We're kicking off a new feature at Wine Adventure Journal - book reviews! Each month we'll present a new title that will be of interest to those who love wine, food, travel and the world of adjacent amusements. We're getting started with an educational and very funny primer on the subject of enjoying wine and becoming a scratch and sniff wine expert: The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide To Becoming A Wine Expert by Richard Betts.
Don't take lines like "wine is a grocery, not a luxury" and "we've all got a great schnnoz" to mean the information contained in this book is not serious or useful. Richard Betts is a Master Sommelier and winemaker who is very much a wine expert (check out his My Essential Wine web site). If you've taken the WSET-1 training course (as I did at Napa Valley Wine Academy), you'll recognize most of the information. Topics include:
- What's a good wine?
- A road map to wine tasting (taste and smell)
- Flavors to be found in wines
- What gives wine its characteristics
- Where wine is grown and made (Old Word, New World)
Use this book as a primer to the world of wine or as a reference or refresher course if you've drifted away from the basics. It can also be used to tell bed time stories to adults with insomnia (though it will probably make them want a glass before turning out the light).
A great gift for novice and future wine lovers. Buy this book!
Here are a few page shots taken as the book was leaning against my desktop wine refrigerator at Wine Adventure Journal base camp.