Review: Wine – A Beginner’s Guide

Wine – A Beginner’s Guide
Taste, Pair, and Savor Wine Like a Sommelier

Author: Ken Fredrickson, Master Sommelier
Rockridge Press
ISBN #978-64611-054-4

I am from the generation that has been known to sift cork pieces from our wine. Then the openers got better, grew little wings, and the corks came out nicely. Now I proudly have an electric wine opener in my kitchen. My how time flies!

I don’t necessarily want to pretend that I have the knowledge of a sommelier, but I do want to be able to speak socially about wine and sound reasonable, to choose appropriate wines to serve at home, and to be able to converse with a sommelier when I am dining out in a manner where we understand each other. I do feel that Fredrickson accomplishes that with this work.

This is a lovely, 143 page book filled with amazing color photos of vineyards, grapes, the process of fermenting the grapes, gracious glasses of wine, and much more. The book is broken down into chapters on wine and substance, processing wine, tasting wine, pairing wine and food, and so much more.

Fredrickson shares his wisdom on party planning, understanding wine vernacular (so we at least sound like we know what we are talking about!), and finding our way in the world of wine.

This book is meant to bring to its audience a bare minimum of information about wine, and the world of wine. It is down to earth, and meant to make individuals feel comfortable in this world. I am so impressed with it that I am leaving it out on my kitchen counter, taking its place among books on spiralyzing and smoothies!

Of interest to me was that Fredrickson not only talked about the processing of the wine, but about the life cycle of a vineyard, and what goes on there. He talks about the different types of wines, about growing organic wine, the type of information placed on the wine label, and how the different things that make up a wine act to balance each other out. I loved the section on the major styles of wine, and their associated costs. Whether I am in a grocery store, a liquor store, or a wine specialty store, I will know where to look for what I want.

There is a lovely section on wine tasting, that includes the color of the grapes in the different varieties of wine, the different levels of aroma, and the actual tasting (sipping). I do have opportunities near me to go to wine tastings – I may now be emboldened to actually do so!

Wine terminology, and the right glass for the right wine is also addressed. This is followed by an inventory of what a well-equipped wine pantry includes. (I need to do a little shopping here!)

There is a great section of different countries, and the wines they are famous for. This is followed by a listing of different foods (and spices), and the best wines to pair them with.

At the end of the book we have a listing of resources, and an index.

I found this book to be a very nice beginners guide to getting to know wine, making friends with it, and serving (or ordering) it.

© December 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.