Wine List Wine basics: how to choose better wine

This section is for wine drinkers who don’t know much about wine and don’t want to become experts – but who do want to know how to choose better wine in a restaurant or bottle shop.

Easy-to-digest wine education for novices isn’t that easy to find, it turns out. Most wine books assume some knowledge on your part, and it’s the same with most wine websites. It’s like a club, where you’re supposed to know the basic rules before you can join, but no one wants to tell you what they are.

At BWU$20, we’ve tracked down the sites with useful no-nonsense wine resources – and added a few of our own:

10 Myths about Wine Debunked - wine comes with all kinds of rules and taboos, etiquette and arcane rituals, but we like to keep things simple at BWU$20. Here we shoot down some persistent urban myths, making wine much easier to enjoy.

Wine Basics – A Beginner’s Guide to Drinking Wine – the Wine Folly.

There are links to dozens of useful tutorials and guides on this page – here are a few samples:

Learn How to Taste Wine & Develop Your Palateusing a simple 4-step system of LOOK, SMELL, TASTE and CONCLUSION. Perfect for novices.

The BWU$20 rough guide to Winestyles and Varieties.  A simple. easy-to-follow overview of Australia’s major grape varieties and wine styles.

The BWU$20 Rough Cheat Sheet for Blind Tastings. Covers the basic wine styles and varieties in Australia, with key characteristics for quick reference.

How to Open a Bottle of Wine

The simple way to open a bottle of Bubbly – video

Why Wine Serving Temperature Matters

Learn with the 9 major wine stylesthis is a simple but comprehensive rundown on major wine styles and their characteristics.

Wine Map of Australia – Infographic, easy to enlarge

The Wine Folly makes money from its gorgeous prints and accessories. You can also download large infographics and wine region maps for free.

At some point you may want to join a class for some guided tuition. The Australian Wine Society runs classes for all levels of wine lovers, from beginners to regulars. There’s a modest $50 joining fee, and many benefits as well.

Peter Bourne the Wineman runs a range of wine appreciation courses from basic to advanced

Vinodiversity is an Australian site with a lot of information. It has a section on wine education with a searchable directory.

Sweet Wines 101a guide to sweet wine styles and a look at how they’re made.

Wine 101: 10 Tips for Attending a Wine Tastinga really practical guide to making the most out of wine tasting events. From WineSpectator.

Harvest 101: The Basics of Crush Seasonhow wine is made, from the vineyard to the barrel

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