Finally, A Wine Book Roundup That Doesn’t Include My Books!

It’s true! I can actually talk about wine books that aren’t mine, I swear! My pile of wine book media samples has been piling up here at 1WD HQ, not because I haven’t found anything worthy to recommend (quite the opposite, in fact), but because, well, it just didn’t feel prudent to offer critiques of other people’s books while I was busy promoting the release of my own. It just felt like a huge invitation for Karma negativo.

But enough time has wound by since my books were released that I think we’re in the safe zone for a handful of wine book reviews, and so I give you four recent releases that I think are worth a look (and maybe some of your hard-earned cash):

Hugh Johnson’’s Pocket Wine Book 2021 (Mitchell Beazley, $16.99)

At this point, I have pretty much run out of things to say about this small-but-mighty tome, which I recommend every year because, simply put, it has no equal in the wine world in terms of packing as much useful information as possible into as small a format as possible. Every serious student of the vine should have this pocket book.

If you don’t yet own a copy, or haven’t refreshed your edition in a few years, you should pull the trigger on this one, ASAP. For 2021, Johnson devotes the books glossy latter pages to the topic of terroir, and in his inimitably British way, he pulls no punches (e.g., there is a small section entitled “How to kill your terroir”).

How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers), (Princeton University Press, about $15)

Finally, A Wine Book Roundup That Doesn’t Include My Books!

How to describe this little delight? Simultaneously one of the strangest, most endearing, and surprisingly useful wine books that you’re ever likely to encounter, How to Drink is a translation of Latin epic poem written in a sort of ancient Greek style by Vincent Obsopoeus, first released in the 1500s in Bavaria.

If that combo isn’t odd enough for you, the entire thing is meant as a treatise on how to drink without succumbing to the pitfalls of drunkenness; and, if you do happen to get drunk and/or get involved in drinking games, how to manage those scenarios, as well. I am, I suspect, failing miserably right now in trying to relate then cleverness and readability of this updated, modern translation of the work of a talented poet of whom you probably have never heard before… just buy it, you won’t be disappointed!

The Goode Guide to Wine: A Manifesto of Sorts by Jamie Goode (University of California Press, about $19)

Finally, A Wine Book Roundup That Doesn’t Include My Books!

Never has a wine book had a subtitle that so accurately describes its contents. A collection of musings from longtime wine writer Jamie Goode, who has a PhD in plant biology and, therefore, tends to do his best work when explaining wine in more scientific terms. Is this gathering of wine advice tidbits his best book? Probably not, but it is his most accessible. Somehow, despite a premise that could easily have devolved into arrogant mansplaining, and a penchant for utilizing sentences so short that it suggests a phobia against punctuation, this book manages to come off as friendly, informed, and useful.

The Sommelier’s Cookbook: Recipes and Wine Pairings for Discerning Palates by Joanie Métivier (Rockridge Press, $24.99)

Finally, A Wine Book Roundup That Doesn’t Include My Books!

Full disclosure: I was asked by the author, who I was lucky enough to meet and hang out with during some of my wine media travels, to provide an endorsement for this book (which also happens to share the same publishing house as my recent books). So with that in mind, I’ll refrain from a detailed review, and only tell you in a friendly way that if you’re in the market for a cookbook that has wine at the center of its beating spiritual heart, this is one to put high on your list. The style is accessibly straightforward and knowledgeable, the layout and photos are excellent, and the recipes look (to my untrained eye, anyway), pretty damned delicious.

Cheers!

Upscale your palate! My new books are now available from Rockridge Press!

Copyright © 2020. Originally at Finally, A Wine Book Roundup That Doesn’t Include My Books! from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Let’s Peddle Some Books, And Get Buzzed (Joe on Leslie LIVE!)

Last week, I had the fortunate honor to be the guest on Leslie LIVE!, the new lockdown-inspired live broadcast by fellow wine judge and author Leslie Sbrocco. I’ve had the fortunate honor to have known and judged wine competitions with the lovely Leslie for a decade, and she wrote a touching and thoughtful endorsement of the Wine Taster’s Guide (for which I still owe her several cocktails!).

You can check out our wild, woolly, and wine-soaked interview on Instagram, in which we drink (of course!) and go into details about my recently-released books – if anything, it’s a brief respite from arguing about politics online!

