Wine for Dummies by Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy
In Wine for Dummies, Mary Ewing-Mulligan teams up with hubby and fellow wine educator Ed McCarthy to guide us on an exhaustive, entertaining trip around the enological--that's right, enological--world. Though clearly experts themselves (Ewing-Mulligan is one of a handful of Americans holding the rare title Master of Wine), the authors assure us that even the most basic knowledge will undermine the very notion of wine pretension. It's as simple as this: "This wine is named for a grape variety. This wine is named for a geographical region. When they make this kind of wine, it goes into this kind of bottle." And so on. By providing the context in which to begin exploring wine, Wine for Dummies can easily become the send-off for a lifelong education. McCarthy and Mulligan deflate many of the wine snob's attitudes; they assure us that most wine sold today is "good wine," and that any further distinctions made about wine are ultimately subjective. The practical, jovial mentoring the authors provide encourages readers to chart their own course toward drinking great wine (although the authors naturally recommend dozens of their own favorites along the way). In later chapters, McCarthy and Mulligan delve into more serious topics such as investing in and cellaring wine. Even these discussions seem appropriate, given that you'll probably find the allure of wine growing as its mystery subsides to the force of this superb introductory text.