Visiting a new wine store can be overwhelming and bringing home a wine you have already tried and found unpalatable is a waste of money and space on the wine rack. It seems time to find a way of keeping better track of my wine purchases. Time for a little wine journal research.
I have to confess that before I became a wine convert, I made fun of the little wine drinking calendars and journals. They seemed a tad pretentious and unnecessary, a way of saying “ha ha I’ve drunk more wine than you, I know more than you, I know something you don’t know.” Ahem, anyway, I’ve learned better now. Wine journals aren’t pretentious, they are a necessary money saving item.
And there is quite a selection out there.
For the basic wine junkie, there are paper and card backed wine journals for around 20 bucks. Insert refill pages are just as expensive as the original journal. Pocket sized pads, which seem more like what I would use, are still a few bucks a piece. Given their relatively small size and number of pages, these small pads would have to be replaced often ending up the same price as the larger journals with insert pages. But they are pretty down to earth and practical which is more than I may have original expected.
Well, maybe my crack about pretension wasn’t completely without merit. A quick search online revealed not only a few reasonably priced journals but also some outrageously priced journals. You can pick up an Italian leather embossed wine diary for around 80 bucks. Or you can even spend a few hundred dollars on a wine bottle scanner that actually records every purchase and item in your wine cellar.
Another option between flimsy nonsense and overpriced ridiculousness is the online wine journal. You download a template for free or a nominal fee and fill out your selections with the ability to post to your blog or share with friends and family. This sounds pretty good but isn’t for me. I have one of those huge laptops with a giant screen and I am not lugging it around the wine store looking like a complete, well, you know.
But here comes cheap Irish writer with another cheapskate solution. I take one of the many notebooks I bought for college years ago and never used (notes? Who needs notes?) and wrote WINE on the front. I split the book in half between red and white and then break it down between merlot, cabernet, chardonnay etc. I use handy dandy jumbo paper clips to separate the sections and slip the home made contraption into my purse.
Voila! Pretentious wine journal on a budget.
Now maybe the next time I head out to stock up the wine rack, I won’t come home with bottles I won’t open because I know they taste bad. And I won’t have to fob said bottles off on unsuspecting friends at diner parties. This handy dandy wine book is going to be a good thing methinks.
I’ll keep you posted.