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Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals by [Parr, Rajat, Mackay, Jordan]
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Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Review

"It's a comprehensive book that's perfect for any oenophile—or anybody wanting to become one."
--Condé Nast Traveler, Moveable Feast blog, 8/6/10

"Parr & Jordan open a window onto the workings of a great sommeliers mind. . . .The result is part history lesson, part insider's guide to the best producers and best buys, but, most of all, it's a testament to all the hard work that goes into being a great sommelier."
--Wine & Spirits, December 2010
"If you or your friends want to read about wine and friendship, learn about the camaraderie of the sommelier profession, and discover from insiders how to select wine, you must absolutely get Rajat Parr and Jordan McKay's new book, "Secrets of the Sommeliers.""
--The Atlantic's Food Channel, 12/20/10
"No one understands the meaningful details of enjoying wine - and how to communicate them to the public - quite like a skilled sommelier, and Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina's many restaurants, is one of America's best. In his collaboration with journalist Jordan Mackay, Parr manages to pour forth an impressive breadth of wisdom, both practical and esoteric, in a very manageable 200-page gulp illustrated with evocative sepia-toned photos."
--Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/16/10
"The best wine book to come across my desk in awhile. . . . This intelligent, understated book is a must for any wine lover, budding or educated."
--San Francisco Bay Guardian, Appetite: Delicious giving, 12/3/10
"Readers will put this book down with a better understanding of their restaurant experience, and may head put to dine with a little less fear of the sommelier. And while we don't typically dine at home the way we do in restaurants, our own wine choices as 'home sommeliers' will be better informed from this book."
--WashingtonPost.com, All We Can Eat blog, 12/2/10
"Parr and Mackay's handbook for aspiring sommeliers is, unexpectedly, one of the most user-friendly manuals for the wine-curious to come along. . . . That's because its subject isn't really wine--it's how to master the practical application of wine to every-day life. Everything in the book (especially the candid anecdotes from wine masters) illuminates an aspect of tasting, buying, pairing, or pouring. And insider tips not covered in more encyclopedic tomes, such as how to recognize boutique "grower" champagnes just from the label, are guaranteed to boost your wine ego after a single read."
--San Francisco magazine, November 2010
"A new take to the omnibus-guide genre. 'Secrets' harnesses Parr's immense pool of knowledge and observations from the nation's top wine directors for a pointed, thoughtful take on the essentials of wine."
--San Francisco Chronicle, 11/28/10
"For the advanced wine geek, this book will become a bible. . . . If you're not thinking like a sommelier now you will be by book's end."
--San Jose Mercury News, Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies, 11/24/10
"A good gift for the wine-obsessed."
--S. Irene Virbila, L.A. Times Daily Dish blog, 11/15/10
"'Secrets' performs the invaluable task of mining not only Parr's brain but also the expertise of many Bay Area sommelierati for a very focused take on how to choose wine, understand a wine list and buy with a savvy eye. . . .It provides an inside track that's so often missing from most buying guides' neutral tone."
--San Francisco Chronicle, 11/7/10
"Oenophiles on any level could learn from this exploration into the inside world of wine and the people who present it."
--Gayot.com, 11/1/10
"Parr, director of wine for Michael Mina's restaurants, and San Francisco-based writer Jordan Mackay have penned an indispensable tool. Not simply a peek into the mind of Parr and his wine-loving compatriots, the book is full of useful tips."
--Tasting Table SF, 10/19/10
"Whether your aspiration is to become a world class sommelier, or simply to find a better bottle of Burgundy, this is a must-have book for any passionate wine consumer."
--Jon Troutman, Corkd.com, 10/19/10
"Let me say that this is a fascinating look at a world of after-hours tastings and tenacious debates, at the wines that many sommeliers care most about, and at restaurant service from an insider's view. We meet many unusual and charismatic personalities, not least of whom is Mr. Parr, whose journey from a childhood in Calcutta to the highest level of American wine culture is testimony to energy, talent and hard work. And, in the tradition of the best sommeliers, useful lessons and tips are conveyed painlessly and entertainingly."
--Eric Asimov, New York Times Diner's Journal, 10/5/10
"It's a comprehensive book that's perfect for any oenophile--or anybody wanting to become one."
--CondE Nast Traveler, Moveable Feast blog, 8/6/10

