Keeping a wine journal is a helpful practice for wine beginners and professionals alike. Unless you are able to memorize each bottle you have ever tried, filling out a page or two of details can help you remember what made the vintage so special… or dreadful.
A typical journal makes space for you to list the name of the wine, vintage as well as the region and country it came from. You can also record tasting descriptions (eyes, nose, mouth) and additional notes or overall ratings. Most wine journals, like Wine Enthusiast’s leather bound journal ($34.95) also have areas for tasting date, alcohol, price, date purchased and where, food pairing and cellaring information. Basically, these notes make going back and finding the bottle you enjoyed six months ago a breeze.
Label areas are another feature typically included in a wine journal. After removing a label* from the bottle, pasting it among the notes really completes an entry and gives you a visual to find the vintage later on. You can remove a label easily at home.
If you prefer not to take the chance of getting burnt, label removers are essentially large pieces of adhesive that rip the label from the bottle. Labeloff sells 10 stickers for $8 and up to 1,000 for $400.
As a member of WineCollective you receive tasting cards with each bottle you receive with your package. With all the research done for you, these can help you write out each section of your journal – some of which include a slot to store technical sheets or cards such as ours. Through your WineCollective account online you can also view information on every wine sent to your door. Under “My Wines,” you can share your ratings and comments on every vintage you receive with the WineCollective community.
Purchasing a wine journal does not have to come at a price. If fancy leather isn’t your thing, Chapters sells a wide variety starting at $10. Or, if you’re really hesitant on carrying a book to dinner this weekend (you may look nerdy) then there is an app for that. Smart phones also have a large selection of wine apps, including Wine Journal for $1.99. It allows you to note much of the same information as a hard copy and snap photos to go along with the description.
Whichever route you choose, we guarantee keeping a wine journal is a handy exercise. You will definitely be glad you did it when you’d really like another glass of that Pinot Blanc we sent you last month… What was it called again?