I recieved this book from Emily’s parents for my birthday this year, as I had asked for wine related stuff. Inside, you’ll find 100 quality wines for under $20. I have only had the opportunity to enjoy three wines from its pages thus far, however, they have all been quite tasty. The book itself is written in such a way that anyone can figure the wines out, which is handy, since I don’t know anything!
The introduction to the book has some background on wine and a bunch of information on the varieties of grapes used. It also provides some basic guidelines for food pairing, mood pairing and the like (the advice is deeper than Red with Red, White with White). The authors also present a half case (6 bottles, for us non-vinos) of wines that they recommend storing for a few years (they are also quick to caution, don’t store it too long, or it will go south!). This information is basic, easy to understand, and perfect for a newbie.
The wines are separated by “type”: White, Rose, Red, Apartif and Dessert. Each page is dedicated to an individual wine. The label is clearly presented, paired with a short paragraph describing the wine (usually in a funny, non-uptight way), followed by two recommened food pairings (sometimes, these are quite specific or quite general) and event suggestions (eg, BYOB, Romance). The variety, the vintage and price is listed on the bottom corner of the page.
The authors of this book, Kenji Hodgson and James Navison also write a weekly column for The Province (A Vancouver newspaper) and an E-zine at www.halfaglass.com. Their goal is to make wine more accessible and fun – which this book definately does.
In a somewhat related topic, I shall be creating a page (or two) dedicated to listing my ‘cellar’ and wine recommendations/or list. Keeping in mind my ‘ratings’ will likely only consist of something like “Good”, “Great”, “Gross”, at least until I learn more; I hope somebody will find it somewhat helpful.