Wine For Dummies (Anglais) Broché – 14 septembre 2012
Les clients ayant acheté cet article ont également acheté
Descriptions du produit
Quatrième de couverture
Biographie de l'auteur
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre adresse e-mail ou numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
En savoir plus sur l'auteur
Dans ce livre(En savoir plus)
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
I have worked in fine dining restaurants as a server and captain for many years. Ordering wine at a restaurant and talking shop with the server or sommelier once you have some wine knowledge is a fun part of the experience for all who are involved. It is a shame that this book has the potential to ruin that for its readers by putting a negative spin on a lot of things that are just normal happenings with restaurant wine lists and dinner service. So I'm going to quickly address some of the points:
1. It starts by saying that it is infuriating that wine lists sometimes only tell you the name and price and that sometimes they won't have the wine you ordered in stock that night. Well, if a wine list with 500 bottles had an extra two lines describing each bottle, the list would be so overwhelming and take forever to get through. You could have 50 Cabernets in a row that all say "Notes of chocolate, leather, cassis and tannins". You're going to judge the wine by the familiarity with the producer, vintage, region and questions you ask your server.
The wine you ordered could be a bottle that customers rarely order, but randomly the previous night a large party ordered all the bottles in house and the restaurant had to place an order and wait 3 business days to get more. It happens no matter how nice and on top of things a restaurant is. It's not because they don't care, forgot to place an order, or just didn't bother to update the wine list, as the book suggests.
2. They also tell you to ask your server how long the bottle of wine has been opened if you decide to do wine by the glass. They say that no wine is fresh enough to serve the next day. Well, in reality all decent restaurants keep track of when their bottles were opened and gas their wines at night or have them hooked up to machines that air seal the wine. If it tastes old, you can ask your server about it. But don't automatically ask every single time you order a glass of wine. That's just tacky and a good way to kill rapport early on in the dining experience. If you do ask, ask them to check with the bartender on when the bottle was opened. Don't just expect them to know the exact time that all 22 wines by the glass were opened.
3. This chapter also tells you to be upset if only one wine list is presented to the table and demand more because that is an "outmoded convention". Wine lists are big books that restaurants don't have as many of as they do menus. Usually even though a discussion happens, one person decides on the bottle. The server isn't trying to be sexist or old-fashioned. You can ask for another list, but don't waste energy being negative over something that isn't insulting. You'll be annoyed every time you go out to eat before you even get water service if you expect your server to automatically assume everyone needs a copy of the wine list.
4. "Be aware of low to high pricing". This part tells you to be insulted by a wine list that presents the wines in ascending order from lowest to highest price. They say this is done to make you feel guilty and buy more expensive wine further down the list. That is a ridiculous assumption that has 0% base in reality. It's simply not true. People have a price range and a varietal in mind when they walk in. It makes it so much easier for them to look at different wines in their range right next to each other than to be flipping back and forth between pages trying to remember the wines in the same price range.
5. Wine prices versus retail. When you're going out to a nice restaurant, if you sit there and price out how much potatoes cost at Safeway versus your baked potato, a bottle of Absolut versus your two martinis, etc., you'll drive yourself crazy and not enjoy your meal. Yes, restaurants have higher price margins on their wine and liquor, but that is how the business model works, period. Keeping a restaurant profitable is very difficult and they're not doing it to gouge customers.
6. Wine service. There is a section that actually is called "Wine List Power Struggles". It tells you that servers often don't give you enough time before they come back to the table. You need to stand your ground and don't let the server bully you into making a hasty choice. Well, the server comes back to the table after a few minutes to see if you have any questions and then gives you more time. They don't do it to pressure you. Once again, this book is dangerously planting an idea in it's readers minds that could make a dining experience go south from the beginning. If servers always gave every guest 10 minutes to look at the wine list, they would have a lot more customers upset over slow service than they would happy guests who appreciate the extra time to look over the list. If you always expect 10 minutes of uninterrupted time and feel pressured if the server returns after a few minutes, you'll always be disappointed. But it's just standard service.
