About Me and this Blog
Hi, my name is Anatoli Levine. I seriously got into wine some time in 2001/2002 (my family doctor recommending to drink a glass of red a day to lower the cholesterol, is partially one to blame) . Yes, I was drinking wine before, but at that time it became a passion – and it happily continues ever since.
One of the great things about wine is that it becomes better when it’s shared. As it is still difficult to actually share a bottle over the internet ( well one day, maybe?), we can share our experiences – and this is what this blog is all about. Today’s wine world is ever growing one – new grapes (or very old and well forgotten), new places are added almost daily – and that makes a journey very exciting. Let’s go together and explore the wine, food and life!
More about the Blog
This is the blog about wine, food and life. I plan to talk here about wine. As glass of wine is part of my daily routine, I usually rate the wines I drink. I plan to talk about places where wine is made – when I’m lucky enough to visit them. I also plan to talk about good places to buy the wine – as long as your definition of “good” at least partially depends on value, or QPR, we will do just fine.
Is that all? Of course not. There will be whisky, there will be places, there will be restaurants. And food, of course I plan to talk about food. And life? Yes, but the life is just happening… so let’s go along.
More about me
Over the years, I spent a lot of time learning about wine. As many of us, I learn the best from my own experiences – so I made significant efforts in that direction.
To begin with, I was drinking more wine. Not very original, huh? True, but I was also taking notes and started to peel of and collect labels from the wines I drink and write my notes right next to them. I didn’t use any fancy wine journals, regular journals from regular bookstore work just fine, so in the end of the day you end up with this:
The next step was to learn something from the pros, so I went to the Windows on the World Wine School. Kevin Zraly, who taught thousands and thousands of people to understand and appreciate wine, was an amazing teacher. I always refer to his definition of good wine – “the wine which gives you pleasure”, and to his way to swirl the wine in the glass when you want to really taste it. I would say that this school really opened my eyes to the world of wine.
Then I worked as a Sommelier in the restaurant called Quattro Figli in Greenwich, CT. While I spent only about 8 month on this ( the restaurant closed, unfortunately), I’m still very proud of the wine list I created there, which was somewhat short but very ambitious (yes, I was dreaming of Wine Spectator Grand Award) and included great wines from a lot of lesser known regions and tasting flights.
And last but not least was my attempt to become a Master Sommelier for which I took a first course and successfully passed the test to become a member of Guild of Master Sommeliers, but didn’t make it to the next level as a Certified Sommelier – and as this might be a good topic for a few posts we can leave it for later.
About my Wine Ratings
Does the world need another set of wine ratings? Of course not, we already have many. So why would I come here with my own wine rating scheme? Well, I really rate the wines for myself. I do keep the records for most of the wines I tasted, and those records include the wine label, the date when I drank the wine, the notes and “drinkability” rating.
Now, yes, there are plenty of wine rating sources – Wine Spectator, Robert Parker (Wine Advocate), Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar) and many more, all of them use 100 points rating system, with 100 being the highest and unique. I find 100 point system somewhat challenging, as I never saw a rating of 40 on the wine (I believe 72 was the lowest I ever saw), and I can’t distinguish between 89 and 90, or 93 and 92 ( and still dreaming about trying 100-pointer perfect wine one day). My system goes on the scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest ( don’t think I ever rated wine at 10), and I also use “+” and “-“ to indicate score “in between”, as in a lot of cases I can’t make a decision (that also did cost me “Certified Sommelier” title as I flanked the test twice not being able to decide on the wine in blind wine tasting).