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Wine For Dummies, 5th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-28872-6
432 pages
September 2012
Wine For Dummies, 5th Edition (1118288726) cover image


The #1 wine book—now updated!

The art of winemaking may be a time-honored tradition dating back thousands of years, but today, wine is trendier and hotter than ever. Now, wine experts and authors Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan have revised their popular Wine For Dummies to deliver an updated, down-to-earth look at what's in, what's out, and what's new in wine.

Wine enthusiasts and novices, raise your glasses! The #1 wine book has been updated! If you're a connoisseur, Wine For Dummies will get you up to speed on what's in and help you take your hobby to the next level. If you're new to the world of wine, it will clue you in on what you've been missing and show you how to get started. It begins with the basic types of wine, how wines are made, and more. Then it gets down to specifics, like navigating restaurant wine lists, deciphering wine labels, dislodging stubborn corks, and so much more.

  • Includes updated information on wine regions throughout the world, including the changes that have taken place in Chile, Argentina, parts of Eastern Europe, the Mt. Etna region in Sicily, among other wine regions in Italy and California's Sonoma Coast
  • Covers what's happening in the "Old World" of wine, including France, Italy, and Spain, and gets you up-to-speed on what's hot (and what's not) in the "New World" of Wine, including the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand
  • Features updated vintage charts and price guidelines
  • Covers wine bloggers and the use of smartphone apps

Wine For Dummies is not just a great resource and reference, it's a good read. It's full-bodied, yet light...rich, yet crisp...robust, yet refreshing....

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting to Know Wine 7

Chapter 1: Wine 101 9

Chapter 2: These Taste Buds Are for You 21

Chapter 3: Pinot Envy and Other Secrets about Grape Varieties 35

Chapter 4: Wine Names and Label Lingo 49

Chapter 5: Behind the Scenes of Winemaking 65

Part II: Wine and You: Up Close and Personal 73

Chapter 6: Buying Wine to Drink at Home 75

Chapter 7: Confronting a Restaurant Wine List 87

Chapter 8: Serving Wine 101

Chapter 9: Marrying Wine with Food 119

Part III: The "Old World" of Wine 127

Chapter 10: Doing France 129

Chapter 11: Italy, the Heartland of Vino 169

Chapter 12: Spain, Germany, and Elsewhere in Europe 191

Part IV: Discovering the “New World” of Wine 215

Chapter 13: The Southern Hemisphere Arises 217

Chapter 14: America, America 237

Part V: Wine’s Exotic Face 269

Chapter 15: Champagne and Other Sparklers 271

Chapter 16: Wine Roads Less Traveled: Fortified and Dessert Wines 293

Part VI: When You’ve Caught the Bug 313

Chapter 17: Buying and Collecting Wine 315

Chapter 18: Continuing Education for Wine Lovers 333

Chapter 19: Describing and Rating Wine 347

Part VII: The Part of Tens 355

Chapter 20: Answers to Ten Common Questions about Wine 357

Chapter 21: Ten Wine Myths Demystified 365

Part VIII: Appendixes 373

Appendix A: Pronunciation Guide to Wine Terms 375

Appendix B: Glossary of Wine Terms 379

Appendix C: Vintage Wine Chart: 1991–2010 387

Index 391

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Author Information

Ed McCarthy, CWE, is a regular contributor to WineReviewOnline.com and Beverage Media. Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW, is president of the International Wine Center in New York. Together, they are the authors of many For Dummies wine guides, including Italian Wine For Dummies.

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Press Release

September 04, 2012

Why do you need a NEW edition of Wine For Dummies (Wiley, 978-1-118-28872-6, September 2012)? Well, Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan wrote the first edition in 1995, and the world of wine has changed tremendously since then. It has even changed a lot since their fourth edition in 2006.

What has changed exactly? [excerpted from the book]

The wine world has an exciting new face thanks to the communities of wine lovers who share opinions, chat, and blog on Internet sites like Wine Review Online and Burghound.com, and these voices are shaping new trends. In addition, great wine shopping can also happen online. “When we wrote the fourth edition, we bought almost all our wine in wine shops that we visited in person. Although we still buy much of our wine in wine shops, these days we use the Internet to find shops that sell the wines we want at the best prices, and then we often purchase wine online,” say McCarthy and Ewing-Mulligan.

New styles of popular wine are emerging, and a whole new approach to food and wine pairing has taken root. Back in the era of the TV show Mad Men, a few simple – and simplistic— rules guided people in selecting wines for their meals. Today, the enormous range of wines available and the eclectic gamut of food choices render yesterday’s easy rules obsolete. Not only that, but today, science has documented that people have inborn sensitivities or inborn tolerances to some of the fundamental tastes present in foods and wines.  

The wines of South America have come on strong, and they offer some of the best values around (Chilean wineries with reasonable prices include Calina, Caliterra, Carmen, Casa Lapostolle, and more). Wine grapes have grown in Argentina and Chile since the mid-16th century; however, Argentina’s source of vines was more diverse. Many vines came to Argentina with the vast numbers of Italian and Basque immigrants and as a result, Argentina boasts grape varieties, such as Bonarda and Malbec, that are insignificant in Chile. The authors have ramped up coverage of both countries to give you the inside track on these explosive wine regions.

When most wine drinkers think about American wine, they think of California. That’s not surprising—the wines of California make up about 90 percent of U.S. wine production. Gallo Winery is the largest winery in the state, producing one out of every four bottles of wine sold in the United States. But dozens of new California wineries have opened and a few have gone out of business, many have improved, and a few have slipped. The book’s recommendations reflect all these changes.

Remember those prices listed for wines worth trying in earlier editions? Well, big surprise: just about all those prices have increased. But don’t fear, because McCarthy and Ewing-Mulligan point out some bargains, such as the white Mâcon and wines from one of Burgundy’s best-kept secrets, the Côte Chalonnaise.

Several new vintages have occurred: Wine For Dummies, 5th Edition gives you the lowdown on them throughout the book, and especially in our vintage chart in the Appendix.

In addition, you’ll enjoy the always popular “Part of Tens,” where the authors debunk ten wine myths, such as “a screw cap closure indicates a lower-quality of wine,” “white wine goes with fish, red wine goes with meat,” and “the quality of a wine is objectively measurable.”

And a Cheat Sheet on Dummies.com includes a quick guide to wine pronunciation, useful terms for describing wine (think “bouquet,” “tannic,” and “oaky”), an easy wine identifier, and helpful hints for buying wine with confidence.

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