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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That Board book – October 15, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 322 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Look Inside Essential Scratch and Sniff

Review

"Smart, fun, enlightening, and refreshingly free of snobbery."
Real Simple

"The master sommelier Richard Betts’s clever new scratch-and-sniff book is likely to broaden the novice’s appreciation of wine, explaining how aromas relate to different varietals.... A useful chart that ties bouquets to wines is tucked inside."
—Florence Fabricant for The New York Times

"Fiendishly clever."
Food & Wine

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Product Details

  • Board book: 22 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Mus Brdbk/ edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544005031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544005037
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book Verified Purchase
A scratch and sniff guide to wine? Really? It seemed like a silly concept at first. Then I thought about how many times I have heard other drinkers talking about what they smell in their glasses while I felt a little left out.

This book instantly made me smarter about wine. From identifying the range of fruits in the nose to understanding more about how the wood barrels and the dirt affect the scent, I learned so much.

In the back is a fold out map to the understand the smells of the entire wine world. You start in the middle and "sniff" your way out to the edge learning how to identify the types of wine you like most.

I love this book. Keeping it close by as I open more bottles and definitely picking up copies for friends. Highly recommend.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I've had other wine books before but frankly, they were so complicated I needed to pour myself a glass of wine just to keep reading. This funny, engaging and quick scratch and sniff book was fantastic. Who knew a Master Sommelier could (or would) use such a humorous format to share his passion to the masses of us who enjoy wine. This book is enjoyable even after a few drinks. It would be great at a get together with a few good bottles uncorked to educate yourselves with while your reading. Thanks Richard Betts!
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I've been tasting--and drinking!--wine for decades. My friends tend to think of me as something of a connoisseur. But when I read descriptions like "undertones of rose petals beneath burnt shoe leather" I roll my eyes.

This book, on the other hand, oversimplifies, decomposing wine into a handful of aromas. I think that's a good starting point, and I applaud the author for cutting through the crap of wine puffery. But there is another level or two of subtlety beyond this book, and it won't make you an "expert".

In format it's a 22 page board book, much like you'd give a small child. But the text, as well as the subject, is grown up. It walks you through the basic categories of wine smells--the biggest components of taste--and lets you "scratch & sniff". As such, it's a great starting point for understanding wine.

What's peculiar is that while the author does noble service in cutting through the pretense that surrounds--and inflicts--wine tasting and wine descriptions, he feels the need to posture his brief, otherwise excellent, introduction as a guide that will make readers experts. In that, he's actually pretentious in attacking pretension.

If you are a beginner trying to understand what wine people are talking about, this book is a good starting point, as well as a good corrective to snobbery. But it's not an expert guide.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Most of the reviews have described this book as a great gift but I actually wanted it as learning tool. I am a newbie to the world of wine and I'm trying to improve my palate.

I don't mind that it looks like a child's pop-up book because the information is very good. For example, I didn't realize that only certain red-color fruits are found in red wines, that is, the author explains that you won't find lemon or pineapple in red wines. This is news to me because I thought any fruit aroma was game to appear in any wines. Narrowing the field for me helps, but this is where the author stops short! On the page where he talks about red wine, there is an illustration of the fruits and then the scratch and sniff thing, but not one mention of the fruits! There are illustrations of cherries and what looks like strawberries, but not one fruit is mentioned by name, even though the title of this section is "What fruit do you smell in red wine?" It would have been nice to be able to name some of the fruits.

By far the most disappointing part is the scratch and sniff. They were just too faint to get any sense of what I should be smelling. If the picture weren't there, you'd have little idea what you were smelling. With many of the illustrations in the book there are quarter-size, clear stickers on top that supposedly carries the aroma. At first I thought I was supposed to remove the stickers and the smell would be underneath, but I think there would have been instructions if that were true. Not every illustration has a sniffer. In all, these are the aromas that are available in this book: pear, mixed fruit, red fruit, black fruit, stone fruit, another pear, vanilla, dill, dirt, leather, bacon, butter, and grass. Towards the end Mr.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I found out about this book through friends associated with the folks responsible for the book coming into existence. I started out doing the normal thing that friends do in supporting their creative projects and immediately realized that the book is of incredible value and exceptionally fun to boot. The idea of taking something as complex as wine and simplifying it into the format of a children's book for adults is amazing and the execution outstanding. A 21-page book teaches everyone how to understand the most important things about wine, where all of it comes from, and the nuances that train your palate to favor one kind over another (and what it means). This is a whole new generation of "for dummies" that really makes everyone into a knowledgeable wine expert in their own right in short order. Bravo!
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