Speaking of the books, a brief update on that front: they managed to spend several weeks among the top ten new releases in Amazon’s Wine Tasting category, with reviews well above 4.5 stars, so thanks to yo all! Also, if you’re signed up for Kindle Unlimited, you can already read the Wine Taster’s Guide for an additional cost of $0.00 (you lucky dog, you).

Where you can grab the books:

My wines from our virtual soiree:

Cheers!

Upscale your palate! My new books are now available from Rockridge Press!

Copyright © 2020. Originally at Let’s Peddle Some Books, And Get Buzzed (Joe on Leslie LIVE!) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Warning: Old Men Drinking Cheaply (Talking the New Books with Wine Curmudgeon)

A quick hit today to let you know that my friend, colleague, fellow wine competition judge, blogger, and author Jeff Siegel was kind enough to have me as a recent guest on his podcast over at winecurmudgeon.com.

In our discussion, Jeff (who shares my postmodern view that the enjoyment of wine by the person drinking it is more critical to the wine tasting experience than any expert quality assessment) grills me about the ins and outs of both of my new books. You can listen to our brief convo at any of the links below.

And while you’re at it, do yourself a favor and order a copy of Jeff’s excellent book!

https://www.winecurmudgeon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/joer.mp3

Cheers!

Upscale your palate! My new books are now available from Rockridge Press!

Copyright © 2020. Originally at Warning: Old Men Drinking Cheaply (Talking the New Books with Wine Curmudgeon) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Get Ready to Shove Some Wine Down Your Face! (Wine Taster’s Guide Official Release!)

Time to get your drink on, people!

My new book, Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings, has as of this week (specifically, July 21, 2020) been officially released. 30 is a lot of tastings, so I hope that your livers have been properly trained for this!

This is the “main” book in my twin set of new releases, with the accompanying the Wine Taster’s Journal having had its official release on July 7, 2020. So there’s much to celebrate in 1WD land this week, including the fact that both books have, at one point, managed to hit the #1 New Release position in Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list in the Wine Tasting category.

Get Ready to Shove Some Wine Down Your Face! (Wine Taster’s Guide Official Release!)

Quite a bit of ground gets covered in Wine Taster’s Guide, including overviews into what we deemed the most important grape varieties that a newbie wine lover is likely to first encounter. Since I’m allowed to do this sort of thing as it’s my book and all that, here’s an excerpt of two such entries. Longtime 1WD readers will have a knowing sly smile about this, as I’m known to be a Gamay fanboy:

Get Ready to Shove Some Wine Down Your Face! (Wine Taster’s Guide Official Release!)

Apparently, kids help sell books according to my publisher, so here’s my kid’s official reaction to the new book (ok… whatever…):

Finally, I asked a few friends in the wine biz to offer pro review blurbs, and lucky for me those people liked the book; here’s what they had to say about it (I promised to pay them only in drinks, by the way!):

“Joe breaks down the components of tasting wine in clear concise language, offering suggested tastings to help understand how it all works. He makes understanding wine simple with the Wine Taster’s Guide.” ―Eric V. Orange, CEO and Founder of LocalWineEvents.com

“Bravo! Wine Taster’s Guide is a perfect primer for both wine novices and learning enthusiasts. Joe’s mastery of the topic, clarity of writing, well organized and thoughtful approach, and wit make its whole far greater than the sum of its parts―like a delicious cuvée from Bordeaux. A must-read for any aspiring wine lover.” ―Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier and President of Full Circle Wine Solutions

“I’ve been writing about wine for two decades and Wine Taster’s Guide is one of the best books I’ve seen in years. Appealingly brought to life with photos, maps, and tasty tips, it’s a must-read for those who enjoy sipping and want to learn more. Covered with compelling precision from regional overviews to savvy wine picks and thoughtful tasting sessions, the overwhelming subject of wine is brought to life through Joe’s wit and wisdom. Begin your tasting journey with this impressive book in one hand and a glass of delicious wine in the other.” Leslie Sbrocco, Author and PBS Television Host

If you grab the book, I’d love to hear what you think!

Cheers!

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

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Copyright © 2020. Originally at Get Ready to Shove Some Wine Down Your Face! (Wine Taster’s Guide Official Release!) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

We’re #1… and #2! (Wine Taster’s Journal Officially Released!)

Yesterday, the first of my two new books officially became available. You can now have Wine Taster’s Journal: Drink, Rate, Record, and Remember shipped right on over to you, no waiting!

