Drinkology WINE Review
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It’s a typical situation. You find yourself in a restaurant, looking down at the wine list. Or you find yourself standing in the middle of your local wine shop, staring at the endless bottles of wine. You’d like to be able to pick out something nice—with a moderate price tag to match—but, admit it, you don’t know the first thing about wine.

That’s where Drinkology WINE comes in. In the introduction, Waller starts with a few promises. First, he promises not to assume that the reader knows anything about wine. Not a thing. And he promises to focus on wines in a moderate price range, for the average drinker (as opposed to the wine collector). And, for the most part, he sticks to his promises.

The book starts with the basics—the vocabulary. And after reading the first chapter, you’ll feel more knowledgeable already, tossing around words like “varietals” and “vintage” and “frizzante.” Then you take the next step: touring along with Waller through a vineyard and a winery, to learn about the process.

Next, you get into the details—and this is where you’ll want to get out your highlighter and a pen and paper (I often regretted not reading this book with a highlighter in hand). Waller goes on to describe the main varieties of both red and white wines (with some rosés and sparkling wines thrown in as well)—and gives some advice about which ones to try and which ones to avoid. And he ends with a trip through your local wine shop, traveling from one winemaking country to another.

Drinkology WINE may look a little overwhelming at first—like an austere, gilded wine Bible. But Waller does an excellent job of putting readers right at ease. There’s nothing really snobbish about this guy (and not once will you be reminded of Frasier and Niles from Frasier). His style is light and relaxing, with even a little bit of humor thrown in from time to time. That’s not to say, of course, that the book isn’t still overwhelming at times. With all the different varieties and vintages and wine-makers to cover, how can it not be? But Drinkology WINE does an excellent job of making such a vast topic feel a little more manageable.

After reading this book, I can’t say that I feel like I’m an expert, but I definitely feel a little more knowledgeable. Even more importantly, I feel more confident about stepping into the wine shop—or choosing from the wine list. And that’s a big step in the right direction.

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