Expand Your Palate With The Wine Tasting Challenge

Whether you’re just starting your wine journey or are WSET certified, one of the best ways to sharpen your palate is through the Wine Tasting Challenge.

The goal is to taste a new wine each week for 34 weeks to super-charge your wine smarts.

Complete The Wine Tasting Challenge

It’s important to start with good tasting habits – keep a wine journal and take comprehensive notes. This challenge demands attention paid to choosing wines, so planning a list out in advance is a must.

Fortunately, we’re taking out some of that complexity by offering you a list and the opportunity to join us and taste along!


Comparative Wine Flight Ideas
Try tasting two wines side-by-side.

Get Ready To Taste The World

The Wine Tasting Challenge was designed to help expand your wine knowledge supported by the book Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, The Master Guide.. It provides a wealth of information beyond what the challenge will teach you, but you can also choose to free-style and follow along week-by-week as we do the challenge.

How To Play

To work as closely to the spirit of the challenge as possible, we’re going to follow these additional rules of thumb:

Wine Simplified

Wine Simplified

Learn color, styles, glassware, serving temperature and more on this stunning poster.

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  • Accessible wines: we want to drink something that anyone with access to a local wine store or online wine store can buy.
  • No price tags higher than $30: we’re looking for something accessible. No one should have to take out a second mortgage on their home to drink great wine!
  • Representative wines: we want to cover wines and grapes that are typical of their regions. Pinot Noir from Oregon, Gewürztraminer from Alsace, etc.
  • Follow the rules: we’re going to follow the rules to the letter: 34 wines, 12 countries, 9 styles.

Have we already broken any of the rules?
Of course not… Well, okay, maybe one rule. We added an orange wine to the list as a full-bodied white wine. This might make some classification devotees cringe but we did it anyway!


On Tasting

The 4-step tasting method will help you identify a wine’s flavors and tastes more accurately. Taking great notes will get you to the finish line in style, we’ve found some methods for taking accurate and consistent tasting notes.

You’ll learn faster and more completely by comparing wines side-by-side. If it’s possible, try to conduct your tastings with 2–4 wines by style.

And finally – have fun! Enjoy the variations and quality you’ve got in your glass.


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Weekly Tasting Notes

With each week and each wine tasting, the links in this list will grow until the magic number of 34 wines is reached.

Week 1: Spanish Cava
Week 2: French Beaujolais
Week 3: Italian Sangiovese (Chianti)
Week 4: German Riesling
Week 5: French Bordeaux Blend
Week 6: Oregon Pinot Noir
Week 7: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Week 8: Argentinian Malbec
Week 9: California Chardonnay
Week 10: French Tavel Rosé
Week 11: Australian Shiraz
Week 12: French Crémant


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Complete Wine List

Sparkling Wine
  • Spanish Cava
  • French Crémant
  • Italian Prosecco
Light-Bodied White Wine
  • Austrian Grüner Veltliner
  • New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Greek Assyrtiko
  • Italian Pinot Grigio
Full-Bodied White Wine
  • Californian Chardonnay
  • French Viognier
  • Californian Roussanne Blend
  • Austrian Orange Wine
Aromatic White Wine
  • French Gewürztraminer
  • German Riesling
  • South African Chenin Blanc
Rosé Wine
  • US Pinot Noir Rosé
  • French Tavel Rosé
  • Spanish Rosado
Light-Bodied Red Wine
  • Oregon Pinot Noir
  • French Gamay (Beaujolais)
  • Austrian Zweigelt
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
  • American Cabernet Franc
  • Italian Sangiovese
  • Chilean Carménère
  • Italian Primitivo
Full-Bodied Red Wine
  • South African Pinotage
  • Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Greek Xinomavro
  • Spanish Tempranillo
  • Australian Shiraz
  • Argentinian Malbec
  • French Bordeaux Blend
Dessert Wine / Other
  • Portuguese Tawny Port
  • Spanish dry Sherry (Fino or Amontillado)
  • French Sauternes

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Add your own tasting notes to #34Wines34Weeks hashtag

Join on Social Media

Was there ever a better time to learn more about wine? Not really!

New tasting articles post each Wednesday, so feel free to join in and post your tasting notes of your own wine selections. Use the hashtag #34Wines34Weeks for a chance to get featured.

Explore My Favorite Wines

Explore My Favorite Wines

Our Online wine tasting courses can help beginners or veterans develop good tasting habits.

Learn More

About Phil Keeling

I throw words at the walls of Wine Folly’s channels until something sticks, like a fistful of verbal spaghetti. I also write plays, jokes, and the occasional diatribe.