Technically, this is the second of my two new books, as it’s the companion piece to  the much longer Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings. I’ve no idea why the Journal was released before the Guide, though certainly it can stand on its own and doesn’t require the Guide to be a useful tool  itself; but I’m not a book publisher, so I’m going to just shut up about it now and trust the people who know a lot more about it than I do.

Additionally, I’ll be popping the corks on something nice to celebrate the fact that during pre-orders both the Journal and the Guide have, at various points, hit the #1 and #2 slots for Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Wine Tasting category.

We’re #1… and #2! (Wine Taster’s Journal Officially Released!)

We’re #1! And #2!

Pretty sweet!

If you grab a copy, my publisher and I (but mostly my publisher) would love to have you write a review of the book on Amazon (excellent chance to  heckle me there)…

While the Journal predominantly consists of repeating pages of a handy form for collecting wine tasting details, there are some actual words crafted by yours truly in there, too. Here’s a brief example of some of the book’s handiness:

We’re #1… and #2! (Wine Taster’s Journal Officially Released!)

Image courtesy of, well, me

In this case, a snippet of the Journal’s handy tasting rubric for which I’d love to take credit all on my own, but truth be told my fantastic editor collected a good portion of the flavor and aroma terms, and it could be argued that I merely edited her excellent work. So maybe she deserves a co-writing credit? Oh, well, too late; I definitely owe her a few bottles of wine.

Here’s what some of my wine industry friends had to say about the Journal  (thanks, again, guys!):

“In his inimitably energetic and knowing way, Joe has not only demystified wine tasting here, but he’s done so in a manner that applies just as much to the seasoned collector as to wine lovers who are new to the grape. The Wine Taster’s Journal belongs in everyone’s cellar or next to their wine rack… preferably wine-stained, dog-eared, and well-used.” ―Brian Freedman, wine/spirits/travel/food columnist

“The best way to get better at anything is to take advice from an expert and then practice, practice, practice. Joe Roberts’s Wine Taster’s Journal helps wine lovers do both of those things, by encouraging them to discover exactly what it is that attracts them to the wines they like. Whether you are new to the wine scene or are trying to elevate your game, the instruction and exercises in this book will help you get better.” ―Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, “The World Wine Guys,” co-authors of Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the Fifty Essential Varieties and Styles

“Joe knows wine. Wine is a beverage―it shouldn’t be fussy, and journaling about it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Not only does Joe provide a useful catalog of specific words that describe flavors and aromas in wine, but he has smartly designed this journal to make it easy and simple to recall the wines you liked best in your wine journey. You may be new to wine or a seasoned veteran; either way the Wine Taster’s Journal will help focus your attention so that you get the most out of wine.” ―Michael Cervin, wine author and judge

I’d love to know what you think of the book(s), even if you hate them (before you ask, I’m not contractually obligated to say that)!

Cheers!

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

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Copyright © 2020. Originally at We’re #1… and #2! (Wine Taster’s Journal Officially Released!) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

How I Almost Didn’t Write a Book

While I’ve much still left to report on from the last Portugal jaunt, as well as the result of a flurry of remote tasting events in the wake of Covid-19 SIP sipping, I did promise to get some thoughts onto virtual paper regarding the upcoming book(s), and so… well… here they are.

First, we can completely shatter the misconception that writing a book is a lonely, solitary endeavor. I have lost count of the number of editing phases and talented people involved in the creation of the pair of books I’ve got coming to market next month. While any mistakes in te manuscript are almost certainly my fault, I feel good that said errors would have had to get by several pairs of eyes from dedicated folks in specialized editing roles at Callisto Media en route to publication. For the most part, those people all made the process go more smoothly and efficiently than I ever imagined, and allowed me to focus the vast majority of my efforts where they could actually result in something productive – writing the content. I had input but thankfully very little responsibility when it comes to the structural and visual aspects of the books (which, unless you want to see Iron Maiden graphics or something, is a really good thing).

Probably the most interesting thing that I can tell you about writing the books, however, is that I came incredibly close to just not writing them at all…

For years, many people who I am lucky enough to call colleagues and friends have pestered encouraged me to write a book. My response, in summary, could have been abbreviated as NFW.

I have known dozens of people who have written books, and not one of them has ever said that they loved doing it. The short version of their tales all sounded nearly identical: a sh*t-ton of work to produce something of which they could feel proud, receive almost no help whatsoever from their publishing company, hawk the book almost entirely themselves, and collect next to no money for all of their efforts.

