Drink This: Wine Made Simple

Drink This: Wine Made Simple

Ever been baffled by a wine list, stood perplexed before endless racks of bottles at the liquor store, or ordered an overpriced bottle out of fear of the scathing judgment of a restaurant sommelier? Before she became a James Beard Award—winning food and wine writer, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl experienced all these things. Now she presents a handy guide that will show you how...

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Title:Drink This: Wine Made Simple
Author:Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
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Edition Language:English

Drink This: Wine Made Simple Reviews

  • Sarah

    This is partly an engaging, informative look at wine, and partly an exercise book with assignments to drink certain types of wines and notice their similarities and differences. (Here's a fun idea: form a club around this book and work your way through the wines together!) The point is not to find out what's "best," but to find out what you, the wine drinker, like best and how to find it in a store or on a wine list.

    I didn't do the exercises. They're going to have to wait until my bu

    This is partly an engaging, informative look at wine, and partly an exercise book with assignments to drink certain types of wines and notice their similarities and differences. (Here's a fun idea: form a club around this book and work your way through the wines together!) The point is not to find out what's "best," but to find out what you, the wine drinker, like best and how to find it in a store or on a wine list.

    I didn't do the exercises. They're going to have to wait until my budget is in a better place for this hobby. But, based on what I learned, I went to a wine store and picked out a decent Chardonnay without being confused or intimidated. This indicates that someone who actually works through the book as intended would gain a real competence in wine.

  • Sasha

    What an excellent book! Writing with a slightly raucous sense of humor, Grumdahl narrows the field to a certain number of grape varieties (what was it, 8?), tells you all about them in their different incarnations, and then sets out a plan of 5+ more specific types of wines from that type of grape, for you to drink for yourself. The idea is not so much to tell you what's good to drink, but rather to have you sample worthwhile representative selections from a broad spectrum of each type of wine,

    What an excellent book! Writing with a slightly raucous sense of humor, Grumdahl narrows the field to a certain number of grape varieties (what was it, 8?), tells you all about them in their different incarnations, and then sets out a plan of 5+ more specific types of wines from that type of grape, for you to drink for yourself. The idea is not so much to tell you what's good to drink, but rather to have you sample worthwhile representative selections from a broad spectrum of each type of wine, and see what you like for yourself--and in the process, learn something about each type of wine. She does a really great job at simplifying a vast subject, not just into something one can abstractly understand, but also something one can choose and drink. I think this is a book everyone should read, if they like wine with food even a little bit.

    I think I've been drinking worse wine than most; liquor stores here are government-run, and nearly all the wine I've drunk in BC has been acrid, which I believe means that it's sat around with a dry cork for too long. I did a search for top rated wine stores on yelp (I think yelp is probably a great accompaniment to this book, since the difference between a great wine shop and a yuppie sucker wine shop may not be obvious from the outside), and I plan to start going through the wine bottles as soon as possible.

  • Alyssa

    I wish I had read this years ago when I started going to wine tastings regularly! Perhaps my experience would have been less floundering than it has felt.

    I really enjoyed this book and will probably buy a copy of it for myself. I didn't do the tastings, but hope to in the future. It felt like a good introductory guide to wine that will help me delve into more detailed works later. It was featured on the Splendid Table, which is where I heard about it.

  • Jenny

    I thought this book was an interesting, well organized, informative journey into learning about wine and wine making and learning which grapes you like ( and which varietals within each grape you like). Each chapter is organized toward a wine tasting to learn the grape, and though I wish there had been chapters on Pinot Grigio, it was a thorough lesson on most popular wines in a wine shop (especially from France, the US, and Australia) and the most important wines in other important wine regions

    I thought this book was an interesting, well organized, informative journey into learning about wine and wine making and learning which grapes you like ( and which varietals within each grape you like). Each chapter is organized toward a wine tasting to learn the grape, and though I wish there had been chapters on Pinot Grigio, it was a thorough lesson on most popular wines in a wine shop (especially from France, the US, and Australia) and the most important wines in other important wine regions, including Germany, Spain, and Italy. It's not comprehensive, but it's interesting and helpful. I'm going to get a copy for my Kindle to more easily wine shop, particularly if I do a tasting like the author sets up.

