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Wine Novice: Starting Out Slow

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My brother is a wine snob. What I love about him though, with all his tattoos and his refusal to wear anything other than shorts and flip-flops regardless of weather, is that he isn't a real snob. He knows good wine. He seeks it out. But he's all about finding the best wine at a great price.

When he's in town, he wants to visit every wine bar, wine boutique and wine warehouse in LA. I tag along and spend far too much money on wine I don't know much about. I only know how to drink it!

I have learned something, though, in the past few months of his wine-soaked visits: Los Angeles is filled with excellent wine merchants and aficionados! Many of whom are delightful and down-to-earth and...not snobs.

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So, join me as I dive headfirst into the crush -- as I learn the difference between a Pinot and a Pinotage, the importance of a Riedel glass or a crappy one from Target, how to say a wine has "great legs" and has "notes of fig" without sounding like an ass, and if I can drink my favorite port with something other than chocolate and Stilton.

I've got my trusty tools ready - the "must-read" reading is slowly taking root and I'm eager for my first "real" wine novice adventure. I have an exceedingly long list of wine shops, wine courses, wine bars and wine masters in our fair city. I plan to visit them all and share what I've learned. Where would you like me to go? What would you like to know?

I'll be back next week with my first LA wine story.