Sure, there’s the “bUt tHe eXpOsUrE aNd aUtHoRiTy!” argument, but at this point in my career in the wine world, I needed neither.

Combine that knowledge with the fact that I felt that the world hardly needed any more wine books at this point, and I skeptically just deleted the first email that I got from Callisto asking if I’d be interested in writing a beginner’s book about wine.

N.F.W.

By the time that I received a followup from Callisto, I’d forgotten about the first one, but had in the interim resolved to be more open to work pitches coming my way, mostly due to the fact that the gig economy under the current presidential administration completely sucks donkey bong, and I needed work. So I parked the skepticism temporarily and we scheduled a call.

Man, am I lucky that they sent that second email.

Callisto allayed my concerns within a few minutes. Sorry, but you’re wrong about the world not needing another beginner’s wine book, they told me; part of their unique business model is that they research book topics that people want but currently cannot find, so they knew there was already a market for the spin that they were putting on the book. Also, I wouldn’t be working on the book sales, I get contracted to write the book as part of a collaborative team of designers, editors, and illustrators. I get paid just as those fine folks would get paid – based on the work, not on having to collect a tiny percentage of sales.

And so we have yet another example (not that we needed it) that outside of the topic of wine I knew precious little about what I had been saying for years.

Go figure.

The other interesting tidbit about the book: following the lead of the book’s main editor, I adopted a position of “insane usefulness.” I.e., if the content wasn’t potentially insanely useful to the reader, then it was going to be subjected to extremely merciless editing. Sure, my voice would be there, but its hyper-verbosity was absolutely going to be toned down in service to the reader.

Everything in the Wine Taster’s Guide needed to be useful. I wanted any random page to which someone might flip that didn’t consist of a splash page/picture to have the potential to edu-tain the reader (and in those cases, the caption needed to be useful). Even the descriptions of the wines in the tastings needed to teach something. This is a bit exhausting, but I think that the results (though not my mental health) are better for it.

Did we meet that goal? I guess we’ll soon see…

Cheers!

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

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Copyright © 2020. Originally at How I Almost Didn’t Write a Book from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Wine Taster’s Guide Now Available for Pre-order! (That’s “Published Author Joe Roberts” to You!)

Shiz just got very real, folks!

My new book, Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings, is now officially available for pre-order ($14.99 for the paperback)! Shipping and whatnot begins on July 21, 2020.

The Guide is the main course meal to the Wine Taster’s Journal starter (the handy, portable companion which gets released on July 7, 2020). I’m pretty stoked, and for some time will likely insist that people address me as “Published Author Joe Roberts,” at least until I calm down (it could be a while).

FWIW, I really dig the cover design and how both books’ designs compliment one another (not to mention how well they capture the incredible, thirst-inducing shades of the wines). I, of course, had nothing directly to do with any of that.

Anyway… there is so much that I want to tell you about the inception and creation of this book… and I will be getting to that soon in a follow-up post or two here on 1WD. For now, I’ll share the PR-styling intro that Rockridge Press put together for the release…

Uncork your understanding of wine and develop your palate with 30 tasting lessons

Ever wish you were the one to confidently grab the wine list and make a fantastic choice for the table? Wine Taster’s Guide is your step-by-step manual to understanding why different wines taste the way they do through 30 tastings. You’ll learn how grape varieties, wine-making processes, and regional styles impact the wine you drink.

Find out how aging can affect the final flavor of a wine. Discover why swirling the wine in your glass will have a huge impact on what you smell. Before you know it, you’ll be drinking and discussing wine like a sommelier at a winery in the French countryside.

The Wine Taster’s Guide includes:

  • Tasting 101―Learn about the science of how we perceive aroma and flavor as well as the steps of wine evaluations―look, swirl, smell, and taste.
  • Regional wines―Head straight to the source with a chapter on the major wine regions of the world, including France, Italy, the United States, and others, plus wine-tasting suggestions that will introduce you to the styles they are known for.
  • Pairings galore―What is wine without food? Learn how to partner like a pro, whether it’s brie or blue cheese, steak, or sushi.

Learning everything there is to know about wine has never been more fun and easy than with the Wine Taster’s Guide.

Just as with the Wine Taster’s Journal, for a limited time you can request a preview e-copy (in the hopes that you will, in turn, leave an honest review on the book’s Amazon.com page). If interested, contact me.

Cheers!

