Originally Posted by Zubberah
I would say forget the books. They will come later. First go to a bottle shop and buy mixed cases of wines you've never tried before (differemnt varietals, styles, regions, etc). best way to learn what your palate will like. Keep doing this. If you don't know much, find a good fine wine store and ask the manager to assist. Then augment this with books. Just because Parker likes something doesn't mean you will. That's the best way to learn...as I did.
That was how I got started on Burgundy in a semi-serious way. A mixed case, followed by a debriefing with "I liked this but not that." From there, a real conversation with the salesman, and all of the subsequent reading makes a lot more sense. The trick is to find a decent wine store with a salesman who knows and likes what he's selling.
As opposed to the d-bags at Sokolin, for whom Parker is their main sales tool. "We have the Chateau X 2001 for $53-- that's 92 points-- or the Clos du Merde 1999 at $60-- that's 93 points." Thanks for the assist, buddy.
Which reminds me of a joke: "You ever sleep with a 10?" "No, but one night I did two 4s and a 2."