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Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine: 108 Ingenious Shortcuts to Navigate the World of Wine with Confidence and Style [Paperback]

Mark Oldman

Price: 15.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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When it comes to dispensing wine advice, I don't hide the ball. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest wine book out there 1 Sep 2005
By argosy46 - Published on Amazon.com
Since I buy Oldman's Guide here so often as a gift, I'll add my voice to the chorus. I agree with the last reviewer that OG stands at the head of the line for wine books. I consider myself somewhere between a wine connoisseur and still-learning novice and I'll go so far to say that OG is the best wine book that I own. It is a book that I'm still learning from, while most of my other wine guides molder on the shelf after a few sittings. -And here in my home office I have two and a half bookshelves of wine books- The author Mark Oldman offers just the right amount of commentary on major wine topics-grape types, storing wine, dining out, et cetera. The descriptions and explanations are really clever and very dead-on and just the right tone for someone to learn about wine (or learn more about wine after they've mastered the basics). Oldman's Guide cost me only about $14 (with shipping) here at Amazon and I have referred to the book so much that it is already looks like I've had it for a decade. It is furthest thing I've seen from the standard monotonous wine encylopedia. This is the book to get.

I also endorse Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible as a solid all-around reference book - it covers everything in a lot of accurate detail. And if you want a graphical overview, you can't go wrong with World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson, which is a large display-style book and very high quality.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best all-around wine book, hands-down 5 Jan 2005
By M Lee - Published on Amazon.com
With this incredible book, it's hard to even know where to start.

Ever since I accidentally opened a friend's bottle of '86 Heitz Napa cabernet and fell in love, I've been studying wine whenever I get a chance. I've purchased books like "The Wall Street Journal's Guide to Understanding Wine," "Wine for Dummies," and some more advanced "grape-specific" books. After reading through a few pages of this book, I was blown away and proceeded to spend two hours engrossed in one of the most entertaining books I've ever read - even among non-wine books! I laughed throughout, poked on by Oldman's extremely clever wit and knowledge.

The book can be used as a reference - lately I've been checking it to make sure I'm serving Fume Blanc (same as Sauvignon Blanc, as I've found out) at the appropriate temperature - but it's more likely that you'll read this as a novel. A very, very entertaining one.

Among the valuable things I've picked up from the book - besides the already-cited examples of what prominent and celebrity wine lovers like to have on their tables - include:

- How to pronounce everything related to wine you ever worried about trying to say. I'm talking about Riedel, Taittinger, Chateau Cos d'Estournel and Moet, which is pronounced "Mo-EHT, not Moe-AY."

- The many affordable options in the world of wine - encouraging those who are either shy, unadventurous, poor or all of the above to try new, good-value wines.

- What wines to pair with food, and more importantly why - from the science to the history to what is most accepted in popular culture (things like champagne and cake at weddings) even though they technically might not taste that great together.

- Decoding the many different designations: reserva, gran reserva, brut, extra-dry, sec, demi-sec, classico, classico riserva... to a point where you're more than comfortable with them.

- Wine etiquette and a generous helping of insider information on getting the most bang-for-your-buck at a restaurant without looking like a cheapskate.

If you're a wine lover and think you know everything about wine, you'll prove yourself wrong with this book. If you're a wine consumer, you will at least double the value of wine you drink - just based on how much more you'll appreciate what's in your glass. If not that, then on the tips Oldman gives you to save dough. It will likely be both. Even if you don't know anything about wine, this book will grab you in.

I've watched my girlfriend - who didn't care much for my wine obsession before - turn into an crazed fan: we were at Costco (tips on this, too!) and she replaced the bottle of BV cabernet I chose for dinner with a Pinot Noir because "Pinot Noir goes better with smoked sausage."

I'm obviously a very big fan. This book has been worth every penny.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wine Book to Buy 10 July 2005
By B. Joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I finally found the wine book I was looking for! I previously read a couple to wine books to educate myself but they were either too complicated or packed with information I really did not need. Oldman's book is so well written, easy to read and understand. It is full of practical knowledge and organized into 108 short chapters. Each of the 350 pages is packed with useful information, and the material is arranged in an eye-catching manner. It is an entertaining read. It offers reference books and web sites for those who wish to learn more about a suject. It discusses basic grapes, regions, different types of wine, cost, pronunciations, how to pair wine with specific foods or occasions etc. This book clarified so many misconceptions and answered some of my questions in a clear way. For example: "Just say no to cork inhalation" is a memorable line that gets the message across. Another example is when Oldman describes the smell of blackcurrant and Cabernets. This book is perfect for novices who will not be ovewhelmed with useless facts. Even for someone like me who is somewhat knowledgeable about wines, this was the perfect book. I wish I read this years ago!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wit and Wisdom in generous doses-quaff this book! 22 Dec 2004
By HRH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I own at least a dozen wine books and this one is my pick for best book to start one's wine library. Even if you know a good amount about wine like me (I've worked in the industry) you'll find plenty of gems in Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine, making it well worth the purchase. Where else can you get the wine picks of many industry insiders? The shortcuts are succinct enough to avoid overburdening you with an unnecessary level of detail and yet thorough enough that you'll be able to enter a conversation on the topic with self-confidence. This book contains the best wine and cheese pairing advice I've come across--it was informative and hilarious. The author advises that "when things get stinky... call in the big guns", then helpfully provides a list of cheeses that go with pretty much everything. Another of my favorite shortcuts told how to tell if a restaurant is on your side when it comes to wine. Using the tips that follow, you'll be able to save the money spent on this book, and then some, on your next restaurant wine choice. Not only that, if the wine steward sneers at you, you'll be able to confidently sneer back and order with style. I gave this book as a gift to my boss, colleagues, and friends alike-it's the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of good wine.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular - no top hat or dummies cap needed 12 July 2005
By D Ipatova - Published on Amazon.com
I have been so happy devouring this spectacular guide. While so many wine books feel like they've sprung from the mind of a corporate flack or a wine snob who's in love with using as many complicated words as possible, Oldman's Guide requires neither a top hat nor a dummies cap. It instead delivers heaps of blissfully useful information on grape types, wine as gifts, wine in restaurants, buying wine from shops, all with Oldman's able pen and sharp, funny eye. One of my best purchases on Amazon to date.
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