Many of our life experiences have been enhanced by the internet. Just think about the days prior to Facebook when all we got were a few birthday cards and now we awake on our birthday to several dozen birthday wishes. Our wine experience is no different, the wealth of content related to wine on the internet is staggering, so here are my top five internet wine resources that are worth your time.
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First are a couple of podcasts for the truly geeky among us. GrapeRadio.com produces weekly podcasts covering all aspects of the wine universe. It began in 2006, and won a James Beard Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2008. On it you'll find episodes covering everything from the vineyards of Sonoma County to the versatility of port, all with interviews and commentary from a wide range of wine pros, truly a great resource for any wine nerd.
The second podcast is put out by the Guild of Sommeliers, which is the educational arm of The Court of Master Sommeliers. If you've never heard of The Court of Master Sommeliers, it is the premier certification body of the wine world and the grantor of the ever prestigious title Master Sommelier. To become a Master Sommelier you have to pass a series of increasingly difficult tests culminating in the Master Sommelier test which is widely regarded as the most difficult professional test in any field, medicine, law, CPA, Mensa, you get the idea. The Guild's podcasts are very detailed and hosted by Master Somm Geoff Kruth, if you truly want to get to the root of whatever wine subject this is the place to do it.
For consumers looking for detailed ratings and online purchasing options, Snooth.com is without question the place to look. Since its launch in 2007 Snooth has become a behemoth in the online wine business. Google any wine, seriously any wine, and within the first five results will be a Snooth.com hit with detailed ratings, pricing info, and opportunity to purchase the wine. They're a pretty slick online wine resource for anyone from wine beginner to wine aficionado.
Independent wine blog Winefolly.com is the place for down to earth, fun, but educational content. It's a blog pure and simple, but it's a blog for the regular joe who's just curious about wine. They update a few times a week with everything from "how to blind taste" to "what wine glasses do you really need." Also available from them are great wine maps, posters and accessories.
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By far and away my favorite online wine forum is Delectable. Basically Instagram for wine nerds, Delectable is an app available for any app-friendly device. You take a picture of the wine you're drinking, post it, and Delectable identifies it, catalogues it, allows you to rate it from frowny face to big smiley face. You can follow all the wine pros, your wine loving friends, or perfect strangers to find out what everyone is drinking. Delectable satisfies my voyeuristic and exhibitionist tendencies by allowing me to post the super esoteric wine I'm drinking and also see the ridiculously expensive wines that people like Rajat Parr get to drink. Oh, and also, they can get you pricing info on most wines and if the wine is available to purchase you can do so right there and have it shipped to you. Seriously the best wine app out there.
If you're a wine geek like me, these online resources are to wine what Facebook is to birthdays.
When I'm not writing this column or reading vintage charts to my daughter, you can find me pouring wine at FnB.