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  • Fear of Wine
  • Written by Leslie Brenner
    Illustrated by Lettie Teague
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780553374643
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Fear of Wine

An Introductory Guide to the Grape

Written by Leslie BrennerAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Leslie Brenner
Illustrated by Lettie TeagueAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lettie Teague

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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!


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 RosÚ
Domaine Chandon Etoile or Brut
Mumm Napa CuvÚe Napa
Au Bon Climat Chardonnay
Calera Pinot Noir
Chalone Pinot Noir
Bonny Don Vin de GlaciÞre
Preston Muscat Br¹lÚ
Leslie Brenner

About Leslie Brenner

Leslie Brenner - Fear of Wine
A finalist for the Prix Médicis, the coveted French award for fiction, and a winner of the Versailles World Cookbook Fair Award, Brenner has also received a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for her magazine writing. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is a contributing editor for Travel & Leisure.

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