This part also encourages being insulted if women are poured first and if the server tries to refill your glasses instead of letting you pour yourself. If that really is something that bothers you, not just because you read it in the book, then politely tell your server you like to pour for yourself once the bottle is open. But don't wait for him/her to try and then act insulted because they tried to do something that is standard restaurant protocol.
Other than this chapter, it's a great book for touching the surface on all the basic aspects of wine knowledge. They just dropped the ball in the restaurant chapter.
Anyway, this book really gets the tone right, and for that I give it my gratitude. They often tell you to think for yourself, there are no right answers in many cases, you don't always need a bottle to be expensive, etc. And yet they don't hold back on the info - there's tons to learn at every page turn, even for someone that thought they knew a lot already.
I also have the Oxford Companion to Wine, and the contrast is almost comical. But oddly, I believe the average casual learner with a short attention span could easily learn as much from this book.
My complaints are that generally they give too much space to American wines, not enough to Argentina/Chile, and Italy could always use more space. Further, Italy is Piemonte/Toscana-centric, to include the wine ageing charts in the back. And speaking of those charts, they should have a big disclaimer saying they are for use in whatever year, otherwise they are out of date.
Oh, another stupid thing is how the glossary takes babying you to new extremes: it mentions how "nutty" means to have hints of nuts, and other obvious absurdities like that. Hey, but it does say "for Dummies".
As with all "Dummies" titles, it is written in a down-to-earth, engaging manner, with a few jokes here and there to keep things light. I actually appreciate the writing style of these authors more, though, than others in the series, because their jokes and cracks are not forced. Sometimes it gets annoying when an author just tries his or her hardest to convince the reader how funny he or she is. Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan are gifted, natural writers, whose prose is conversational and accessible, as well as entertaining.
This book is extremely informative. From dissecting the nuances in wine labels, to listing the types of grapes in European place-name wines (Burgundy white is chardonnay!), to providing a run-down of the various types of wines around the world (focusing on the most popular countries of origin), Wine for Dummies delivers what you would expect and more.
I particularly appreciated the attitude of the authors. It's clear they are wine experts, and appreciate the lingo and the mood surrounding fancy, high quality wines. They encourage readers to pursue that route if they are inclined to do so, but underscore their main point repeatedly: wine is to enjoy, how you enjoy it. That is to say, you need to buy what you enjoy drinking. It is more enjoyable when you are able to understand how that beverage you enjoy was made, where it came from, and are able to describe it in meaningful ways to share with others.
I would highly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys wine and is looking for an easily readable, informative companion to begin their wine education.
I enjoyed the first half of the book where it speaks about the various different types of wines and how to buy wine as well as how to pair it. They talked of restaurants, glasses, storage etc. That's what I was looking for. I never found a list of the various flavors you are likely to find in wine. It only skated on the surface in this case.
The sections about wine from various locations left me with a bad taste in my mouth. France and Italy were well covered. I only read part of those sections on this Chateau and that Chateau, as this section was more on how this was legally managed than about the wines. However they did talk about the best wines from the best area. I figure I will bone up on that if and when I need it, as there are some French wines that I would like to try. However when New world wines were considered less than two pages covered wine from NY state....Really? I don't think that serves anyone well. There are some wonderful wines from NY state.
In the section on storing wine, they mentioned using inert gas to do this or putting in ½ bottles.
To be honest, I have never in my life (and I'm over 50) seen a ½ bottle, nor a means to save a bottle of wine using an inert gas. I do have one of those vacuum gadgets for storing wines. They make no mention of doing that. Since they don't even comment, I wonder how old this section is.
They talked further about storing wine and buying it to do so. That section did not interest me so I didn't read it.There was also a section on Champagne, sparkling wines and fortified wines where I hunted and pecked around. This book is good for that. You can read it in bits and pieces and it stands up.
As I have recently started drinking wine more, attended many tastings, including some courses, this book was a nice foray into a subject matter that is fun to research. The book also recommends other books that can further your education. I might just look some up.
I would consider this book as a light but broad touch on drinking wine. Though, I felt it lacked in the in depth details in some cases (tasting, food pairing and storage) and had too much on the legal aspects on wines in France, Italy and Germany.