I’ve let my own wine knowledge atrophy since falling in love with someone who makes a point to say that actually, he prefers Northern Rhone wines. (Seriously.) So I was excited when I first got wind of Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s new tome, Drink This: Wine Made Simple which is all about getting the me’s of the world informed and excited about wine – and better able to discuss it all without sounding like some poseur jerkwad.
I learned more by page xiii of the intro then I ever did reading (and pretending I understood) Wine Spectator. That’s because Dara is funny, she’s she’s down to earth, and as serious as she is about wine, she never takes herself too seriously. She’s also cool enough to talk about the band Primus on her blog.
The main POV of Drink This is that if you want to learn about wines, you do it by drinking them. Not by memorizing phrases like it has black currant top notes. So she breaks down the top nine varietals, gives you just enough background on each, teaches you how to taste them, and offers up field guides to help you find bargains. I also love the fascinating conversations with wine “bigwigs,” from Thomas Keller to the winemaker behind Two-Buck Chuck. Plus you’ll find some good help with food pairings, although really, Dara’s philosophy comes down to “If you like it? Great! That’s what matters.”
In fact after reading Drink This, I kind of want Dara to be my best friend. But no doubt she’s too busy editing Real Food and writing all those columns for Saveur and Food & Wine while winning James Beard Awards. Oh, and being a mom.
If you have even the slightest interest in bringing a bottle of something decent when you visit friends, or simply making sure you love what you order when there’s a choice of Chardonnays at the bar, add this book to your cart, stat. You’ll enjoy reading it with a nice Zinfandel. –Liz