In addition to the fabulous Mezzetta goodies and recipes that I received last week, their public relations company also sent me a review copy of the book Wine Secrets, Advice from Winemakers, Sommeliers, and Connoisseurs by Marnie Old.
If you have a wine loving friend or family member or need a last minute gift for someone who even has a slight interest in learning about wine, this lovely little book, decorated in a festive burgundy jacket, would be a great option.
I started reading it this past snowy Sunday, and my husband can attest to the fact that there were lots of “hmmm” and “interesting” and “I didn’t know that!”s coming out of me.
The book is broken down into six chapters, each of which has sub-sections written by winemakers, sommeliers, wine writers, and other wine experts. The book’s author, nationally renowned Sommelier Marnie Old, offers “Marnie’s Corner” a commentary at the end of each section which sums up the important points and leaves the reader with a manageable bit of information to use in real wine shopping/tasting situations.
Topics covered range from wine basics which includes information on the winemaking process, grape varieties, and Old/New World wines to wine tasting, wine shopping, advice for wine and food pairing, ordering wine in restaurants, and enjoying wine at home. Do you need help choosing wine for a large party? Are you looking for great value and maybe lesser known wines? This book covers it all.
Wine Secrets contains many easy to read, brief charts and diagrams that help to further spell out various types of information about wine. The simplicity is refreshing. If I want to know about a medium bodied red wine, all I need to do is look at the chart on page 22 to see that Merlot or Sangiovese would be two good options. Or if I am curious about which climates produce certain wine qualities, I can turn to page 26 to learn that warmer climates lead to sweeter wines with higher flavor intensity. Need some assistance opening a bottle of champagne? Page 179 shows you a step by step diagram. While the book covers a topic that can be complex, it certainly goes through even the basics, things that many of us might have questions on but feel too intimidated to ask. Reading through the pages makes it easy to reflect on your own wine tasting experience and suddenly “get it”, and it certainly makes me want to taste more.
This is the type of book that you may read through cover to cover once, then keep on your kitchen shelf for constant reference. Its the type of book that would be fun to have around when friends are over tasting wine and definitely the book that you want to have on hand the next time you are visiting a wine shop, a winery, or a big wine retailer.
I will be referring back to Wine Secrets in my own wine drinking which will likely translate into future blog posts, so stay tuned for more Wine Secrets. If you do pick up a copy please let me know what you think!