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.About one-third of the way through Andrea Immer’s Great Wine Made Simple, the author recounts an anecdote that could serve as the book’s theme–alligator, rabbit, and squab were all introduced to her the same way: “Tastes like chicken.” And as demonstrated by Immer, who went from debentures to de Rothschild when she quit Morgan Stanley to eventually oversee the 50,000-bottle cellar at Manhattan’s famed Windows on the World, the leap from pigeon to Pichon-Lalande is analogous: teaching novice wine drinkers what to expect is what her book, aptly subtitled “Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier”, is all about.
With emphasis on her “Big Six” varietals–Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon–this “Immer-sion” class of tastings lets amateur sippers differentiate the typical qualities of each, while illustrating wine terms such as dry, crisp, oaky, and tannic. Practical advice abounds; one chapter devotes itself to finding useful info on a wine label while avoiding “Stupid Label Tricks,” those bits of puffery or unfamiliar flavors (how many have actually tasted lychee or red currant?) that can be confusing the average buyer. And her “Flavor Map” concept–dividing the wine world into three climate zones–eschews memorization in favor of some rudimentary geography.
Throughout, her pronunciation guides are accurate and personable (“If you’re pronouncing ‘Riesling’ right you have to smile.”); and she provides a great postgraduate curriculum of buying strategies, including the pros and cons of wine shops versus your nearest Costco; and a consumer advisory about restaurant’s “award-winning wine lists.” –Tony Mason
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