By Al Edenloff
What white wine went perfectly with that favorite hunk of cheese you had for a New Year’s Eve appetizer?”
“What was that inexpensive but unexpectedly wonderful wine that was a big hit with those fried fish tacos you whipped up for a summer dinner party with friends?”
There are so many wineries and varietals out there it can be tricky to recall those personal favorite wine pairings.
That’s where a wine journal can come in handy. You can find a wide assortment of them in kitchen specialty shops or in the wine sections of bigger stores.
There are also oodles of wine apps on the Internet you can download onto your phone so you have it with you when you’re shopping.
With many of the apps, you can snap a photo of the wine label and include it in the journal.
Whether paper or electronic, the journals have different features, but most include sections for the type of wine you’re sipping, what kind of food you’re having with it and how it ranks in a variety of categories – acidity, sweetness or dryness, fruit flavors, body, and tannins (compounds that can a add bitter aftertaste to a wine but also give it balance and complexity).
Jot down the date you tried the wine and who you had it with (this serves as a fun diary to look back on later). Also note what it tasted like, what elements stood out (was it smoky, dry, sweet, chocolaty, fruity, etc.), how much you paid for it and whether it was worth it.
All this can be useful when you go shopping for wines later. Not only can you quickly find a “greatest hit” wine from years ago, but you can also avoid a clunker that fell short.
So sharpen your taste buds and your pencil, and invest in a wine journal. Start savoring and saving your wine experiences in a whole new way.