where to start

Joined Jan 14, 2002
My career as a chef is going pretty well but I feel a little cheated, living in Milwaukee. My education and background never focussed on wine. As a Milwaukeeian I am accustomed to beer, which isn't that bad with all the different beers out there you can almost treat it as wines and pair them to specific foods, But I would still love to learn about wines. I would be starting fresh without any knowledge accept for drinking what ever is served to me at a party (most of the time I wasn't even told what it was). Does anyone have advice as to where I should get started (specific books, articles, websites, etc...).

Joined Jul 31, 2000
Chefcassanova, I also enjoy matching fine beers with food.
My favorite by far are the top fermented, bottle conditioned ales of belguim. There a very distinctive and varied in there body,flavor and texture ( I think Peachcreek is very knowelagable in this area)

As far as wines...It is important to drink what "You" enjoy and not fall into the "Whats in" syndrome. There are certian things to keep in mide when matching your food with wine. Taste , texture, acidity,dryness, sweetness ETC. learning how all these thing work together is very helpful in developing your wine pallete. One of the easy ways to learn about how certian foods change wine is to take a sip of wine, Think of how it taste and write it down, Then take a taste of a fatty cheese, then taste the wine agian. You will notice a difference in the acid and tannins because of the fat coating your tounge, Then have a piece of procuitto and taste the wine, You will see how the salt brings out the fruit in the wine, Then have some cheese and procuitto together and taste the wine. You have just built a flavor profile by playing this little game.
A book I would recommend to someone just entering the wine world would be "Hugh Johnsons Modern encyclpedia of wine" This book really covers the whole world of wine, flavors, foods ETC.

Also a fun book to read is "red wine with fish" By david Rosengarden and Joshua wesson" although the title is a playful one, inside the book are great recipes with very detialed explanations of the appropriate wines to serve and why.

Just a couple to consider. Good luck and if you need anymore help just let me know
Joined May 26, 2001
Another neat book is Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible, that just came out last year. The book is very much in her voice: full of info but in clear, understandable, accessible terms. She describes characteristics of grapes (what flavors and feelings pretty much everyone agrees they have) and gives her own personal descriptions ("If chardonnay is Marylin Monroe, sauvignon blanc is Jamie Lee Curtis."). Not a book to read in one gulp, but to be sipped and savored.

I hesitate to suggest a Google search, because you'll probably turn up hundreds of thousands of references if you just say "wine." Maybe if you have some specific questions? ...
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