Red, White and Drunk All Over by Natalie MacLean
This is an entertaining journey through the world of wine that's written in - surprise!- language we can all understand. I've read - or at least started reading - others that only experts would be able to get through. For a nowhere-near-expert they were beyond boring. This is one you can understand and enjoy. It may even give you the courage to experiment a bit.
She begins with a chapter called "The Good Earth" in which she explains how the grapes are grown in various regions. This is followed by Harvesting Dreams then The Merry Widows of Mousse which is about Champagne. That was my favourite chapter. Who knew just talking about champagne could be so much fun?
The next is "Purple Prose with a Bite", about wine writing, then A Tale of Two Wine Stores, comparing two different retail marketing styles, and "A Glass Act" which is a look at what types of wine glasses are available and what works best and why. The remaining chapters are Partners at the Table, Undercover Sommelier, which is quite funny, and Big City Bacchus.
Well written, entertaining, and down to earth, this book is filled with great stories of the author's experiences with wine. It's probably the un-stuffiest wine book you'll ever find. It has lots of helpful information, and is utterly lacking in the silly wine snobbery that tries to make us ordinary folk feel inadequate. This author is someone you could enjoy having a wine conversation with even if you're just a beginner. She's fun rather than intimidating and when you're talking about wine experts, that's not something you often get to say. This book is definitely worth a look if you want to learn a little more about wine and pick up a few suggestions on what to order with dinner or what to stock in your cellar.