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Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier [Hardcover]

Andrea Immer-Robinson

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Book Description

27 Sep 2005
From “one of the wine world’s most popular voices” (USA Today), a newly updated edition of her by-now classic introduction to wine, GREAT WINE MADE SIMPLE: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier, reflects up-to-the minute wine trends, including the burgeoning popularity of the Shiraz grape, new flavor maps, and much, much more.

First published in 2000, Great Wine Made Simple established Andrea Immer Robinson as America’s favorite wine writer. Avoiding the traditional and confusingly vague wine language of “bouquet” and “nose,” and instead discussing wine in commonsense terms, the book launched Andrea’s career as a wine authority without pretense.

Now, thoroughly revised, Great Wine Made Simple lives up to its title by making selecting and enjoying wine truly simple. With Andrea Immer Robinson as your guide, you will never again have to fear pricey bottles that don’t deliver, snobby wine waiters, foreign terminology, or encyclopedic restaurant wine lists. You’ll be able to buy or order wine with confidence--and get just the wine you want--by learning how the “Big Six” basic styles (which comprise 80 percent of today’s top selling wines) taste and how to read any wine label. Ten new flavor maps show what tastes you can expect from climates around the world.

Andrea Immer Robinson genuinely knows more about wine than most wine lovers could ever hope to learn. But she doesn’t believe that you have to join a stuffy, exclusive wine-tasting set, or study a lot, to become a savvy wine buyer. Unlike other wine guides, Great Wine Made Simple makes it easy to master the ins and outs of choosing a wine that you and your guests will love—on any budget.

In her down-to-earth style, Andrea guides you through follow-along-at-home wine tastings that are easy, fun, and affordable, and even suggests a milk tasting for understanding variations in wine-body style. Building on this foundation, she covers the rest of the wine landscape with her inimitable style, candor, and humor, from classic regions to new tastes, plus a bevy of practical issues like wine gear and proper storage. A refreshing blend of in-depth knowledge and accessibility, Great Wine Made Simple is a welcome resource for those who are intrigued by wine but don’t know where to start.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
168 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wine-Oh Book for us Wine-Don't-Knows 1 Nov 2000
By "lizzharmon" - Published on Amazon.com
This book is about the fifth or sixth book on this subject I have purchased in recent years. It's the first one that speaks to me like the novice I am. It's direct, it's easy reading, it's simple to follow, and it tells you what you need to know to be comfortable ordering wine in a restaurant, or buying it in a store. It's not full of high-brow rhetoric thrown in to impress the reader. It's entry level stuff -- information that you don't have to be a connoisseur to understand. For me, since I like wine but have no interest in becoming some sort of wine snob, this book gave me exactly what I needed to have a handle on what I'm buying. As far as what wine goes with what, and how it is served, it's all in there. If you want to get up to speed in layman's terms, this is the book to get. I thank Immer for writing it. A sommelier I'm not; I'm just a consumer who wanted a basic understanding of the subject, and I got it from this book... finally.
80 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to increase your enjoyment and knowledge of wine? 8 Jan 2001
By drdebs - Published on Amazon.com
If so, you should seriously consider buying this book for yourself, and for any friends who might have the same goal. I have enjoyed wine for a number of years, but have not ventured forth much from the cabernet-merlot-chardonnay rut because it all seemed so overwhelming. You go to the wine store and signs give wines different points from different people for wines you've never heard of and can't pronounce.
Enter Andrea Immer, the sassy and straightforward Master Sommelier! Immer makes wine approachable, fun, and stimulating. Through a variety of different techniques (comparison tasting, old world wines vs. new world wines, flavor maps, and varietal information) Immer will open up your wine world and give you the confidence to sally forth to your local wine shop and ask for a Gruner Veltliner (she also tells you how to pronounce it!)to go with your chicken dinner. She also totally demystifies the restaurant wine list and tells you how to make good and economical choices from it.
There is no pretention at all in this book. Ms. Immer is not a wine snob, nor does she make wine into some obscure chemical and gastronomical science. She knows her stuff so well she can make is simple for you, me and everybody else who would like to buy a $10 bottle of wine and find it is reasonably tasty.
By the way, friends much more expert than myself have confessed that they bought the book and found a great deal of information that was helpful to them, too, so this book is not just for wine beginners.
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it in Kindle version 8 Mar 2011
By Stjepan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I hope that this is the first and the last time that I write a review for a book before reading it in it's entirety. Actually I feel that I have to prevent other people from buying it in Kindle version. Reason?! Text of the book which is, I have to admit by now, extremely well written and nicely presented, is at the same time frequently followed by tables and lists with comparisons which are almost illegible in Kindle version. Option to zoom the page doesn't help either while text in tables is rather pale and can cause you only frustration and eye fatigue. By now I would have given 5 stars for the content and 1 star for how it is packaged. Seriously, everyone who bought this product via whisper-net should be reimbursed because none deserves to pay almost 19$ to get effectively 80% of the clear original content and 20% of reading frustration. Unfortunately I had no luck to be warned by someone else before buying the product. Do what you like but spare your money and DO NOT BUY IT IN KINDLE VERSION!!
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - The wine book I've been looking for. 30 Nov 2000
By richard ryan - Published on Amazon.com
I have been in the wine business for many years, and have read all the standard texts. This is a great one. The "flavor map" and the new world/old world distinction will help anyone select good wine whether from the neighborhood store or from a resturant. Ms. Immer removes much of the mystique and snobbishness that often is associated with wine, and presents the subject simply and honestly. Her knowledge and enthusiasm is evident on every page.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At War with the Wine Snob 29 July 2003
By chris meesey Food Czar - Published on Amazon.com
Here it is at last! Andrea Immer, herself a master sommelier, has written the definitive guide to selecting, buying, and ultimately, enjoying wine. Her approach is unique: limit her discussions to the Big Six varietals: riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon, which together account for the vast majority of wine sales in the world today, and proceed accordingly. (Hopefully, in future editions, she will include more discussion on those fast-rising varietals pinot grigio and shiraz.) She proceeds through discussions of tasting and paring with food, as does any other good wine-buying guide. What makes Ms. Immer's approach unique is that she MAKES WINE FUN!!! In doing this, she's going against the grain of centuries of wine snobbery and elitism. She believes wine should be demystified and its joys revealed TO EVERYONE, not just a select few who can afford $50-$100 a bottle. She does this by including unique wine tasting exercises, such as pairing wines with their opposites to give a clear understanding of the concept. (Example: dry riesling tasted with sweet riesling so the reader can immediatly see the difference.) She also includes plenty of names of sample wines you can test with, including many low-priced bottles. In short, her vision, clarity, and above all, SENSE OF HUMOR make this a must-read for everyone interested in wine who detests snobbery and pretension.
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