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The folks at the For Dummies series of books recently released the 7th edition of Wine for Dummies. For me, reading this new edition was in a way like visiting an old friend. A much earlier edition was one of my first wine books back in the early 2000s. I was heading to Silicon Valley for a business trip and decided to extend the trip so I could spend a weekend in Napa. I really wasn’t that into wine at the time. It just sounded like a fun way to extend my trip to the area. I didn’t want to go into Napa tasting rooms blind, so I decided to read up a bit before the trip. I had good experiences with other For Dummies books, so I gave that earlier edition of Wine for Dummies a shot. It worked out to be a great guide for a crash course on wine. As it turns out, that weekend in Napa put me on the path to catching the wine bug.
The latest edition of Wine for Dummies can still serve those looking for a wine crash course very well. It starts at an introductory level Wine 101, then goes on to cover a lot of ground. Wine for Dummies includes information about the wines from many Old World regions, New World Regions, sparkling wines, fortified wines, food and wine pairings, and buying and storing wine. There’s even a chapter that answers common wine questions. The material does go deeper than the surface on quite a few topics, but it’s all organized in a way for the reader to be able to digest however much he or she wants to get out of the book. Main points are highlighted in typical For Dummies fashion, and a “Real Deal” icon is used throughout the book to note well produced wines of good value. All of this makes for a very user-friendly book.
I think the practical aspects of the book can be most appealing to those new to wine and those looking to try a few new things. Have you ever learned about a wine region, headed to your local wine shop, and then get that blank stare when trying to decide which bottle to buy from a dozen different producers in that region? Wine for Dummies has lists of go-to wineries and wines that cover many regions throughout the world. These lists along with wine shopping tips, including knowing what questions to ask your friendly wine professionals, will make for more enjoyable trips to the local wine shop. It will also make navigating restaurant wine lists less stressful. It’s all about increasing the chances of purchasing an enjoyable bottle.
After reading the book I was inspired to visit a local wine shop to pick up a few Old World bottles I’ve never tried before, particularly ones made from grape varieties that are doing well in Texas. Texas versus the world comparisons are always fun! So even after all of these years, Wine for Dummies pushed me to learn a little more about wine and to try something new.
- Title: Wine for Dummies – 7th Edition
- Authors: Ed McCarthy, Certified Wine Educator and Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Master of Wine
- Publisher: For Dummies, A Wiley Brand
- Release Date: November 13th, 2018
- 432 pages, paperback
- Suggested Retail Price: Paperback – $24.99, Kindle – $18.75
- ISBN-13: 978-1119512738
- Amazon link