A Beer Drinker’s Guide To Knowing And Enjoying Fine Wine
Though the title suggests otherwise, this book is not just for beer drinkers. Full of tons of useful information, it is perfect for anyone looking to improve his or her wine knowledge. Plus, there is a lot of discussion of beer, so, if you don’t have a background in the finer points of the brew, you can learn a lot about that, too.
Laughren covers all of the basics (and not so basics) of enjoying wine like a pro. He discusses the processes of growing wine grapes and turning them into wine. He provides the basic characteristics of each of the main varietals. He talks about the main wine regions in the Old World (Europe) and the New World (not Europe). For each region, he gives details of the temperature, climate, terrain, grapes grown, and wine made. There is a ton of specificity in this section, and it alone could double as a traveler’s guide to wine tasting. There are also chapters about selecting wines, recommendations for various occasions, party ideas, and more. Though the focus is on the vino, he also discusses all of this (in miniature) for beer as well.
My favorite section, however, is the one about actually tasting the grape. Laughren explains, in detail, how to really look at, smell, and taste a wine. He gives a step-by-step for the entire process, and it is insanely useful. He also tells you what the different sights, smells, and flavors say about a wine. For example, after swirling wine around in a glass, pause and see how the wine on the sides returns to the bowl. If it forms thick drops, it has a higher alcohol level than if it forms a thin, even sheet. There is even a section on interpreting the things you smell and taste into winespeak (and translating winespeak into things that mean something to you).
A Beer Drinker’s Guide is absolutely full of interesting, useful information for selecting, smelling, tasting, and, yes, enjoying wine. Laughren’s tone is casual and approachable, and he never comes off as snobby. This book is fun to read and fun to use. I do recommend reading it with a bottle or two nearby. After reading all about how to enjoy and interpret wine, I was dying for a glass to practice on. I will certainly be keeping this and referring to it often.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||Jim Laughren, CWE|
|Page Count||206 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Cooking, Food & Wine|