Wine for Dummies
Wine can be mystifying. There are countless names of wines, some indicating the grape used, some the place, some both. A Chardonnay is a wine made from that grape, unless it's being used in a region of France, in which case it's called Chablis. Some wine is ready to drink when you buy it, but others need 10-20 years of aging. The bottle doesn't have a "drink by" date on it! For people looking to travel this confusing landscape, and even for long-time drinkers who wish to learn more, Wine for Dummies is a fascinating way to delve into the world of wine.
What other manual has 5th Wave cartoons scattered throughout it, and sections named "Pinot Envy"? The tone of the manual is lighthearted but very informative. It starts with the basics of wine - what is a red, white, and rose wine, and a quick description of how each is made. It goes into tasting wine - how to best get the flavors out of a wine, and how to describe the wine to others in a way they might understand.
Next the various terms are discussed - blending, filtering, and so on. Grapes are described, with descriptions of how they have different flavors depending on where they are planted. Notes describe how organic farming, sulfites, and tannins are involved in grape-growing.
One section goes in depth into the whole wine-naming dilemma, describing various place names and what grapes are used there. Another section goes step-by-step through the normal process of ordering wine in a restaurant, and dealing with the waiter's presentation.
The language of labels is described, from Californian labels where usually the grape name and winery name are important, to European wines where typically the location and year are prominent. Varieties of labels are described, with notes on what to watch for.
The manual goes into each wine making region - France, Italy, Spain, the US, and many others - describing what wines are typical there, what makes the region unique, what to watch for. A special section on Champagne goes over the methode champenoise and how similar methods are used in many countries. Good Champagnes to try in the various styles are listed out for reference.
In general, Wine for Dummies covers just about any questions a newcomer to wine would have, and does so in an easy to understand and fun manner. I'd highly recommend this to all wine newbies!
Author: Ed McCarthy & Mary Ewing-Mulligan
Publisher: I D G Books
ISBN Number: 0-7645-5114-0
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