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Wine Secrets [Kindle Edition]

Marnie Old
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Inside Tips from Top Wine Experts
Michael Mondavi, Jacques Pépin, Gina Gallo, and Kevin Zraly are just four of the contributors to Wine Secrets—a compilation of tips and tricks from today’s top wine experts, with advice on everything from buying and tasting to cooking and pairing. Readers will discover:
     •  How to find the best wines by sticking to the classics
     •  How to judge whether a wine is “good”
     •  How to act like you know what you’re doing when ordering wine
     •  How to guesstimate wine style from packaging clues
     •  How to taste wine like a pro
     •  And much, much more!

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sommelier Marnie Old is one of the country’s top wine and beer educators. She teaches for New York’s Astor Center and Philadelphia’s Temple University and has served as the director of wine studies for Manhattan’s French Culinary Institute. Her first book, He Said Beer, She Said Wine, is a lively and entertaining debate on which drink pairs best with food.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1083 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (August 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HW7E0G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,944 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended for Waitstaff September 16, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Most wine books are terribly written. There's a reason for that. We have too many wines and too few adequate concepts to communicate exactly what to expect from them -- something impossibly complicated by the fact that each and every food will alter the experience of the wine it's paired with.

The state of wine knowledge is especially difficult for the waiter. His job is to communicate clearly and quickly, to summarize, clearly explain and help the guest make the right decision. Yet those who make explaining wine their business are, perhaps by nature, attracted to endless detail, fascinated by the differences in terroir yielded by south facing limestone slopes versus north facing limestone slopes. Even if I shared their interest, as a waiter I don't have time for it.

Enter Wine Secrets. Marnie Old has assembled winemakers, chefs and sommeliers to tackle all the important issues. More importantly, she's has edited them into precision and focus. She's given me concise ways to describe almost every issue that will come up at the table in a way that illumines rather than obfuscates. Every waiter should have this book.

Guests too.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one you're looking for. November 6, 2009
For the past ten years, I have gradually come to appreciate a good glass of wine, but recently came to the realization that I had actually LEARNED very little. I could discern some obvious points about dryness and such, but I had absolutely no grasp of the basics of wine tasting and varietals.

What I was looking for, essentially, was a compact yet in-depth, accessible yet technical review of wine in general. Something that would cover the basics of tasting, region, production, etc. There are certainly a lot of options out there (including some 400- and 500-page textbook-like behemoths), but Wine Secrets fit the bill above and beyond anything else. The book is a portable hardcover gem that provides the perfect level of detail for any newcomer or lazy novice (like myself.) If you feel at all intimidated by some of the more expansive standards like Zraly and Parker, this book is your launching point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nifty little book January 16, 2014
This is just what I needed; clear, simple, concise info about wines. Lots of practical & interesting knowledge. The chapter headings get me right to what I need to know.

I can appear far more wine-savvy than I used to be...because I really am now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday gift for a wine connoisseur December 23, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A gift for my husband. He's enjoying it. He says it is well written, and he has learned some interesting information about wine.
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More About the Author

Marnie Old is one of the country's top wine educators and Philadelphia's highest-profile sommelier. She is an engaging and dynamic speaker, widely recognized for her intuitive explanations of complex wine topics. Her first book was the acclaimed He Said Beer, She Said Wine, published in April 2008, a lively and entertaining debate on food pairing with co-author Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Marnie and Sam have appeared on the Today Show and NPR's 'Here & Now' and have been featured in Food & Wine and Real Simple magazines. Marnie's second book Wine Secrets, a collection of down-to-earth wine advice from 40 leading wine experts, will be published in September 2009 by Quirk Books.

Teaching is Marnie's passion. Formerly Director of Wine Studies for Manhattan's renowned French Culinary Institute, she is a lead educator for Astor Center, New York's newest wine education facility. Marnie also teaches regularly for Philadelphia's Temple University and served as the founding education chair for the American Sommelier Association. Best known for her innovative presentations on wine, she also lectures on beer, spirits, hospitality and service.

Marnie is a familiar face in Philadelphia, where she hosts Philly Uncorked, a popular series of weekly wine webisodes on Her weekly wine column in the Philadelphia Daily News will debut in October 2009. Marnie served as the beverage columnist for Philadelphia Magazine from 2002 to 2008. She is a beer columnist for luxe lifestyle website and a contributing editor for Sante magazine. Features on Marnie have run in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New Jersey Courier-Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Her events have been highlighted in USA Today and the New York Times. She is recognized internationally as an expert wine commentator, most recently by MSNBC, the Wall St. Journal, Real Simple magazine,, Time Out New York and the UK's Fine Wine Press.

Marnie's popular website is a vibrant learning resource for those interested in wine, with over 2000 consumers in her database.

Marnie launched her independent consulting venture, Old Wines LLC, in 2001, serving restaurants, consumers and corporate clients. She has advised world class organizations, like ResidenSea's opulent ship The World, as well as independent start-ups and non-profits. In New York, she has consulted on wine lists at Morimoto, the legendary Iron Chef's luxurious newest restaurant, and its sister property Buddakan. She has designed ten of Philadelphia's most dynamic wine programs, most recently for legendary restaurateur Stephen Starr's smash hit French bistro Parc, for Chef David Ansill's small plates destination Ansill and for top designer Owen Kamihira's seductive Spanish tapas lounge Bar Ferdinand.

Marnie spent five years as sommelier of Philadelphia's leading seafood restaurant, Striped Bass and as Executive Beverage Director for its premier restaurant group, Meal Ticket Inc. Among the many distinctions earned by her creative wine lists, Food & Wine Magazine has twice honored her wine programs as ranking among the country's "Ten Best New Wine Lists", first for a cutting edge all-Italian wine list at Avenue B in 2001 and again in 2005 for an innovative seafood-oriented wine list at the newly revitalized Striped Bass.

Marnie has earned expert-level credentials from internationally-recognized organizations; she has passed the rigorous Level III Advanced Sommelier exams given by the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds the respected Advanced Certificate from the London-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust.


Morimoto (NYC)
Buddakan (NYC & Philadelphia)
ResidenSea's The World

Parc (Philadelphia)
Rouge (Philadelphia)
Bar Ferdinand (Philadelphia)

SEI Investments

Astor Center (NYC)
French Culinary Institute (NYC)

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Camphill Village - Kimberton Hills

The Wharton Club
Oregon Wine Advisory Board
Crystal Cruises

Pittsburgh Wine Festival
Sante Restaurant Symposium

"Marnie is the ultimate sommelier: she is a terrific palate with razor-sharp technical skills, a fun and 'get-it-done' teacher that puts it all in plain language and a pro that you can count on. She teaches for us at the French Culinary Institute and we couldn't do without her. The students - from all walks of life and knowledge-levels - love her and her work."
Andrea Immer Robinson, M.S.
French Culinary Institute, NYC

"Marnie is so down to earth - no-one feels stupid when they're talking to her about wine. Her choices are always delicious and affordable. In fact, if I'm not careful, she could make me look cheap!"
Bill Cosby
Consulting Client


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