Bluff your way in wine

Want a quick read on the basics of wine, but you only have half an hour? Or do you have a wine snob friend who you want to tease a bit? If so, then the "Bluff your way in wine" book is for you. Written by an expert who has a long history of real wine knowledge, the book is accurate, but lighthearted and fun.

Bluff your way in wine The book is geared not towards truly educating you on fine wines, but instead giving you the code words and key behaviors of a narrow-minded "wine snob". It's sort of like an etiquette manual for an Archie Bunker wannabe, for someone who wants to spend time with him and not say the "wrong thing".

To start with, the book is only 55 small pages, if you don't count the table of contents and glossary. The book is geared towards someone who doesn't have to remember details, and just wants the basics to survive a cocktail party full of "only my way" winos.

For example, the book says there are three types of wine - red, white, and rose "which is to be avoided". Some wine lovers might point out that there are many rose wines of value, but certainly, if a reader of this book turned his or her nose up at any White Zinfandel, many wine snobs would applaud this behavior.

One of my favorite sections describes the use of decanters. Apparently "the aim is to make the performance resemble a Black Mass." The candle is used "to induce ceremonial atmosphere."

The book goes over the basics of wine tasting, and how to describe a wine, all in a light-hearted, humorous fashion. Keep in mind, though, that the book is made for wine snobs, and not wine lovers. For example, the section on Chardonnay says, "The world's No. 1 white grape, it also tends to taste roughly the same wherever it is grown." Any Chardonnay fan will tell you this is far from the truth.

The ending section of the book, on key producers and winemaking regions, is also in need of an update. The glossary is full of interesting asides - the description for "vin de table" reads, "wine which will drink you under the table."

A fine book for lighthearted reading, or for a prank for a wine snob. For someone looking for complete information on wines and regions, I'd go with one of the other books created for that purpose.

Author: Harry Eyres
Publisher: Ravette Books
Price: $5.95
ISBN Number: 1853048852

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