Parr & Jordan open a window onto the workings of a great sommeliers mind. . . .The result is part history lesson, part insider s guide to the best producers and best buys, but, most of all, it s a testament to all the hard work that goes into being a great sommelier.
Wine & Spirits, December 2010
If you or your friends want to read about wine and friendship, learn about the camaraderie of the sommelier profession, and discover from insiders how to select wine, you must absolutely get Rajat Parr and Jordan McKay's new book, "Secrets of the Sommeliers."
The Atlantic s Food Channel, 12/20/10
No one understands the meaningful details of enjoying wine - and how to communicate them to the public quite like a skilled sommelier, and Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina's many restaurants, is one of America's best. In his collaboration with journalist Jordan Mackay, Parr manages to pour forth an impressive breadth of wisdom, both practical and esoteric, in a very manageable 200-page gulp illustrated with evocative sepia-toned photos.
Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/16/10
The best wine book to come across my desk in awhile. . . . This intelligent, understated book is a must for any wine lover, budding or educated.
San Francisco Bay Guardian, Appetite: Delicious giving, 12/3/10
Readers will put this book down with a better understanding of their restaurant experience, and may head put to dine with a little less fear of the sommelier. And while we don't typically dine at home the way we do in restaurants, our own wine choices as home sommeliers will be better informed from this book.
WashingtonPost.com, All We Can Eat blog, 12/2/10
Parr and Mackay s handbook for aspiring sommeliers is, unexpectedly, one of the most user-friendly manuals for the wine-curious to come along. . . . That s because its subject isn t really wine it s how to master the practical application of wine to every-day life. Everything in the book (especially the candid anecdotes from wine masters) illuminates an aspect of tasting, buying, pairing, or pouring. And insider tips not covered in more encyclopedic tomes, such as how to recognize boutique grower champagnes just from the label, are guaranteed to boost your wine ego after a single read.
San Francisco magazine, November 2010
A new take to the omnibus-guide genre. Secrets harnesses Parr's immense pool of knowledge and observations from the nation's top wine directors for a pointed, thoughtful take on the essentials of wine.
San Francisco Chronicle, 11/28/10
For the advanced wine geek, this book will become a bible. . . . If you're not thinking like a sommelier now you will be by book's end.
San Jose Mercury News, Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies, 11/24/10
"A good gift for the wine-obsessed."
S. Irene Virbila, L.A. Times Daily Dish blog, 11/15/10
Secrets performs the invaluable task of mining not only Parr's brain but also the expertise of many Bay Area sommelierati for a very focused take on how to choose wine, understand a wine list and buy with a savvy eye. . . .It provides an inside track that's so often missing from most buying guides' neutral tone.
San Francisco Chronicle, 11/7/10
"Oenophiles on any level could learn from this exploration into the inside world of wine and the people who present it."
Gayot.com, 11/1/10
Parr, director of wine for Michael Mina's restaurants, and San Francisco-based writer Jordan Mackay have penned an indispensable tool. Not simply a peek into the mind of Parr and his wine-loving compatriots, the book is full of useful tips.
Tasting Table SF, 10/19/10
"Whether your aspiration is to become a world class sommelier, or simply to find a better bottle of Burgundy, this is a must-have book for any passionate wine consumer."
Jon Troutman, Corkd.com, 10/19/10
Let me say that this is a fascinating look at a world of after-hours tastings and tenacious debates, at the wines that many sommeliers care most about, and at restaurant service from an insider s view. We meet many unusual and charismatic personalities, not least of whom is Mr. Parr, whose journey from a childhood in Calcutta to the highest level of American wine culture is testimony to energy, talent and hard work. And, in the tradition of the best sommeliers, useful lessons and tips are conveyed painlessly and entertainingly.
Eric Asimov, New York Times Diner s Journal, 10/5/10
"It's a comprehensive book that's perfect for any oenophile or anybody wanting to become one."
Conde Nast Traveler, Moveable Feast blog, 8/6/10"

About the Author

RAJAT PARR is the wine director of the 17-restaurant Mina Group, which includes properties in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, DC. His program at the flagship restaurant in San Francisco holds a "Wine Spectator" Grand Award.
JORDAN MACKAY is the wine-and-spirits editor of "7x7" magazine and the author of "Passion for Pinot." He is a regular contributor to the "New York Times" and has written for "Food & Wine," "Gourmet," and "Decanter."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3008 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (19 Oct. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0046H9KTK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #163,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great Book. Excellent Condition. Money well spent.

