Hailed by Jerry Shriver in USA Today as "the woman who makes the wine world gulp when she speaks," Jancis Robinson created in How to Taste a classic for connoisseurs of all levels and the first introduction of its kind to focus on practical tasting exercises. Now fully revised and updated, Robinson’s renowned guide proves once again that learning about wine can be just as engaging as drinking it.

What better way to learn about wine than to taste it?

Written in Robinson’s trademark accessible style, the new How to Taste features thoroughly updated vintages and producers as well as up-and-coming wine regions and styles. Incorporating wines that are both easily obtainable and reasonably priced, Robinson’s lessons are separated into complementary portions of theory and practice to help you both learn and taste your way to wine expertise.

One of the world’s best-loved authorities on wine, Robinson explains first how to get the most out of the flavor of your wine and food, and then about specific grapes and the wines themselves. By the time you finish the book, you will have learned how to recognize the most popular grape varieties from Chardonnay and Riesling to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, and why a good sparkling wine is always better than cheap champagne. You will discover how to judge sweetness, acidity, and fruitiness as well as the difference between the length and the weight of a wine. You will also be given practical advice for dealing with wine in the real world: how to choose from a wine list, organize your own wine tastings, and pair wines with specific foods.

From the armchair to the wine shop and back to the table, How to Taste will transform anyone on any level into a confident connoisseur who can leave faltering sips behind and have fun along the way.Whether Montessori or Merlot, kindergarten or Cabernet, the importance of a good instructor during the formative years is crucial. That’s why newcomers to the world of wine could do a lot worse than having a corkscrew in one hand and a copy of Jancis Robinson’s How to Taste in the other. A revision of 1983’s Masterglass and published in the U.K. under the superior title Jancis Robinson’s Wine-Tasting Workbook, How to Taste is a primer by a certified Master of Wine and star of the PBS series Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course. From acidity to Australian Shiraz, oak to Oregon Pinot, Robinson delivers chapters of information and theory, intermingled with shaded “Practice” exercises, presented in a style as off-dry as one of the author’s beloved Rieslings (the tannin in a lesser vintage Barolo is “like sucking on a matchstick”). Sometimes tuition at Jancis U. runs high: the lesson on sugar/acid balance culminates with expensive Sauterne “Practice.” And even if Robinson risks, by dropping words like “charred” and “umami” early in the book, sending novices back to tear open a fresh box of Franzia, vinous virgins are encouraged to stick with it. By the time they get to the glossary at book’s end, they’ll be identifying wines at blind tastings with professional accuracy–which, Robinson encouragingly reveals, and she ought to know, is about 50 percent. –Tony Mason

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