The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide by Leslie Sbrocco | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Simple and Savvy Wine Guide: Buying, Pairing, and Sharing for All

Simple and Savvy Wine Guide: Buying, Pairing, and Sharing for All

by Leslie Sbrocco
     
 

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When Leslie asks her audiences what types of information they want in a new book, the overwhelming response is a portable compilation of top picks. Leslie Sbrocco's Simple and Savy Wine Guide is packed with all kinds of glance-and-go lists for everything from what wine to drink with Thai take-out, to wines perfect for drinking in a bubble bath. Leslie also

Overview

When Leslie asks her audiences what types of information they want in a new book, the overwhelming response is a portable compilation of top picks. Leslie Sbrocco's Simple and Savy Wine Guide is packed with all kinds of glance-and-go lists for everything from what wine to drink with Thai take-out, to wines perfect for drinking in a bubble bath. Leslie also offers up an entire section based on her popular concept of wine makeovers, in which she takes an expensive wine and offers a similar tasting, less expensive version.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060828332
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/17/2006
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.88(d)

Read an Excerpt



The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide



Buying, Pairing, and Sharing for All



By Leslie Sbrocco


HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.



Copyright © 2006

Leslie Sbrocco

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0060828331


Chapter One


Wines by Mood


This section focuses on celebrating with wine whether you're getting married, throwing a casual party, or going on a picnic. Toasting an anniversary or heading out on a first date? Take a suggestion from my Sexy Wines roundup. Stressed-out and dreaming of sipping bubbly while soaking in suds? See my recommendations for Bathtub Wines. Feeling like a vinous trip around the world or checking out the hottest spots for new wines? Thumb through my Virtual Vacation Vinos or Hot Spots for ideas. Grab your mood ring and see what you feel like tonight.

Wedding Wines

Selections to Celebrate the Big Day

It's the big day and everything has to be just right. So whether you, your parents, or your future in-laws are footing the bill, here are wine ideas to help out. My picks range from bargain options to luxury selections that meet the following criteria:


  • They overdeliver in the quality department but aren't overexposed

  • Are generally available in restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets

  • The packaging -- from bottle to label -- is attractive and appealing


If your wedding reception is to be held at a restaurant or hotel, you can select wine from their list or ask if you can bringin your own. If you choose the latter, you will usually be charged a corkage fee, which ranges from zero to $20-plus per bottle depending upon the venue. It covers staff services and stemware.

Look for . . .


  • Bubbles: Nothing signals celebration and pleasure like sparkling wine. Bare minimum, you'll need at least one glass per person for cake cutting. Think about serving sparklers throughout the meal, as well as offering white and red wine.

  • Whites: For crowd-pleasing wine that goes well with a variety of food including appetizers, fish, and chicken, I recommend a fruity Sauvignon Blanc and lighter-styled, crisp Chardonnay.

  • Reds: My favorite choice is elegant Pinot Noir because it's so food-friendly, but it is often expensive. Another top pick is a juicy Cabernet Sauvignon or smooth Bordeaux-style blend (which includes a varying mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petite Verdot). This last option satisfies those looking for fuller-bodied reds, but because the hallmark of these blends is suppleness they work well with dishes from chicken to steak.


Want more picks? Check out: Holiday Spirit, Twice-the-Price Wines, Bathtub Wines, Summer Wines, Spring Wines

Picnic Picks

Portable picks for al fresco fun

The great outdoors is calling, and it's asking you to bring wine. Whether you're camping, picnicking, or attending a block party, these fun wines are the ideal beverage to tote along. All of them represent the hottest trend in wine these days: alternative packaging. From jugs to single-serve plastic bottles, tubes, to Tetra Paks, screw caps to Zorks, wine packaging is going hip. Wine-savvy drinkers are embracing these innovations with a passion. My Picnic Picks meet the following criteria:


  • First and foremost, they have to taste good. These are all well-made wines.

  • They look hip and are portable. Many selections come in traditional bottles as well as single-serves, magnums, or boxes.

  • Prices are modest enough to stock up.


Look for . . .


  • Whites: You'll find mostly familiar varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. A number of brands are going upscale and offering great quality in creative packaging.

  • Pinks: If you shun pink wine, you're missing a lot. There are sweeter versions and dry versions. Blush wines -- often indicated with the word white (i.e., White Zinfandel, White Merlot, White Shiraz) -- all fall on the lightly sweet side of the scale. When well chilled the sweetness is less apparent. Dry pinks will often say "dry" on the label or be called rosé.

  • Reds: Think Zinfandel, lighthearted Merlot, and Shiraz.


Want more picks? Check out: Twice-the-Price Wines, Off-the-Grill Wines, Summer Wines, Snack Attack Party Food

Party Wines

Twelve bottles under $10 to please any crowd

When you're having a party, you need to load up on inexpensive wines. Here is a case of top picks that meet the following criteria:


  • Are widely available in grocery and wine stores.

  • Are focused on the most popular wine types.


Look for . . .


  • Whites: Despite the ABC movement (anything but Chardonnay), Chardonnay remains the favored white wine in America. Look for wines from South Eastern Australia and California for deals. Fruity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc is also a crowd-pleaser.

  • Reds: Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is hot these days. Look to Australia for well-priced options. Try soft and juicy Merlot from Washington State and California Zinfandel.


Want more picks? Check out these lists: Holiday Spirit, Twice-the-Price Wines, Summer Wines, Picnic Picks

Girls' Night In

Celebration of femme fatale wines

Book Club and Bunco nights are often just an excuse for a group of friends to get together to drink wine and talk. Whatever the reason, how about spending a night celebrating the femmes fatales of the wine business? The majority of wine consumers are female, yet women represent a minority in winery boardrooms and cellars. That's changing all across the wine world, though, so let's raise a glass to these amazing women . . . and their wines.

My picks range from bargain options to luxury selections that meet the following criteria:


  • They are top-notch examples of region and type.

  • Wineries are either owned by women or the wines are made by women winemakers.

  • The brand honors a woman in wine.


Sexy Wines

Belly-button sippers from syrah to sauternes

Wine has been the elixir used to lube relaxation gears and induce romance. So whether you're proposing marriage, going on a first date, celebrating an anniversary, or just kicking back on a Saturday night with your sweetie, try uncorking one of my belly-button sippers. My picks range from bargain options to luxury selections that meet the following criteria:


  • Have an exotic quality that stimulates your senses.

  • Are attractive to admire in the glass and intensely aromatic.

  • Sport a sensuous, fleshy, mouth-filling texture.

  • Look for . . .


Continues...




Excerpted from The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide
by Leslie Sbrocco
Copyright © 2006 by Leslie Sbrocco.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet the Author

Leslie Sbrocco is the award-winning author of Wine for Women and a regular wine columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work has appeared in publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine; Family Circle; Redbook; and Working Mother. She is the host of the Emmy-nominated show Check Please! on PBS and appears regularly on national radio and television including the Today show and CNN. In addition to her writing and television work, Sbrocco is a nationally recognized speaker and wine consultant for the Kimpton Hotel Group. She lives with her family in Sonoma County, California.

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