 

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

Shop Wine Products at Amazon.com

Copyright © 2020. Originally at Wine Taster’s Guide Now Available for Pre-order! (That’s “Published Author Joe Roberts” to You!) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Holy Crap! Wine Taster’s Journal Available for Pre-Order!

Holy crap!!!

I am tickled pinker than a Côtes de Provence rosé to tell you that the first of my two (yeah, two) upcoming books is now available for pre-order, to be released on July 7, 2020!

For reasons that will be obvious from the title, Wine Taster’s Journal: Drink, Rate, Record, and Remember by yours truly is being released in portable paperback form for $10.99.

This little gem is meant to accompany you during your wine tasting, and now competes with something like 10,457,632 different wine journals currently on the market. Mine, of course, is better than all of those because you know me, right? Right?!??

Anyway…

This first release is part of a duo, an amuse bouche to the 1WD book main course: Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings which will also be available for pre-order shortly (more on that soon)…

I never do this, but since it’s my book, I’m reproducing the PR-style description:

Sip, savor, record, repeat―a wine journal for your wine-derful memories

Uncorking a brand new bottle of wine and wafting in its flavorful aromas is a great experience―and tasting it is even better. With the Wine Taster’s Journal you won’t forget what you sample. Its pages will serve as your taste memory, allowing you to record your thoughts on the wines you love and the ones you don’t.

This helpful wine journal also provides you with a list of the most frequently used adjectives in wine evaluation so you can identify that certain something you’re detecting in the aroma or flavor. There’s also space to make a note of your favorite bottles as well as wines recommended to you by other enthusiasts.

This engaging wine journal includes:

  • Tasting 101―Use the primer at the beginning of the wine journal to learn the basics of proper wine-tasting techniques.
  • You’re judge & jury―Fill-ins and helpful prompts allow you to accurately capture your observations.
  • Hope you’re hungry―The prompts also include a section to assess how the wine paired with your meal.

Easy to use and portable, this wine journal helps you get the most out of wine tasting.

So… why are you still reading this when you could be ordering copious quantities of this little ditty for you and everyone else that you know?

[ Up until the release date of July 7, 2020, if you’re interested in a pre-release e-copy (in the hopes that you will leave an honest review of it on Amazon), please contact me. ]

Cheers!

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

Shop Wine Products at Amazon.com

Copyright © 2020. Originally at Holy Crap! Wine Taster’s Journal Available for Pre-Order! from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

The First Rule of Book Club Is, You Do Not Talk About Book Club (Book Update!)

So… about this whole “book” thing… I’ve got an update for ya!

I’m in the final sprint to finalizing the new book. Technically, it’s actually two books, which will all make more sense when I get the OK to share titles, covers, and the like. For now, the first rule of Book Club has to be… we do not talk about Book Club.

But since these are my upcoming books, I’m going to bend the rules just a teensy-weeny, little bit. The on-sale dates for both books will very likely be in June.

So, for those of you who aren’t entirely sick of me yet, chances are good that over the coming Summer season you will have ample opportunity to become very sick of me as things heat up on the book release front.

Next week, back to our regularly-scheduled programming, including coverage from my most recent jaunt to Alentejo

Cheers!

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

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Copyright © 2020. Originally at The First Rule of Book Club Is, You Do Not Talk About Book Club (Book Update!) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

We Interrupt Our Programming for This Interruption (Book Hiatus)

As if I wasn’t behind enough on my ramblings here on 1WD (I’ve still got several Sicily updates to share with you, after all!), I’m going to put myself even further behind! Overachiever here!

Here’s the skinny: it’s going to be light on the feature content here on 1WD (though I expect to keep up, for the most part, on the weekly mini-reviews), probably throughout February.

The reason is that I’m smack-dab in the middle of a book contract, and the pace is Ludicrous Speed through at least the first week of March. Ostensibly, this is actually good news. I’m not sure how much I’m at legal liberty to divulge with respect to the book, so I’m uncharacteristically erring on the side of caution.

What I can tell you is that it’s a wine book, and it’s targeted mostly at the beginner end fo the wine drinking spectrum, which is exactly the kind of wine book that I’ve kept asking over the years, as each one was released, if the world needed yet another beginner-oriented wine book. But the publishers have done their homework, and see a market need for the particular type of book in which I now find myself enthralled; and we both saw a fit in terms of voice and style.

So… I’m excited, and am now frantically typing my little wine-stained fingers off, and hope to share more details with all of you in the (very) near future (and get back to writing my usual freakish features and market screeds on these virtual pages).

Cheers!

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

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