I always consider myself lucky that when it comes to the Internet in my life; I’ve had the best of both worlds. My childhood stretched from the mid 1970’s through the 1980’s, which I sometimes feel was the last era to have grown up in a simpler time. But then my adulthood began in the early 1990’s and I’ve been able to enjoy all of the conveniences and distractions that being online offers, from being able to Google anything for research to hilarious kitten videos on YouTube.
In the wine world, naturally, I can’t imagine having a career without the Internet as a resource and hub for information and news. I’m by no means bemoaning the advantage and value of good, old-fashioned books (Jake Skakun recently did a great post on wine tomes here at My Wine Canada), but there’s many a time and place when the ‘net prevails.
In saying that, here are five of my favourite wine-related websites that I use for resources, news, or simple entertainment:
Madeline Puckette, a Seattle-based sommelier, is the content producer and host of this invaluable stop for both novices and trade looking to expand their wine knowledge. Whether through traditional blog posts, witty video content or the site’s ever-growing stock of downloadable infographics, Wine Folly has everything from guides to the best glassware to info on the intricacies between various clones of Pinot Noir, all with a cheery tone.
It’s pretty much the Google of the wine world. Enter a wine, and it not only directs you to the winery’s website, but the search results are also broken into sections like reviews, articles, glossaries and ordering information.
Not only does the Times wine columnist have a great voice, but he also posts great multimedia components like slideshows and video. My favourite part is his ongoing ‘Wine School’ series, where he lays out a particular wine style every so often, and gets readers to partake in a virtual tasting with him, offering their comments and perspectives. Lively discussions and debates ensue!
Yep, the site looks like it’s straight outta 1998, but don’t let its dry appearance fool you. Wine Business is an excellent place to get all the latest news on the North American wine biz, whether it’s winemakers jumping ship, crop reports or can’t-miss events. Dig around, there’s lots in here.
Simply put, Decanter is the most widely-respected wine magazine on earth, and the website’s no slouch.
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. He’s not half as fancy/boring as that sounds. He Tweets and Instagrams @KurtisKolt.