I used to work in the wine trade, and was literally brought up (pubs and restaurants) alongside bottles of the stuff. The most dispiriting aspect of working with wine was seeing enthusiasm for it quashed. Old guard wine merchants, and traditional wine press (no pun intended) are great at servicing their core customers, but the by-product is that they can be unhelpfully intimidating for those who don’t know. The language they use is difficult to swallow – the irony!
There are few areas of knowledge where not knowing cannot be readily overcome in this day and age. Wine unfortunately is one of the few exceptions. To confess that you ‘don’t know’ can risk a judgment of social inferiority. All too often when I tell friends to ‘bring what they like to drink’, they squeeze through the front door apologetically holding a bottle of Lambrini in the folds of their coat and saying ‘I was going to buy a Viognier, but I couldn’t make sense of what it said on the internet’. In my experience, it’s not that people generally are not curious, it’s more that in searching for information, they see more confusion than clarity. This book goes a long way to alleviating these issues, and is a welcome portal to enlightenment, or perhaps even revolution. The chapters are thoughtfully presented to maximise information offered without risking overload. There are also useful anecdotes and sprinklings of humour to aid digestion. I really love the ‘in one gulp’ sections at the end of each chapter. Extremely useful in that they can be hastily read before heading to the ex wine merchant’s house for drinks! Cheers!
Finally an insider who tells you that it is all right to like what you enjoy without feeling ignorant. The basic message is trust your instinct and don't be intimidated by an industry that wants to trade on mystique which is largely the basis for the high prices charged for a lot of wine. Lockspeiser is adamant that what matters is you the drinker and has built the book around this belief. It gives good, well rounded advice on everything that you are ever likely to want to know about wine. Every chapter concludes with a very helpful and simple section summarising what has been said under the heading 'the last gulp'. You can read it from start to finish or dip into it as you wish. Either way you should be able to stand up to the wine snob next time you encounter one or tell the waiter that the wine is corked and you want it replaced because you know that up to one in 15 bottles of wine can be affected by TCA.
Excellent book, full of wisdom presented in neat chunks enlivened by humour. The authors' depth of knowledge shines through. Its basic message is not to be intimidated by all the pretentiousness around wine, to trust our own taste and judgement. It gives factual, evidence-based answers to many of the questions. Great - would be a wonderful stocking filler for anyone who drinks wine.
A delightfully easy and engaging read that strips away the false aura and trepidation that many often associate with wine. The book allows the reader to navigate those niggling background questions and end up with answers that make it all seem so much more accessible and enjoyable. Along the way the book is fun, entertaining and empowering. We don't all want to know the 'ins and outs' of our favourite tipple, we just want to explore and enjoy and be at ease without feeling intimidated or, somehow, foolish due to lack of knowledge or understanding. A great read for wine aficiondaos and ever day drinkers alike and I heartily recommend it.
This book is excellent! This book is easy to read and understand for those who aren't knowledgeable about wine but want to understand more. I was so impressed I bought copies to give as Christmas Gifts and the recipients of those books also liked it and have bought it as gifts for other people! Testament to a great book!
I really enjoyed this book and despite thinking I knew a thing or two about wine, learnt lots of useful information. The layout is good, the author is knowledgeable and writes well, the topics covered are good and the worthy cause (proceeds go to a good charity) all make this a worthwhile purchase.
My wine-loving husband, likes to think he knows quite a lot about what he is buying and drinking but nevertheless found this book interesting and helpful. It is lightly and amusingly written, and is good for wine novices and the experienced alike.