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California Wine For Dummies Paperback – April 20, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed McCarthy, CWE, is a wine columnist for WineReviewOnline.com and for 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 the perennial bestseller Wine For Dummies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470376074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470376072
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sharon Kapnick on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Like actors who are perfectly cast, the husband-and-wife team of Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan are the ideal pair to write the "Dummies" wine books. Ewing-Mulligan, the first female MW (Master of Wine) in the U.S., is president of the International Wine Center in New York City and U.S. director of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Both are Certified Wine Educators with many years of teaching experience between them. They know how to organize a book and bring clarity to a subject. And they know their subject backwards and forwards--as well as sideways and upside-down.

"California Wine for Dummies" is especially good at presenting the nuts and bolts: the regions (including the American Viticultural Areas [AVAs]) and what they're known for, the varietals, the six star grapes, the up-and-coming grapes and the supporting cast. Blends, rosés, sparkling and dessert wines are also featured. "Pairing and Sharing California Wines" presents vital information on food-and-wine matching, vintages, aging and collecting. Sidebars include subjects like advice for travelers, glassware, serving temperatures, producers that deserve special attention, how to taste wine like the experts do, etc. The authors don't always agree on everything and occasionally offer his and hers opinions.

As you probably know, California produces a wide gamut of wines, from the plebeian to the divine, with prices ranging from $2 to $750. The authors guide you to the most reliable producers at all price levels. Although it's not always easy to find delicious, inexpensive California wines, their Top Value recommendations feature some lovely wines that cost less than $12 or $15.
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Format: Paperback
Our first wine loves were Californian. While we have since taken a virtual trip around the world through tasting grape varietals from outer reaches of the globe, Ed McCarthy & Mary Ewing-Mulligan's CALIFORNIA WINE FOR DUMMIES is a delicious homecoming. Meticulously researched and thoughtfully written, this book is an ideal overview to the pleasures of America's #1 wine state. Highly recommended for all wine book collections.

CALIFORNIA WINE FOR DUMMIES - Table of Contents

Part I: The Big Picture of California Wine
Chapter 1: Introducing California Wines
Chapter 2: What's in the Bottle
Chapter 3: Decoding the Label
Chapter 4: California's Major Wine Regions

Part II: The Headliners
Chapter 5: Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc
Chapter 6: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Their Blends
Chapter 7: Pinot Noir
Chapter 8: Zinfandel

Part III: More Reds, Whites, Pinks and Bubblies
Chapter 9: Pinot Grigio, Rhone-Style Whites, and Other California Whites
Chapter 10: Syrah, Petite Sirah, Other Varietal Reds and Red Blends
Chapter 11: Bubbly, Rose, and Dessert Wines

Part IV: Enjoying California Wines
Chapter 12: Pairing and Sharing California Wines
Chapter 13: Making a Winery Pilgrimage

Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 14: Answers to Ten Common Questions about California Wine
Chapter 15: Ten Top Travel Destinations and Attractions
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By jwing on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great overview of California wines. It is written in a very friendly tone. Read this before your next wine tasting trip and you will be armed with knowledge to make the most of your experience. California Wine for Dummies helped to take my knowledge of wine to the next level.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're well seasoned novice or an old pro, this book is entertaining and informative. I origianally bought it as a reference book, researching for a book I'm writing, but soon found myself in the wine aisles of a local liquor store testing out many of the wines talked about in the book. Easy to understand and enjoyable as just a read.
C. J. Parker
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This book is OK, but I thought it would be a little more in depth. It's partially my fault as I spent the last year going to school for wine to obtain my sommelier certification. The problem was that we did not spend much time on US wine, or new world wine at all for that matter. Turns out I was very very familiar with the information already with minimal exposure. Too much time spent on travel tidbits. I wanted a good foundation of all the regions and subregions, but this book doesn't really focus on wine knowledge. I guess it's more of a consumer handbook, with lots of producers and recommendations. This information is also a very important aspect of wine knowledge. I am happy with the book anyway. The price is good, and it does have lots of tidbits of information. In the context that it is a "Dummy" book, I would highly recommend it.
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This book was well worth the money. It really helped me understand how to read a wine bottle and the regions of California. Well worth the money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first starting learning about wine about 10 years ago. I have found this book very informative, written in layman's terms, and is to the point. I use it frequently. I just wish there would be annual updates on the wine recommendations, maybe via a subscription that I would gladly endorse!
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