Well recommended salesman!
If you re a not a wine lover, you might just become one after this one!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
everything was great, .. very quick delivery time. Very satisfied
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting articles and interviews
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As described thank you
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Required (upper) baseline knowledge. 7 July 2015
By Henrik Witt-hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wellwritten, but absolutely an elitist book.
You should read it, and keep it in the library, to establish an upper baseline for wine quality and knowledge..

Dont fool yourself into thinking that you will be drinking anything from the wineries mentioned in this book - if you where able to do that, you would have your own sommelier on standby ;)

But if you strive to find bottles having just 10% of the quality of the wines named, you will be a happy little drinker anyway :)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview for Advanced Wine Lovers 17 Feb. 2014
By Oliver O. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written coverage of all essentials to kick start a foray into serious wine buying and selling. The parts on blind tasting are impressive but I cannot imagine ever nailing a premium label right down to the nearest village. Not farfetched but it must have required zillions of tastings. I can appreciate the book as some of the obscure names are already known. I would recommend to someone who already has basic wine appreciation. Switzerland was not covered, why?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gets in its own way 17 Nov. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author knows a lot about wine, but unfortunately a snobbish and dismissive tone really gets in the way of enjoying the book. The first portion of the book is about blind tastings and blind tasting etiquette, with absurd statements like "It is not enough to just identify a wine from the Northern Rhone in a blind tasting." There is no explanation of why it is important to know about old world wines (say for example that they taste good, that they go better with food than trophy wines, that they come from rich and interesting histories, or that they can offer excellent value). The author gets there eventually but by that time it's too late. The second half of the book was better, but the author still was far too dismissive and self-important to really connect (for example, only devoting two paragraphs to Bordeaux because it wasn't part of his wine program, and dismissing many other countries and regions outright). Also, way too many pictures of deathly serious-looking people sticking their noses into wine glasses. I read Andrew Jefford's The New France and found it to be much more informative and engaging. This book won't do much to dispel the myth that an interest in wine is a snobby and irrelevant pursuit.
76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chock full of good advice 3 Nov. 2010
By Chambolle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let's start with the worst part of this book: the title. I had to hold my nose and buy it despite the horrible do it yourself, self improvement/self congratulatory vibe of that clumsy moniker. But don't let that keep you from buying this informative and entertaining book, whether you are in the wine trade, a serious amateur, or just a wanna be.

Ed Anderson's excellent photography is one of the draws. There are some really stunning portraits of Dominique Lafon, Jean-Marc Roulot, Freddy Mugnier, Etienne de Montille and others.

Another plus is the collection of biographical sketches of a number of high profile sommeliers -- Larry Stone, Rajat Parr, Daniel Johnnes, Kevin Zraly and others. It's always interesting to read how other people found their true calling.

But the most valuable part of the book is the common sense advice about buying wine, where to find it, and how to cellar and serve it; along with insights into the day to day joys, trials and tribulations of the folks who serve the stuff up in tony restaurants across the land. There are brief profiles of the great wine grapes and the best examples of each -- pinot noir, cabernet, merlot, cabernet franc, and so on. A discussion of the pros and cons of buying wine at auction, and how to find the best deals by avoiding the 'blue chip' names and vintages and using your wine knowledge to get value for money. A discussion of wine and food matching. How to pick your way through a restaurant wine list to find the hidden treasures to be found in just about every good list.

A number of reviewers here appear offended that the book strongly emphasizes the wines of Burgundy. If that bothers you, I suppose you should stay away. If that emphasis doesn't trouble you, or if it might even be a draw, as it is for me, then by all means pick up a copy.

It's a fun ride. Well worth reading. And apparently I'm not alone in that view - this just won a James Beard Foundation award for one of the best food and wine books of the year.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great insights 13 April 2013
By Alan Hawley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
with a son in this somewhat arcane profession, this book provided insights into
the complexity of this art. Rajat Parr shares his passion effectively with those of us
on the outskirtrs of this very small fraternity. Written with clarity, plenty of "insider tips"
the book has helped us "keep up" on some level as dedicated devotees of the grape!
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