Monday, August 12, 2013

The Persistent Observer's Guide To Wine: How to enjoy the best and skip the rest

Through a series of ten engaging conversations, J.P. Bary coaches readers through all the steps needed to become consummate wine consumers, concentrating on the most common stumbling blocks, pitfalls and sources of confusion and giving practical advice about how to overcome them. Instead of presenting the subject of wine in a categorical fashion, this lively and entertaining book shows you why learning to trust your own instincts is more important than studying diagrams of the tongue or obsessing over aroma wheels.

Without tables, charts or listings of regions and producers to memorize, or a glossary of definitions to study before you can understand what it says, this book helps you build all the essential skills you need to develop a personal relationship with wine and become a very savvy consumer. It explains what the most persistent misconceptions about serving and storing wine are and how and why labels, ratings and marketing ploys can mislead you. Wine tasting is demystified by concentrating on the basics and explaining why the descriptions given by wine professionals can be so confusing. You’ll learn how to read between reviewers' lines and converse with sommeliers and retailers so you can tell whether they’re being helpful or giving you the runaround. Using the straightforward guidelines in this book, you'll be able to make excellent pairings with little fuss, not just with foods, but with people and occasions.

Whether mind numbingly “complete” or misleadingly “simple,” most wine guides treat the subject of wine as a curriculum to be presented topic by topic. Instead, this book recognizes that learning about wine is a process and keeps the focus on the most essential information you need to know at each stage in the process. With sensitivity and humor, the author concentrates on helping you avoid mistakes and coaches you step by step as you learn the essential skills needed to select, store and serve wine successfully. Primary emphasis is on understanding your own personal taste preferences and how they influence the way wines should be chosen and used. Filled with unique insights and practical tips, this book is what every wine consumer needs to read in order to truly understand what the others are trying to say.

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I didn't finish reading this book. I'm sure it is worth reading. The fact that I made it half way through is a testament to the fact that it is well written and conversational. But I learned something very interesting . . .

I don't care about selecting wines. Someone gives me a wine, I try it and I either like it or I don't. I'm brave enough to say that now. I don't care about trying to describe a wine or select a wine. I'll try anything once and then either add it to my favourites list or forget its existence.

J. P. Bary's Guide to Wine helped me to understand that which is why I didn't finish the book. If you are interested in learning about wine I recommend this book highly.