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Sunday 25 October 2015

New book helps demystify the complex world of wine

If you are pondering whether to open a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tache or Richebourg tonight then a new book called How To Fake Your Way Through A Wine List is unlikely to be of much help to you.

Likewise if you are a voracious reader of the columns of Jancis Robinson and James Halliday, and a subscriber to Decanter and Wine Spectator. Move on, nothing to see here.

Similarly if you can name all the 10 cru of Beaujolais and are familiar with gamay's role in the world of wine. 

If, however, you are a fan of sampling wines from different parts of the world and would like a little more information and knowledge, then you've come to the right place.

Written by American wine writer Katherine Cole, How To Fake Your Through A Wine List, is designed for anyone is worried they might be pronouncing sancerre incorrectly, or who isn't quite sure of the difference between mourvedre and muscadet. 

This book is designed for an American readership - and some of the language can be a little bit twee (very twee, to be honest) - but there is a lot of solid information here packed into a pocket-sized paperback. 

The book features a well-illustrated guide to 75 of the world's most prominent wine regions and styles. 

The layout and mnenomic devices make it easy to learn and retain information and Cole avoids a lot of wine jargon; using simple English to get her point across. There are also some useful food and wine matching suggestions that can easily be adapted.

While there are chapters on Washington Riesling and Sonoma County Zinfandel that might be of limited interest to Australian readers, the Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, Margaret River, Marlborough and Hawke's Bay also feature along with other prominent wine regions from around the world.

Flick to the Loire Valley, for instance, and learn about Vouvray and Pouilly Fumé and how to pronounce them, and why you might want to sample some Muscadet. 

Towards the end of the book the role-playing scenarios are particularly good. 

If you enjoy this you might soon be ordering a gruner-veltliner or a vermentino rather than a standard sauvignon blanc.   

How To Fake Your Way Through A Wine List is available in Australia through and costs $19.99. It can also be found in good book shops.      

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