By John ~ November 19th, 2010.
When I received a copy of The Wine Journal by Jennifer McCartney, my first thought was that it might be a great holiday gift item for a wine newbie. After giving the book some further study, my initial opinion has been reinforced. It would make a great stocking stuffer for your new-to-wine friend or family member.
While there are many ways to keep a record of wines you have tasted, the setting, and what you thought of the wine, the biggest stumbling block for most folks is just the discipline to do it. I’ve kept corks as a memory device, but, after a while, you forget most of the story about the wine. I usually use a simple spiral notepad for my notes. However, if I could break out of my rut, this book would be a perfect journal to use. It’s small enough to fit into a woman’s purse or a man’s cargo pants pocket, and there’s enough room to write down all the pertinent information about a wine, when and where you tasted it, with whom you tasted, and what food you ate, if applicable. In addition, there is ample space to write any comments and tasting notes as well as your overall rating of the wine. If I counted correctly, there is room for 228 wines in this book, and then you can start a second one.
The best part of using a wine journal is the ability to recall which wine you had for a special occasion like your spouse’s birthday celebration, who else was there, and what meal you enjoyed with the wine. A few years down the road, it can be quite fun and educational to flip back through your wine journal, rather than receipts and the backs of envelopes, to relive each of those wines.
You can find fancier journals, some even leather-bound, but for the money (~$11), I believe this one is as good as it gets. It even has an introductory chapter with some good quotes and interesting wine trivia. One caveat: the paper in the book is fairly slick so be careful about what type of pen you use so you don’t smear the ink when you close it.
The author, Jennifer McCartney, is a Canadian writer and editor from Ancaster, Ontario with a background in the hospitality industry, currently living in Brooklyn, New York.
If you want to record your notes about wine in one handy place or need a gift for a wine loving friend, I encourage you to pick up a copy (or two, or three) of The Wine Journal today.
Have you used The Wine Journal? If so, please leave a comment and let us know what you thought of it.
Full Disclosure: We received this book as a review copy.
Filed under: Wine Books