Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier
The updated edition of the classic introduction to wine for everyone, by Master Sommelier Andea Immer Robinson. 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,” it instead discussed wine in commonsense terms. Now, thoroughly revised, this edition lives up
The updated edition of the classic introduction to wine for everyone, by Master Sommelier Andea Immer Robinson.
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,” it instead discussed wine in commonsense terms.
Now, thoroughly revised, this edition lives up to its title by making selecting and enjoying wine truly straightforward. 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 the “Big Six” basic styles (which comprise 80 percent of today’s top-selling wines), how they taste, how to read any wine label, and how to pick a wine off a restaurant menu. Ten new flavor maps show what to expect from climates around the world.
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 and makes it easy to master the ins and outs of choosing a wine that you and your guests will love—on any budget.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