide to choosing Australian and New Zealand wine to get started.
Here’s to your wine wisdom!