The Best Web Sites For Wine Lovers
Wednesday - April 28, 2010
You can find anything on the Internet, although it may take you hours of looking for just the right information. Believe me, I do it all the time. How do you think I come up with this stuff? I thought I would list some of the top Web sites I use when I’m looking for certain wine information to make it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for, and give you some helpful tips to shorten your searches.
Possibly the most common Web use for wine professionals is finding wine reviews and ratings. The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Richard Juhlin and Burghound et al. require subscriptions.
If you are really into wine or are in the trade, they are worth the money. The business of wine is inextricably married to the ratings system. Despite its shortcomings, it does have its place.
That being said, there are other Web sites that give ratings and/or reviews on wines that I trust. Decanter.com is one of my faves. I never agree 100 percent, but its staff is the best in the business and the reviewers are top notch. I also enjoy burgundy-report.com. Written by Bill Nanson, it’s a good resource for those who love Burgundy, including maps, reviews and producer profiles. Wineanorak.com is another Web site that features almost everything about wine with great tasting notes and producer profiles. The same goes for thewinedoctor.com. Best of all, each of these are free.
For wine e-shopping, there are zillions of sites to shop. From brick-and-mortar store Web sites to Internet-only wine retailers, you could spend days looking for one wine.
Two Web sites that bring many of the top retailers together and collate the selections are wine-searcher.com and winezap.com.
You can find anything your palate desires on these sites. Just punch in the name of the wine and the vintage, and you’ll have literally dozens of places from which to purchase the wine. You’ll be able to compare prices on one single list.
Pretty easy, if you ask me.
People ask me which site has the best prices on wine, but it depends entirely on the wine you’re looking for. It’s worth the few minutes to look through the selections before purchasing.
The Internet also has some great resources for people to learn about wine. I would say that some of the best Web sites are the ones that are individually devoted to an area and are produced by a governing body or area association. These sites are integrally involved and invested in the promotion of their area. Thus they do their best to give the most accurate and educational information possible.
For example, Champagne has an official Web site with educational material and current news that you won’t find in any magazine. Willamette Valley Wineries has its own site that features where to stay, an exhaustive list of wineries as well as a list of AVAs within the region. Many of these show maps and even videos to teach you more about the wine and hopefully get you to drink some of it.
I hope this helps you in your quest for wine and wine knowledge. Remember, you can surf and read until you are blue in the face. But until you taste the wine, you really won’t know much about it.
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