Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape


In this friendly introductory guide, food and wine writer Leslie Brenner tells how to:
Pour and ...

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In this friendly introductory guide, food and wine writer Leslie Brenner tells how to:
Pour and taste wine
Develop a taste memory
Order from a wine list
Select a wine at the store
Match food with wine

In addition, helpful sidebars illuminate such subjects as:
How—and why—to swirl without sloshing
Disarming a snotty waiter
Ten great wines to bring to a dinner party
Going beyond California Chardonnay
Starting your own cellar for under $100

Along the way, Lettie Teague's funny and informative cartoons enhance the text and make great devices for remembering the most important facts. Before long,
your old standby, Chateau Screwtop, will be a distant memory. Accessible and concise, Fear of Wine will appeal to anyone who wants to know a little bit about a subject that can bring great pleasure.

At last, a guide that is as fun to read as wine is to drink!

Certain to appeal to a whole new generation of wine drinkers, this first refreshingly informal yet authentic guide to wine, written by noted food and spirits columnist Leslie Brenner, presents a simple, friendly, and entertaining alternative to the intimidating tomes on the subject. Cartoon illustrations throughout.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
What sets this title apart is its tone. Brenner (The Art of the Cocktail Party, Dutton, 1994) and Teague understand that every wine connoisseur was once a beginner and never lecture to novices but guide them through the basics of knowledge and enjoyment of wine. There are, of course, discussions of winemaking, producer regions and countries, and the ordering and tasting of wine. Friendly advice is given on corkscrew selection and spotting an overpriced wine list, and main points are summarized at the end of each chapter. Throughout are cartoons, charts, and tables. Resource materials and organizations are suggested in the final chapter. Brenner takes a usually solemn subject and transforms it into an enjoyable crash course. Highly recommended.-Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., Ky.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553374643
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,396,789
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Opening Champagne and Other Sparkling Wine

Opening a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine (a bottle of "bubbles," as they say in the California wine trade...) obviously requires an entirely different technique than still wines.  This is because the carbon dioxide bubbles in the wine cause tremendous pressure to build up in the bottle, and if you're not careful, the cork  an fly out dangerously.  (You could put an eye out that way!)

Opening a bottle of champagne frightens lots of people, too, but it's really quite easy.

First, remove the foil.

Next, being careful not to point the cork toward anyone, twist the loop on the wire cage until it is disengaged.  Carefully remove the cage.  

Grasp the cork with one hand, keeping the hand over the cork to prevent it from flying out while you use the other hand to twist the bottle gently but firmly until it's opened.  There won't be a loud pop, but hey—there's not supposed to be! You should hear just a gentle little "phssht" sound.

Pour about an inch of wine into each glass, and then go back and fill them up. This technique prevents them from bubbling over.


Wines to Bring to a Dinner Party

Impressive and interesting wines to bring to dinner that won't break the bank:

Albari±o from Spain
Vin Santo from Italy
Alsatian Riesling
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise
Ribera del Duero
Single-quinta port

Or consider one of these particular bottles from California:

Scharffenberger Brut, Blanc de Blanc, or Brut Rosé
Domaine Chandon Etoile or Brut
Mumm Napa Cuvée Napa
Au Bon Climat Chardonnay
Calera Pinot Noir
Chalone Pinot Noir
Bonny Don Vin de GlaciÞre
Preston Muscat Brúlé

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