"One of today's finest wine journalists, GeorgeTaber once again gets the scoop before it hits the headlines. First it was the JUDGMENT OF PARIS. Now it's the news that, amid all the woes ofthe Great Recession, there's one thing worth celebrating: more great wine onthe market at bargain prices than anyone ever thought imaginable. A TOAST TO BARGAIN WINES tells you whyandwhere to find them."
Tilar Mazzeo, author of The Widow Clicquot
“A timely, interesting, educational approach to today’s wine picture. Wine still makes a feast out of a meal, but in times of not so plenty we will enjoy a bottle that is more reasonable. This tome is a must-read for wine lovers as well as the trade.”
Margrit Mondavi, Vice President of Cultural Affairs at Robert Mondavi Winery
“There's been a mutiny in the wine world, and for years, George Taber has been camped out in the trenches with the contrarians who have been drinking snobbery under the table: the rogue masters of wine, the behavioral neuroscientists, the bargain-wine tycoons, the guerrilla consumer advocates. With the intimate precision of a world-class journalist, Taber has woven their stories together into a larger narrative about the demise of conventional wisdom in an industry that has been dominated by dusty elitism for centuries. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand wine's newly changed landscape—or who simply wants to drink better for less.”
Robin Goldstein, author of The Wine Trials and director of the Center for Sensory Economics at the Culinary Institute of America
"A must-read for wine enthusiasts, especially those on a budget." Kirkus
Taber, a James Beard Award finalist, established himself as an excellent wine history writer with his previous books, including Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine. Though this book is about bargain wines, Taber gives readers a short history of the production, sale, and consumption of wine. He covers the dubious importance of gold medals awarded to wines and the worth of recommendations from wine critics and sommeliers, and he introduces wine revolutionaries. The second half of the book is a guide to the best values in dozens of wine varietals from all over the world, including 400 wines priced under $10. At the end of each varietal section, Taber lists his favorite splurges (over $10). He also offers bargain recommendations by regions of the world, from Argentina to Washington/Oregon. VERDICT From tourists to party planners, readers will find this book—part profiles of important people and places and part buyers' guide—convenient and practical.—Ann Weber, Bellarmine Coll. Preparatory, San Jose, CA
A well-researched exploration of an often-overlooked sector of the international wine business: bargain wines. We are living in "the golden age of wine," writes Taber (In Search of Bacchus, 2009, etc.), an assertion most easily proven by the abundance of high-quality, inexpensive wines on store shelves today. New producers in the industry such as Australia, Chile and the United States have increased global competition; as a result, wines at the low end of the price spectrum (specifically $10 or less) have improved greatly over the past few decades. Taber begins by dispelling the myth that expensive wine is automatically better by relating a few stories of red-faced wine tasters and some of their epic blunders throughout history. He goes on to target the "gold medals" and other awards given to wines at various tasting festivals. The verdict: So-called "wine experts" are inconsistent at best, and what one deems gold-medal quality, another could deem unpalatable. The author encourages amateur wine enthusiasts to trust their own taste, go with what they like and not be too concerned with experts and awards. Taber shines brightest in the book's second half, an exhaustive guide to bargain wines broken down by style and region. A must-read for wine enthusiasts, especially those on a budget.