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Wine For Dummies Paperback – August 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 5 edition (August 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118288726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118288726
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The fast and easy way to demystify and enjoy wine

Wine enthusiasts and novices, raise your glasses! The #1 wine book has been updated! If you're a connoisseur, Wine For Dummies will get you up to speed on what's "in" and help you take your hobby to the next level. If you're a newbie, it'll clue you in on what you've been missing and show you how to get started in the wonderful world of wine.

  • Wine 101 — discover which grapes are used in winemaking, the basic types of wine, how wines are named, and how to properly taste wine
  • Pour your heart out — find out how to shop for wine, decode restaurant wine lists, remove those stubborn corks, and pair wine with food
  • Visit the old world — take a tour of the major wine regions of Europe: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, and Greece
  • Get in with the new — adventure to Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa, and then take a look at the major wine areas in the United States
  • Catch the wine bug —get the lowdown on how to describe and rate wines, store wine properly, and pursue your love of wine

Open the book and find:

  • How to decipher cryptic wine labels
  • Hands-on info on how to pair wine with food
  • How to open, aerate, and store wine
  • Where to get deals on great wines
  • Tips on choosing wines that please your palate
  • How to taste and rate wine like a pro
  • Plain-English explanations of wine terms

Learn to:

  • Understand grape varieties and wine styles
  • Decipher wine lists and wine labels
  • Appreciate wines from around the world
  • Select, store, open, pour, and enjoy wine

About the Author

Ed McCarthy, CWE, is a regular contributor to and Beverage Media. Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW, is president of the International Wine Center in New York. Together, they are the authors of many For Dummies wine guides, including Italian Wine For Dummies.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about wine.
Miss Meow
If you have an uppity wine snob friend and just want to know what the heck he/she means when talking about Barolo, then this is a good book.
Christopher Barrett
The book has a lot of information on wine and it is very interesting.
David Bradshaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By JET on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall this is a good book, worthy of a four star review. The reason for my two star review is because of Chapter 7, Confronting a Restaurant Wine List. This is the one chapter that obviously is written by people who don't have experience in the area they are talking about and didn't bother to consult with people who do before making some bold assumptions. This chapter is full of misinformation, negative assumptions, and directions on how to conduct yourself in a restaurant that if followed, make for a less enjoyable dining experience. In short, this chapter tells you to be infuriated by a lot of things that are just standard restaurant protocol.

I have worked in fine dining restaurants as a server and captain for many years. Ordering wine at a restaurant and talking shop with the server or sommelier once you have some wine knowledge is a fun part of the experience for all who are involved. It is a shame that this book has the potential to ruin that for its readers by putting a negative spin on a lot of things that are just normal happenings with restaurant wine lists and dinner service. So I'm going to quickly address some of the points:

1. It starts by saying that it is infuriating that wine lists sometimes only tell you the name and price and that sometimes they won't have the wine you ordered in stock that night. Well, if a wine list with 500 bottles had an extra two lines describing each bottle, the list would be so overwhelming and take forever to get through. You could have 50 Cabernets in a row that all say "Notes of chocolate, leather, cassis and tannins". You're going to judge the wine by the familiarity with the producer, vintage, region and questions you ask your server.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MussSyke TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book loosely reminds me of some sort of Zen riddle. Presumably, one might be reading this to "keep up" with some pretentious friends, but yet being caught reading a book that is "for Dummies" is somehow the opposite of pretension. Even I struggled with this before ordering: although I have an interest in wine, I'd want to smack anyone whose swirling looked a little bit overdone. This is why I like the Italians BTW (who I learned everything I know from): they even make fun of the American and French sommeliers and wannabes for taking it too seriously.

Anyway, this book really gets the tone right, and for that I give it my gratitude. They often tell you to think for yourself, there are no right answers in many cases, you don't always need a bottle to be expensive, etc. And yet they don't hold back on the info - there's tons to learn at every page turn, even for someone that thought they knew a lot already.

I also have the Oxford Companion to Wine, and the contrast is almost comical. But oddly, I believe the average casual learner with a short attention span could easily learn as much from this book.

My complaints are that generally they give too much space to American wines, not enough to Argentina/Chile, and Italy could always use more space. Further, Italy is Piemonte/Toscana-centric, to include the wine ageing charts in the back. And speaking of those charts, they should have a big disclaimer saying they are for use in whatever year, otherwise they are out of date.

Oh, another stupid thing is how the glossary takes babying you to new extremes: it mentions how "nutty" means to have hints of nuts, and other obvious absurdities like that. Hey, but it does say "for Dummies".
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JohnnyC VINE VOICE on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am really pleased with this book. Now in its fifth edition, it is plain to see why the "Dummies" series continues to update and publish this title.

As with all "Dummies" titles, it is written in a down-to-earth, engaging manner, with a few jokes here and there to keep things light. I actually appreciate the writing style of these authors more, though, than others in the series, because their jokes and cracks are not forced. Sometimes it gets annoying when an author just tries his or her hardest to convince the reader how funny he or she is. Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan are gifted, natural writers, whose prose is conversational and accessible, as well as entertaining.

This book is extremely informative. From dissecting the nuances in wine labels, to listing the types of grapes in European place-name wines (Burgundy white is chardonnay!), to providing a run-down of the various types of wines around the world (focusing on the most popular countries of origin), Wine for Dummies delivers what you would expect and more.

I particularly appreciated the attitude of the authors. It's clear they are wine experts, and appreciate the lingo and the mood surrounding fancy, high quality wines. They encourage readers to pursue that route if they are inclined to do so, but underscore their main point repeatedly: wine is to enjoy, how you enjoy it. That is to say, you need to buy what you enjoy drinking. It is more enjoyable when you are able to understand how that beverage you enjoy was made, where it came from, and are able to describe it in meaningful ways to share with others.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys wine and is looking for an easily readable, informative companion to begin their wine education.
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