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Jul 25, 2007 04:26 PM

New to Wine

Only recently have my roommate and I been trying to wided our knowledge of wine.

I'm wondering if any of you out there know of any books that we could read that might help us out. I do like reading, but of course, the more entertaining the book - the better.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Two current threads on this:
    Suggested books as introduction to learning about wine and/or food:

    Best wine literature:

    Good luck to you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maria lorraine

      Thanks for having those handy. There has been a lot of good recs. lately on study material.


    2. I suggest:

      Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. It is easy to read, broad scoped and a great resource guide. Does a great job at looking at wine through a food focus lense.


      1 Reply
      1. re: funandyummy

        I've got, and have read, MacNeil, and find it a good book. I like the food aspect, well, because wine IS food. For a beginner, unless they are also an accomplished cook, it might be over their head in the beginning. This does not diminish the use of her book, especially when one graduates into the 200-series of "courses."

        I rely on MacNeil often, along with a myriad number of other writers, especially as I spend a great deal of my time working on specific matches for wine and food, so do not take my comments the wrong way - PLEASE. I'd just add it in a few months.

        For what it is, or is not, worth,

      2. You could do a lot worse than *Wine for Dummies*. Easy, even entertaining, to read yet very solid from an educational standpoint (one of the authors is a Master of Wine).

        3 Replies
        1. re: carswell

          I agree on this one completely. I was gifted a copy, when it first came to print. It languished in my library, until I had read everything else, including the '65 version of "The Signet Book of Wine." One day I picked it up and was surprised at what a good little read it was. I have had many problems with other books in that series, but few with this one. Well written, informative, light and, as you point out, entertaining. Do not know if they have updated it recently, but would assume so. IIRC, there are two more in the series, but do not know if the authors are the same - one on red wine, and one on white. Some day I need to gather those two, as well.

          Good call,

          1. re: carswell

            I also agree with this. Wine for Dummies is one of the best "Dummies" books.
            Written very clearly and plainly [no insult intended!] by Ed McCarthy and [his wife] Mary Ewing Mulligan. Excellent beginner's book. Ed also continued with French Wine for Dummies, Italian Wine for Dummies and Champagne for Dummies.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              Whoa, there are more, than I was aware of. Next time that I have a week at the lake in the mountains, I might well pick up the whole bunch, just to have as light reading. If the later ones are as good as the first, they should be fun and informative. Thanks for the H/U.


          2. First, welcome to the world of wine. Your journey has JUST begun. Wine is a subject that one can study for their entire life and really only get a partial knowledge.

            You have gotten some good links, most of which are fairly current. Take a look at those threads and take notes. After you exhaust those, do a search on this board for "books, literature," and variations on those subjects. Also, remember that the printed page, or glowing LED, or CRT, or whatever, is only a start. Wine needs to be consumed to be fully appreciated. That's one of the main reasons that I recommend Immer (Robinson now) and Zraly. They, amongst others, immerse you in drinking wine, as part of the "course." You'll find ISBNs, etc. in most of the posts, so I won't bore you.

            Also, there are several worthwhile DVDs (and VHS tapes), that give an introduction to wine and entertain (see Carswell's post, as that should be part of the study). Andrea Immer (Robinson) has a Web site and several DVDs. Amazon has a ton more. David Hyde Pierce's "Wine 101," done for WNET (?), is a good and fun set, but it *was* available only in VHS (which would not play on my high-end AV gear, so I had to copy to DVD... ). Good, fun series and worth the few $s.

            Last (and certainly not least), find a fun wine shop near you. Talk to the staff and explain where you are with wine. If they are worth their weight in old corks, they'll figuratively take your hand and get you started. Since you have someone else to share the wine with, you are ahead of the game. Find two more friends and start buying some very mixed cases to try with meals, or by themselves. Take notes and be patient. Some will not be to your tastes now, but, with those notes, might one day suit you better, than they do now.

            Most of all, have fun and enjoy,

            1. Short, informative and witty and was used as manual years back for barstaff/waitstaff. The specific wine recs might be dated, but the general wine info is accurate and timeless


              1 Reply
              1. re: vinosnob

                The Sotheby's Encyclopedia of Wine is such an excellent overview of the varietals and wines of the the world.

                I would suggest joining a local tasting club or wine society if there is one in your city. I did that a few years back when I was a beginner and it has been a lot of fun, as well as an eye-opener (or perhaps palate-opener would be the more appropriate phrase). It is a way to taste wines that you would never consider buying, well, at least until you've tasted them.