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Drink This: Wine Made Simple Hardcover – November 24, 2009


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Drink This: Wine Made Simple + Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier + The Wine Bible
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345511654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345511652
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It’s all about the grape, stupid! No, that’s not an entirely appropriate tone to set in identifying the basic premise of this welcome and enjoyable book. Indeed, as James Beard Award–winning wine writer and restaurant critic Grumdahl avers and asserts throughout her knowledgeable and buoyant text, wine is all about how and where grapes are grown. But never in this perfectly accessible course in wine appreciation is the author’s attitude toward the reader anything but supportive, considerate, and sympathetic to the intimidations inherent in being conversant in the language of wine. She admits she found understanding wine overwhelming at the outset of her career, and this admission underscores her careful explanations of how to negotiate wine lists in restaurants, build your own wine collections, how and with what to serve various wines, and how to comprehend the layouts of wine shops. Competence is what she seeks to instill in her readers, and her own is obvious from the first page. Her “teaching” method is based on her belief that “what you like is the only thing that matters. It’s your taste.” The book’s format is attractive and comfortable, adding to its appeal. For all active cookery collections. --Brad Hooper

Review

"If you haven't lived with reading Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl every week, you have missed the reason why we humans have opposing thumbs. They're there so you can keep turning her pages. With Dara doing a wine book, the days are over of buying bottles because the labels match your home team colors. Be bamboozled and intimidated no more. Dara is about to give you the best and easiest kind of wine smarts, and gift you a good read in the bargain." —Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table®, public radio's food show from American Public Media (NPR)

"Most wine books have left me feeling like I am bringing a knife to a swordfight, completely underprepared. Not this one. Drink This is what I've been waiting for. Finally, a must-have book for the vino-challenged! For over a decade I have relied on Dara Grumdahl's insight and common sense wisdom regarding all matters related to food and wine, and now luckily, so can everyone else with this helpful, funny and accessible guide to determining your favorite wines." —Andrew Zimmern

"Dara Grumdahl is right about absolutely everything. If she calls me up at four in the morning, says 'Get dressed, get some money—and a gun—you'll need it where we're eating,' I don't ask any questions. I just go." —Anthony Bourdain

"Dara Moskowitz's writing comes across immediately; it also gets under your skin. Whether writing about restaurants, food, wine, travel, art, literature, music, architecture—or all of those things in a single piece—she is always writing about a milieu, the manners, expectations, fears, and desires of a particular place and time. She is alluring and instructive; as much as Pauline Kael or Lester Bangs. Her work shows what a critic can do and what she can be." —Greil Marcus

"Straight-forward, clearly organized and ambitiously witty, [Drink This]  makes reading about wine fundamentals interesting again. Includes many "conversations" with bigwigs in the industry, provocative sidebars, and a clever "what's to love/hate" approach to major grapes. —Epicurious.com

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Customer Reviews

Fun writing style.
Lynette
Drink This is great for someone who wants to take their understanding of wine to the next level.
A. Chism
It's a perfect first book about wine.
A. Barron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Braley on December 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago Dara wrote a food column with step-by-step instructions for learning the concept of "dry". Several friends and I had a blast (aided by 6 bottles of wine and as many beers) as we compared wines, beers, cheeses, fruits and crackers to get an in-depth understanding of dry. At the time, we wished Dara would do more of this type of writing. Now she has. I assembled my friends together again and we started with the Zinfandel chapter. As one friend said after the Zinfandel was gone, "I could have learned this in a class, but this was much more fun." It was also educational. By following Dara's instructions, I finally can taste pepper, cinnamon or blackberries in wine. We are already planning our next wine tasting party. Read This.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sam Davis on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unlike so many wine books -- which usually give lots of current vintage recommendations, but don't really help you to understand how to understand your own preferences -- this book gives you a foundation from which to build your personal wine knowledge. Even if you've been piecing it together on your own for years, this little tome puts it all together in one place, and presents a logical, practical and fun method for exploring. The novel "tasting marker" idea is one I've never heard of, but it works beautifully. The insights into history and wine production are invaluable, and it's all presented in the author's signature cheeky style. (There are more than a few laugh-out-loud moments in each chapter.) When I was first drinking wine 20 years ago, I acquired several wine books, which are mostly worthless now because the recommendations in them are dated. This is a timeless wine book that will be just as relevant and informative in 20 years as it is right now.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A. Barron on December 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for myself and then went out the next day and bought three more for gifts. It's a perfect first book about wine. It answers all kinds of questions like "is it ever okay to put ice in your wine" in a clear and non-condescending way, plus it gives you a good explanation of some major types of wine. But mostly I appreciate how it helps you be able to explain what you love about wine, what flavors you enjoy, not what someone else dictates. It's also witty and fun to read. Moskowitz is a restaurant reviewer in Minneapolis and her writing is always a pleasure. I would probably read anything she wrote. Thank god her first book is about wine and not lutefisk (look it up).
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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David H. Lawson on January 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Basically, information in the book is good for a beginner as long as the beginner sticks to her method of learning to taste wine; that is try 2 wines of the same variety from different wineries at a lower, middle and upper price level. There are, however, serious errors of substance in the book, and she is very parochial, in her choice of wines, seemingly to be in love with Napa and Sonoma wines and French and Italian wines, with a few Australian wines thrown in. She completely or almost completely ignores California's Central Coast wineries and those of Southern California, Oregon vineyards and most Washington vineyards. One of her serious errors is that, she states that Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris is a spontaneous mutation of Pinot Noir when in fact Pinot Grigio/Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and 10 other grape varieties that are used to make wine are crosses between the "Pinot" prototype and an obscure vine called Gouais Blanc. That was determined by Dr. Carole Meredith, professor emeritus at the University of California at Davis , by means of DNA typing and has been known since the early 1990's.

She, also, denigrates the wines that are available at Costco and Target Stores. I cannot speak to the quality of wines at Target Stores, as I have never shopped for wine at Target, but I have shopped at Costco. While the Australian "critter wines" are most available, I have seen wines from boutique wineries in California, such as, Opolo and La Crema vineyards, and larger wineries such as Hahn. She, in addition, calls Hahn, a "bottom shelf" wine; however, I don't believe that a winery that has won 27 gold medals for their wines in one year should be called a "bottom shelf" wine.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A group of us bought this book and have had fun getting together to discuss highlights of each chapter and taste the wines featured. We met after work and brought foods to go with that chapters wine. Fun writing style.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For someone wanting to go a little deeper in their appreciation and knowledge of wine, this is a very good choice. It has plenty of information and guidance without being over the top.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the way the author speaks to the reader about the subject of wine, and how one goes about getting into the subject.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Wert on December 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was first found in our library and we checked it out so many times you would have thought we owned it-noe we do. Great reference book
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