When a friend posted a photos of a cookbook sale, I spotted this book - The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That by Richard Betts.* And I half-joked that I needed that book in my life.
So, as best friends often do, she picked it up for me and gave it to me on a day when I really needed a chuckle. Love that. Love her!
I'll admit: when I saw the title, I thought it was going to be a joke. Turns out Betts is a master sommelier and his humorous approach will certainly make wine more fun for all. Betts gives the reader a tasting road map, explaining how tasting is actually really smelling. "We actually taste only sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and a savory thing that Japanese call umami. All the rest of the stuff are actually just aromas or smells."
He explains the difference between "red" and "black" fruit in red wines. He examines the fruit you might taste in white wines.
He details why all oak barrels are not created equal. But, at the end of the day, I think I loved his big idea best. Betts writes, " When my work is done, we'll all have wine like civilized people do the world over - at lunch, at dinner, with food, family, and friends. Doesn't matter what it is...just as long as it makes you smile."
And this book certainly made me smile. It's fun, engaging, and definitely a conversation starter. I found the smelly stickers were pretty weak, but the information was still relevant. A reader asked what the stickers smell like. There's a cherry sticker on the fruit about red fruit. There's a pear sticker on the white wine page. There are also stickers that smell like vanilla, roses, and dirt. So, the stickers don't smell like wine. They are the aromas or notes you would find in wine.
I will have this book on my table for a wine tasting I'm hosting next week. Should be fun for all.
*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.
Here's what everyone else read in July 2018: here.