Never again confuse your vintage with your viticulture, your ullage with your oenology, your sabrage with your cépage. Bask in the admiration of your fellow drinkers, pronounce confidently on the provenance of whatever is in your glass (or your mouth), and hold your own against the most sneering of sommeliers.
Written by experts and offering readers the opportunity to pass off appropriated knowledge as their own, the Bluffer’s Guides provide hard fact masquerading as frivolous observation in one witty, easy read.
“It is generally agreed that wine should be drunk from a glass, although for the desperate, any watertight receptacle will do.”
“Even if you find the peculiar salty tang of dry fino Sherry an acquired taste, you must at least pretend you have acquired it if you wish to appear sophisticated.”
“A wine deemed overly alcoholic is described as ‘hot’ which, uniquely in wine circles, is not a compliment.”
Jonathan Goodall has written about all facets of booze for, amongst others, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Spectator and Saga Magazine.
He is now resting his liver in Bournemouth.
Harry Eyres was introduced to serious wine appreciation at the age of eight. With wine running in his blood in both senses (his father was a wine merchant), he twice managed to carry off the coveted individual prize in the Oxford v Cambridge Tasting Match (the bibbers’ Boat race).
He has been wine columnist for The Spectator and Harpers & Queen When not seriously appreciating wine, he returns to Spain to anaesthetise his palate with Fundador brandy in the bars of old Barcelona.
Learn how to read a label, how to handle a glass like a pro, and what to conclude from a wine’s colour. And always bear in mind that, despite its mystique, wine is simply fermented grape juice.
For less than the average bottle of Chardonnay, you can ensure your wine knowledge improves with age. Don't lose your bottle now — buy the damn book!