Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Scratch and Sniff Wine Expert

How do you take wine, make it simple and appealing, remove any traces of snobbery, yet make your info educational and useful? Why, make a scratch and sniff board book, of course. Richard Betts did just that, and the results are pretty amazing.

Scratch and Sniff Wine Expert

Betts breaks it down to this simple fact: tasting is smelling. He then goes on to explore the world of fruit, wood, earth, other smells, with scratch and sniff patches along the way. Do all of them smell like what they represent? No, but it doesn't take away the enjoyment of reading (and smelling) your way through this book.

The book concludes with a fold-out "Whole Wine World" map. Start in the middle, choose red (red or black fruit) or white (subtle or exotic), then follow the rings outward, choosing amongst options of fruit, woods, earth, and more. I bemoan the lack of a rosé option, but this IS a simplified book after all. If you're a novice or just want to see where you might end up, it's all in good fun.

Everyone should own a copy of this book, either as an actual useful tool or to remind one that wine is, after all, something to enjoy and not make overly complicated.

About the Author: "Richard Betts has been featured in the New York Times, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, Outside, GQ, and Details and speaks frequently on wine throughout the country. He is the founder of two wine companies, Betts [and] Scholl and Scarpetta, that have won top praise from leading wine publications. He is also the founder and president of Sombra Mezcal and Tequila Astral, and his newest wine ventures include Saint Glinglin Bordeaux, My Essential Red, and My Essential Rosé."

This book was sent to me for review purposes.

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