When I first started getting into wine, I didn’t even know there were different grapes. Well that’s not entirely true — I knew there was a difference between the seedless grapes I bought at the supermarket, and the “wine grapes” my grandfather grew in the backyard. But that was about it.
Needless (or seedless) to say, I was indelibly blessed when someone handed me the Wine for Dummies book — it was without a doubt the singlemost important educational wine resource for me at the time (back then, there was maybe two references to wine on the internet). More than ten years later, I still think it is a fantastic first book for wine neophytes, and that “reference for the rest of us” still rings true, as I frequently flip through my cover-worn copy to look up things.
If you are a wine beginner and hungry for information, this is one of the first books to consider. The text is friendly, fun, and easy to read, as authors Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy do a wonderful job of teaching without preaching and devoid of pretense. What I find particularly helpful is the way the information is organized and the order it is presented — it’s step by step, yet you can skip around without missing anything. Further, after reading just few chapters you’re already empowered enough to confidently step into a wine shop or peruse a restaurant wine list.
Recommended reading for all wine newbies.