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on April 25, 2006
The wine club is such a great concept -- there couldn't be a more rewarding way to learn about wine than to share it with friends and be guided by a CIA grad and certified sommelier. Petrosky certainly has the notches on her belt to be a true wine snob, but she so smartly chooses not too. Her friendly voice and candor indicate that at some point in her life she too walked the first steps of learning about wine -- and therefore knows just the way to teach it to the rest of us! This book should be handed to everyone on the occasion of the purchase of their first bottle of wine. It is a great guide book to the rite of passage that is wine drinking.
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on October 31, 2005
With the glut of "how-to" wine books written by stuffy wine experts, Petrosky's book is a breath of fresh air. She's able to couch solid wine information in a fun, non-threatening package. She takes you through a year's worth of wine club gatherings with numerous hints, insights and facts not just about wine, but about how one might improve their life through friendships and camaraderie. She shows readers how much fun wine can be and that no one ought to be threatened by it. Oh and there are a ton of great recipes accompanied by solid techniques and serving suggestions that speaks to her experience as a chef and expertise on hospitality for contemporary lifestyles. This book opens the door to a world of wine enjoyment for anyone who's drinking the same-old, same-old Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay and is just slightly curious about the greater world of wine.
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VINE VOICEon January 28, 2009
I rated this book 4 stars rather than 5 because it lacks any pictures whatsoever and the print is hard to read. Otherwise, it is a must have. The print is dark purple on recycled paper and then the headings are written in a bold font with every other letter being regular font. It was distracting and almost seemed childish to have been typeset this way. There are also no actual pictures, just drawings.

The book is divided into each month featuring a different varietal. The months are: January, champagne; February, cabernet; March, syrah; April, merlot; May, viognier; June, riesling; July, chardonnay; August, sauvignon blanc; September, dessert wines; October, Zinfandel; November Pinot; December, pick your poison. So basically all the big grape types are covered.

So far I have done the June and August tastings. For June the chapter explains all the different types of Rieslings. The author suggests having a tasting with a German Mosel wine, both Kabinett (dry) and Spatlese (less dry), an Alsace, France Riesling, upstate New York, California and then adding a ringer of a Gewurztraminer. The chapter goes on to explain what to look for in a Riesling, its typical characteristics, body, and finish. The food pairings are coconut frozen yogurt, sushi rice, salmon nigiri, spicy tuna sushi rolls, california sushi rolls, and vegetable sushi rolls. All recipes are provided. It was absolutely awesome. I invited 8 friends to share in the tasting and everyone loved it. We're now committing to doing it every month and we're using this book as a guide. It went over so well that friends over Christmas wanted to have the sushi and rieslings all over again.

The next month we did the Sauvignon Blanc wines. I didn't follow the order of the book and you don't have to. For the S.B. I purchased a Pouilly-Fume, New Zealand, oaked and unoaked S.B. from California, and then a Chile and South African S.B. for the tastings. What I like particularly about this book is that you don't have to buy specific wines. It has suggested "regions," which makes it easy to find wines. So many wine tasting books have specific wines listed and you can no longer find those wines. This book is superb along those lines.

For the food, the recipes provided were fresh corn soup, blueberry ginger sorbet, grilled shrimp with tarragon dipping sauce, lemon meringue, spicy chicken and chile quesadillas, and juicy tomatoes. I loved the grilled shrimp and we've since had that again. They were delish.

I would definitely recommend this book. I also tried Wine Food & Friends by Karen MacNeil and it was too high brow. The recipes were too upscale for a casual gathering and the wines suggested were specific and high dollar. This book is geared more for the beginner who just wants to have some friends over and sample some wines. Your price point is whatever you want it to be. This book would be a great gift given with a bottle wine.

The book seems geared for women showing all women on the cover and even comparing it to a book club. I think the book did itself a disservice by focusing on only women. This book is for everyone.

I also purchased Wine Mondays: Simple Wine Pairings with Seasonal Menus and those recipes were not simple and not everyday. Skip that book altogether.

I also tried Everyday Dining with Wine by Andrea Immer and it was broken down in similar categories as The Wine Club: A Month-by-Month Guide to Learning About Wine with Friends but the recipes were more complicated. It had similiar wine descriptions but the recipes for the Sauvignon Blancs were seared shrimp and chorizo bites, coconut milk curry shrimp soup, tarragon and mustard crusted scallops, and mussel salad with seared avocado dressing. So as you can see a completely different style of food. It would be up to you to decide which is more your style.

Both books are excellent. The Everyday Dining book also had print that was hard to read, it was red and green on white paper. It's paper is high gloss so it was a little harder to read because of the glare. The Everyday Dining book also had specific wine suggestions rather than general regional suggestions and it also had different price points which was nice.

Overall, The Wine Club, is a great book.
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on April 4, 2006
Petrosky's approach to learning about wine is fun and inviting. I gave this book to a friend of mine for her bridal shower and she loved it. She started her own wine club and this book is her bible. It's a must buy!
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on May 1, 2006
Whoever picks up this book will love it! I work in a bookstore and many people come in looking for great books on wine for themselves or for gifts. There are many wine books out there, but none like the "Wine Club". This book is fun, informative, and a purchase you won't regret making!
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on November 2, 2005
I admittedly know little about wine, but I love to cook and I love to host gatherings with friends...This book's premise is so great! I love the author's tone and am learning so much and I haven't even had a club meeting yet! I am psyched to start a wine club and get my girls together...Great recipes, great information, and no intimidation. What a concept!
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on March 24, 2006
I have to give this author props! She knows her stuff and makes it fun! I bought this for 10 of my closest girlfriends. This makes a great "girls night in" gift!
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on December 21, 2005
The thing I love best about this book is the author's total lack of snobbery. So many times wine is made inaccessible to people because of the seeming exclusivity of the groups who enjoy it. This is not the case with The Wine Club. It is fun and easy to read and makes me want to find friends, sit down and enjoy a glass! I love the personal stories of discovery and wish other wine publications had as much heart AND information as this one! I highly recommend it!
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on March 21, 2006
Maureen Petrosky writes fresh, funny prose filled with information that will be valuable for all levels of wine appreciation, but particularly for beginners. Her style and procedure are no-hassle, designed to reduce the fear-factor that enters so many people facing rows of bottles in the retail store. Her month-by-month guide runs smoothly through all sorts of wine and food concepts. A great gift book.
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on April 15, 2006
I've bought several copies of this book to give to friends and it's been a big hit with every one of them. Also, as a non-drinker, I know NOTHING about wine, so this book has helped me to make good choices when bringing wine to parties and family gatherings.
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