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The Wine Savant: A Guide to the New Wine Culture [Kindle Edition]

Michael Steinberger
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Entertaining and edifying. . . . [Steinberger] deftly shows how any and all of us can be savvier about wine.”—Bill Ward, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Today’s dynamic wine culture calls for a different kind of wine book. The Wine Savant is just that: punchy, polemical, and brimming with insights to educate and entertain beginning wine drinkers and seasoned oenophiles alike.

Never has the wine world had so much to offer, and never have smart decisions about value, quality, grape, and season been so difficult to make. In The Wine Savant, Michael Steinberger tramps through the world of contemporary wine—from three-buck Chuck and bucket-list Bordeaux to bottle speculators and biodynamic wineries—to give the inside scoop on the key concerns facing the new generation of wine lovers:

• Why is California suddenly cool again?

• What’s really the difference between a 95-point wine and a 94-point wine?

• Why is Burgundy ascendant and Bordeaux suddenly so passé?

• What’s a biodynamic wine, what’s a natural wine, and should you care?

• Do food and wine pairings still matter?

Featuring expert buying guides—including the New Kings of California and the World’s Great $25-and-Under Bottles—and tips on tough-to-pair cuisines like Indian and Japanese, The Wine Savant is the perfect guide to today’s often-bewildering realm of choice: ferociously opinionated and committed body and soul to enjoying every glass.

Editorial Reviews


“Opinionated, insightful and written with authority, verve and humor.” (Douglas Brown - Denver Post)

“Deftly shows how any and all of us can be savvier about wine.” (Bill Ward - Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“Anecdotal and heartfelt . . . with personal perspective that fits alongside the work of, say, Kermit Lynch.” (Jon Bonné - San Francisco Chronicle)

“Starred review. Educational, entertaining information on navigating the world of wines.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The author’s opinions, wit, and honesty enliven the writing.” (Peter Hepburn - Library Journal)

About the Author

Michael Steinberger is a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award winner and the author of Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine, and the End of France. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair and is the wine writer for Men’s Journal. Previously, he was the wine columnist for Slate.

Product Details

  • File Size: 974 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393349772
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (December 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CF2M978
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,116 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By PeterB
I read many wine books to learn and make better choices. I found this book to be one of the most refreshing, readable and informative of any wine book I've read over the past year or two. Steinberger does a great job of commenting and explaining his thoughts on a wide range of contemporary topics. Everything from wine glasses to the Parkerization of wine (of whom he's no fan). He discusses his favorite wineries (Santa Cruz Mtn in CA), explains biodynamics, the changing role of sommeliers and why matching wine to food is becoming such a challenge. The writing is breezy and unpretentious and fun. Steinberger seems like someone you'd like to meet and share a bottle of wine with.

Some of the content was taken from the author's writing on Slate, but I never knew of it and the book flows well, not as just compendium of columns. The book is relatively short, 175 pp, but I learned more from this book than many much bigger.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Informative Read (with great Lists) December 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is written for both oenophiles and those of us who just want to know more about wine. It is not a primer on wine, its a deliciously opinionated assessment of the current state of the wine industry (see previous review for detail on content). Steinberger completely rags on over-priced Bordeaux, but instead of leaving it at that, offers lots of great suggestions for better picks (focusing on affordable $20ish wines!!). To support his claims, he provides interesting history of various wines, and little factoids that, yes, I will steal to amaze my friends and colleagues :-).

One really nice thing he offers in the book is lists of suggested wines - by type, and a great list of 50 wines that should be on your bucket list. This is particularly nice to have if you get the Kindle version - just call it up next time you're at the wine store. The book also has one of the most detailed Indexes I've ever seen - great for referencing. I'm not a wine savant, so I have no clue whether his recommendations are good, but given his bio in the back of the book, it appears he has the chops to make such bold assertions.

Even if I weren't interested in wine, I think I'd like reading this book because of the author's brash yet self-deprecating attitude, combined with his wicked vocabulary. I found myself smiling throughout the book as he whipped out words, phrases, and puns that I haven't come across in years. I'm guessing that's an occupational hazard for wine guys.

Overall, a fun read with great information and it'll pay for itself with the next couple of bottles I buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breezy, fun, and fulfilling read! December 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great informative brief on the world of wine. I like the fact he recognizes that French viticulture remains the ontological standard of wine while recognizing globalization is creating new centers of excellence and altering global palates.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So great April 24, 2014
By Review
Format:Kindle Edition
One of the best wine guides ever written, and funny, too. I absolutely love it. It's really helpful whether you're buying wine in a store or ordering it in a restaurant. Highly recommend it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! June 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quite different than most other books in this field, touching upon lot of subjects, all highly relevant to every wine savant, well written and entertaining.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if repetitive. June 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very uneven, with some chapters filed with great information, and others that read like an advertisement for the author's favorite producers. Seriously, how much did Ridge vineyards pay him to get mentioned one per chapter!
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