Although enjoying a good glass of wine is easy, all the types, costs, and confusing labels can make shopping
for a bottle pretty hard. For the typical wine consumer, buying guidance--in the form of critics' 100-point scores and elaborate tasting reports of rare and exclusive bottlings--isn't much help. That is why I wrote Andrea Immer's Wine Buying Guide for Everyone
. It is your road map to the real
world of wine buying--from restaurants and hotels to supermarkets, price clubs, wine shops, and websites. Here is what you'll find inside:
Real-World WinesThis guide showcases more than 400 of the most popular and available wines on the market
. That includes everything from supermarket stalwarts to trade-up labels to superpremium "restaurant" brands (with plenty of boutique pedigree but without the you-can't-get-it frustration). Putting it plainly, if the wine is in your favorite neighborhood shops and eateries, at your supermarket or Costco, Olive Garden or Walt Disney World, Marriot or Carnival Cruises, Delta Airlines or wine.com, it's probably in this book.
Wine Reviews from the Trenches
I am indebted to the many consumers and wine pros who helped assess, for each of the wines in this book, what really matters to buyers at the point of purchase--taste and value for the money. For each wine, you'll also see their real-world reaction, as well as my impressions of how the wine stacks up in its grape or style category and in the marketplace overall. My tasters also contributed write-in candidates to the list of wines, and I've included those that received the highest number of positive mentions and have decent availablity. There's also space in each listing for your notes, so you can keep track of the wines you try. (I hope you'll share your impressions with me for the next edition--read on to see how.)
Other Helpful Buying Tools in the Guide
Throught the Immer Guide
, I've included simple tools to address just about every major wine buying question I've ever been asked. They are:
Best-of Lists--a quick reference to the top performing wines in each grape or style category.
Andrea's Kitchen Fridge Survivor™ and Kitchen Countertop Survivor™ grades--"How long will a wine keep after it's opened?" Having heard this question more than any other from my restaurant customers and wine students, I decided several years ago that it was time to find out, so I started putting every wine I tast professionally to the "fridge/countertop test." The resulting report card should help both home wine drinkers and restauranteurs who pour wine by the glass and make the most of the leftovers, by simply recorking and storing red wine on the kitchen countertop and storing recorked sparkling, white, and pink wines in the fridge.
Immer Best Bets--This is the book's "search engine" of instant recommendations for every common wine occasion and buying dilemma, from Thanksgiving wines to restaurant wine list best bets, party-crowd pleasers, Blue chip bottles to impress the client, and more.
Wine List Decoder--This handy cross-reference chart will help you crack the code of different wine list terms, so you can quickly and easily find the styles you like.
Great Wine Made Simple Mini-Course--Mini lessons covering wine styles, label terms, glassware, buying wine in stores and restaurants, and other housekeeping details to simplify buying and serving wine, so you can focus on enjoying it.
I had been in the restaurant wine business for more than a decade before I wrote my first book, Great Wine Made Simple
. Having studied like crazy to pass the Master Sommelier exam (the hardest wine test you can imagine), I knew there were lots of great books out there. So why another? Because as I worked training waiters and budding sommeliers, I had begun to see that in practice those books weren't much help. Wine, like food, golf, the saxophone, and so many other sensory pursuits, is something you learn not by studying but by doing. So Great Wine Made Simple
teaches wine not through memorization but the way I learned it--through tasting. It works, its fun, whether you are just a dabbler or a committed wine geek.
Similarly, I intend this guide to fill a gap. Most people around the country buy wine based on price and convenience. And whether it's restaurant guests, live callers on my Food Network and radio appearance, or e-mail from readers of my Esquire
column, they all have the same questions: What are the good, cheap wines? And which wines are really worth the splurge? This buying guide is the first to answer those questions realistically, featuring wines and tastes in the broad marketplace, along with plenty of shrewd pro advice to help you make the most of every wine purchase. Food is one major way to do that, so as a professionally trained cook I've included lots of pairing pointers.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Excerpted from Andrea Immer's Wine Buying Guide for Everyone by Andrea Immer. Copyright © 2002 by Andrea Immer. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.