The X Games of Wine Journaling

Every wine lover and/or professional has their own method of  taking notes… or rather, not taking notes. I take notes as often as I can but am constantly disappointed in myself for not being more detailed and consistent. Especially after big tasting trips like my most recent in Asti, I realize so much of the wine gets lost in the shuffle. The shuffle of having fun. With long tasting dinners, vineyard visits and luncheons I spend my time enjoying the wine and the conversations about the wine. While in Asti at the Barbera Meeting a few weeks ago, I met a super cool Chinese wine writer/educator named Denis Lin, otherwise known as the honorary 8th member of the Barbera 7.  He has also become my note-taking mentor, my spirit guide of wine notation, my vino scribing guru.


wine note art

Yes, that is a Denis original hand drawn sketch. He has dozens of moleskin journals full of all the great wine he has tasted. When a bottle is opened (usually at one of his weekly tastings with friends), he sits with a glass and the bottle. He draws the label down to the finest of details and also writes his tasting notes. Color, body and aroma, acidity…by writing and drawing and thinking- the intimate relationship with that wine is formed. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s drinking some really great stuff.

Do Bianchi posted about Denis here, but I just had to give my own personal shout out. You have inspired me Denis. Thank you!

  • Jeremy Parzen
    April 1, 2010

    Whitney, your photos are always AMAZING! Great post…

  • Denis Lin
    April 1, 2010

    Dear Whitney,
    I am too flattered 🙂
    Still trying to make more interesting experiments with the content of my notes. More to share soon!
    And I am happy to join Barbera “8”!

  • Michelle
    April 14, 2010

    Awesome! But now I feel guiltier than ever that my notes are an indecipherable mess. And that’s sober!

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