  • Tory

    This is a great how-to guide to unwrapping the multi-layered world of wine. The author devotes a chapter to each of the major varietals and finishes each section with an easy approach to having your own tasting to discover the varietal(s) that you prefer. She writes in a really personable voice, which makes the information interesting to read. I recommend you buy this book and keep it on your shelf, rather than borrow it from the library; you are going to want to reference it again and again as

    This is a great how-to guide to unwrapping the multi-layered world of wine. The author devotes a chapter to each of the major varietals and finishes each section with an easy approach to having your own tasting to discover the varietal(s) that you prefer. She writes in a really personable voice, which makes the information interesting to read. I recommend you buy this book and keep it on your shelf, rather than borrow it from the library; you are going to want to reference it again and again as you venture down the rabbit hole of wine.

  • Steven Peterson

    A very nice work on wine. The book gives the reader an introduction to several wines, noting strengths and weaknesses of each. Many grapes/wines are left out, but the author preferred to focus on a smaller number and treat them in detail. I ended up agreeing with that approach.

    What is considered? Zinfandel, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon (with a brief detour to consider Merlot), Syrah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Pinot noir. . . . I found the discussions to be

    A very nice work on wine. The book gives the reader an introduction to several wines, noting strengths and weaknesses of each. Many grapes/wines are left out, but the author preferred to focus on a smaller number and treat them in detail. I ended up agreeing with that approach.

    What is considered? Zinfandel, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon (with a brief detour to consider Merlot), Syrah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Pinot noir. . . . I found the discussions to be very helpful for me to understand different wines better. Since I really do enjoy decent wines (e.g., quality wines from Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir), it was enjoyable to learn more about each type--as well as the others.

    All in all, a useful volume on wine. . . .

  • Jon

    Didn't have a chance to finish this before I had to return it to the library. My impression was largely positive. I don't know much about wine and this book explains some of the basic and has a nice summary of several major styles. It also had good advice for a tasting. [return][return]The book did annoy me though with the poor layout of interviews and the like. Due to the narrow size of the book, the text is really tight. The interviews, are inserted directly into the flow of the text, interrup

    Didn't have a chance to finish this before I had to return it to the library. My impression was largely positive. I don't know much about wine and this book explains some of the basic and has a nice summary of several major styles. It also had good advice for a tasting. [return][return]The book did annoy me though with the poor layout of interviews and the like. Due to the narrow size of the book, the text is really tight. The interviews, are inserted directly into the flow of the text, interrupting it for an abrupt change of topic and tone for a page two. I suspect that these were intended to be sideboxes but were integrated with the text for this version.

  • Martyn

    Don't let the 3 stars fool you, I did enjoy this and learned a great deal. I just felt that it was repetitive and the last two chapters, which I had been looking forward too, fell flat. I will say though that I totally ignored the author's advice and read it cover to cover, so it's probably my own fault.

    It's a fun and informative read, just read the general chapters and maybe the introductions to each "grape" chapter and leave the rest for party planning, if you get that far. One thi

    Don't let the 3 stars fool you, I did enjoy this and learned a great deal. I just felt that it was repetitive and the last two chapters, which I had been looking forward too, fell flat. I will say though that I totally ignored the author's advice and read it cover to cover, so it's probably my own fault.

    It's a fun and informative read, just read the general chapters and maybe the introductions to each "grape" chapter and leave the rest for party planning, if you get that far. One thing that the author does well in this regard is to cover every tasting eventuality from single person tastings right through to tasting strategies for groups.

  • Kara

    I was looking for an academic, textbook approach to the different types of wines – this book is chatty, breezy, with an author voice that is far too loud from a writer trying far too hard to be funny, getting in the way of her own subject material. There is some good information here, but I found it hard to get into.

  • Eugene Lee

    What an excellent and refreshing book! The whole philosophy is to find what you like while learning about wine by concentrating on one varietal at a time. She includes readable, interesting, and humorous backgrounds on the grape, terroir, and winemaking for each varietal, a shopping list cheat sheet, and tasting party suggestions for several key varietals. I highly recommend the book - now it's time to have some tasting parties!

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