Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine: 108 Ingenious Shortcuts to Navigate the World of Wine with Confidence and Style


For the thousands of people who know nothing about wine and want to rectify that swiftly and painlessly, Mark Oldman-the 'Naked Chef' of wine-is here to help with the kind of information readers can use right now:
• Australian Shiraz is the most instantly likable red under $15
• Drink slightly sweet wine with spicy food
• Judge a wine shop ...

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For the thousands of people who know nothing about wine and want to rectify that swiftly and painlessly, Mark Oldman-the 'Naked Chef' of wine-is here to help with the kind of information readers can use right now:
• Australian Shiraz is the most instantly likable red under $15
• Drink slightly sweet wine with spicy food
• Judge a wine shop by whether it has homemade shelf signs
• Don't store unopened wine in the refrigerator for more than a week

Loaded with his personal recommendations-including the top 100 wines less than $15?Oldman's Guide also includes the wine picks of an eclectic mix of collectors, from Le Cirque owner Sirio Maccioni to Morley Safer of 60 Minutes. This is a wine guide like no other and is sure to be savored by anyone who wants their wine without the attitude.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Robust, hearty and full bodied describe not just a Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon but also this comprehensive wine guide for the novice oenophile. Oldman, who has taught wine courses for more than 10 years (and, incidentally, cofounded the career Web site Vault.com), boils the basics of wine down to 108 simple chapters (here called "shortcuts"). He proves "the dirty little secret of wine appreciation is that there's just not that much to it." While Oldman says this isn't a reference book, it may be best used that way. Without the benefit of a flight of tasting wines, the information is overwhelming. Yet to look up wines by type or region, or to learn how to order in a restaurant, Oldman's guide overflows with succinct, useful advice. Those determined to read it straight through will find Oldman's anecdotal style makes the subject lighthearted and fun, and Oldman is amusingly opinionated: "Drinking Pinot Grigio is often like experiencing an Ikea rug, Ben Stein's voice, or a dose of Paxil: neutral, monotone, and devoid of highs." The casual voice occasionally is forced (drinking old wine "won't earn you a prayer session at the porcelain altar") but it makes the information accessible. Each shortcut comes with even more shortcuts: a "cheat sheet" summary, wine picks by price range, a pronunciation table and suggestions for food pairings. (Nov. 30) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Libraries have many choices when it comes to buying wine guides. Some books (e.g., Leslie Sbrocco's Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine) target specific audiences, while others (e.g., John Winthrop Haeger's North American Pinot Noir) explore the pleasures of a specific grape. Wine educator Oldman takes on the whole subject of wine-from what it is and where it comes from to how to taste, buy, and store it-without writing something unwieldy and pedantic. He has written a highly approachable, contemporary, and practical guide that gets right to the point. In brief, two- to three-page chapters ("Short Cuts"), he tells readers how to order at restaurants, how to (and how not to) taste, how to recognize the characteristics of different grapes, and much more. The end result is an inviting and informative book sure to please both novice and experienced wine connoisseurs. Its balanced and practical approach aims to put good information into the hands of busy people. A wise purchase for all public libraries where there is an interest in wine.-Andrea R. Dietze, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142004920
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/7/2004
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 231,491
  • Product dimensions: 7.49 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

One of the country’s leading wine educators, Mark Oldman is author of the best-selling Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine (Penguin Books), which was called "perfect" by Wine Enthusiast, "winespeak without the geek" by Bon Appètit, and "shortcuts to a connoisseurs confidence" by BusinessWeek. Winner of the Duboeuf “Best Wine Book of the Year” Award. Oldman’s Guide was also recently published in Japan and in four volumes in France.

Mark writes about wine for several leading lifestyle publications, and contributes a wine column and chooses the wine picks for the hit magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray. He is also the lead judge in the new PBS television series The Winemakers.

For over seventeen years, Mark has taught his lively Outsmarting Wine™ courses and seminars to thousands of wine enthusiasts across the country. He lectures at some of the country’s top gastronomic festivals, including the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and the Boston Wine Expo.

Mark began his wine journey in 1990 when as a student he founded Stanford Wine Circle, a popular university club hosting tastings with California wine legends, earning him the nickname "Bacchus on the Campus" in Wine Spectator magazine.

Mark’s pro-consumer approach and commitment to education have animated all of his professional endeavors. He is one of the three founding partners of Vault.com, the leading media company for career information. He is also a licensed attorney and co-author of several best-selling career-focused books.

Mark graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A and M.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Stanford University, having served on its Board of Trustees for five years.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    Learned more from Oldman's Guide than anywhere else

    In the last two months, two things have ignited an interest for wine like never before: the movie Sideways and Oldman's Guide. Author Mark Oldman is a natural born educator who doesn't talk down to you. He has fashioned one heck of a guide that is just p-a-c-k-e-d with good ideas you can use to make wine drinking more interesting and pleasurable. The book has singlehandedly changed the way I order wine when eating out----I now know how to actually phrase questions to a waiter, to get him to reveal the most interesting and value oriented wines on the list. Another great find here----the book recommends using importer names like Kermit Lynch on the back label to figure out good wines, without having to know anything about the grape or the year. Clever. About ten times this book had me shaking my head asking 'why didn't someone teach me this before?'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2005

    Sharp writing, no filler photos

    I'm the acquistions director of a major city library and we just bought several copies of this book, based on the strong review in Bon Appetit and other pubs. What I love about Oldman's Guide is that the writing is so effective that it doesn't need to rely on all of the photos of vineyards and grapes and wine labels [read: filler] that is so common in wine books, with the notable exception of Parker's guides.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2004

    Wit and Wisdom in generous doses-quaff this book!

    I own at least a dozen wine books and this one is my pick for best book to start one's wine library. Even if you know a good amount about wine like me (I've worked in the industry) you'll find plenty of gems in Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine, making it well worth the purchase. Where else can you get the wine picks of many industry insiders? The shortcuts are succinct enough to avoid overburdening you with an unnecessary level of detail and yet thorough enough that you'll be able to enter a conversation on the topic with self-confidence. This book contains the best wine and cheese pairing advice I've come across--it was informative and hilarious. The author advises that 'when things get stinky... call in the big guns', then helpfully provides a list of cheeses that go with pretty much everything. Another of my favorite shortcuts told how to tell if a restaurant is on your side when it comes to wine. Using the tips that follow, you'll be able to save the money spent on this book, and then some, on your next restaurant wine choice. Not only that, if the wine steward sneers at you, you'll be able to confidently sneer back and order with style. I gave this book as a gift to my boss, colleagues, and friends alike¿it¿s the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of good wine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2004

    An outstanding guide !

    This book is really excellent. I'm often having to take clients out for dinner and am unsure about which wine to order. Oldman's guide is unbelievably helpful--covers all aspects of wine ordering and tasting, and tells you precisely the information you've been looking for. I've been searching for a book like this for years!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

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    Posted February 11, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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