24 June 2017

Weekend Cooking: Wine All the Time by Marissa A. Ross

Review: Wine. All the Time by Marissa A. RossI know what you're thinking: Ms. BFR, do you really need another wine book? Well, yes, I do, and I'll tell you why. I'm interested in wine, I like wine, and I want to know more about wine. But the truth is this: I have only so many hours a day to devote to my nonwork interests. Reading about and studying wine--despite my curiosity--tends to slip to the back burner. Hell, I'm not sure it's even on the stovetop.

Thus my search for approachable wine books. If I read enough and take just a tip or two from each source, I hope someday to be able to sound like I know what I'm doing. Marissa A. Ross's book Wine. All the Time. (Plume, June 27) speaks to me. (Thanks to Plume for the review copy.)

Ross, a contributing editor for Bon Appetit magazine, blogger at Wine, All the Time, and all-round fun person, is a wine lover just like me. Well, not just like me, because she gets paid to write about wine. On the other hand, just like me, she isn't a certified expert; she's someone who has worked her way up from 2-Buck Chuck to the good stuff (wines that cost more than $20).

When I started reading Wine. All the Time, two things immediately jumped out at me: First, I love Ross's style--funny, personal, and very earthy (if you have "language issues," you might want to look elsewhere). Second, I love her general approach to learning about wine. I would call it drinking mindfully, as in take a moment to think about the aromas, the flavors, and the colors of the wine in your glass. Then make the effort to read about the grape and the growing region and take some notes. When I've made the effort to actually do these things, I've been surprised at what I've discover about my own tastes.

The book has all the sections you would expect: a glossary, a chapter on how wine is made, lists of wines by grape and region (including tasting notes), and all kinds of advice (how to read a label, what wines to serve at a party, what wines to drink with your dad, and so on).

Although you might think there is nothing new here, I would disagree. I love how approachable Ross is and especially enjoyed reading the story of how she went from chugging the low-end bottles to knowing enough to write about respectable wines. Throughout Wine. All the Time, you'll find tips and charts for all kinds of useful information: not just food pairings but also the differences between commercial wines and low-intervention wines, how to buy wine, how to order wine, and how to serve wine.

For me, the more avenues I have to approach the mysteries of the wine world, the better; and Marissa A. Ross is someone I want to have at my side while I make my own journey from the under $15 bottles to the next level. Take a chance on Ross--if nothing else, you'll have many good laughs while you drink your $5 Pinot Noir and may even get the courage to try wines in a higher price bracket.

My only issue with the book has nothing at all to do with Ross. It has to do with the state of Pennsylvania (where I live) and how difficult it is for me to buy some of the suggested wines. If you live in any other state in the union, you will have a much better chance than I do to try the wines, find a good wine store, and follow the advice in Wine. All the Time.

To learn more about Ross, check out her article "5 Questions to Ask When You're Buying Wine (and Know Nothing about Wine)" at Bon Appetit and this great interview at VinePair. Oh, and don't forget to explore her blog, Wine, all the time. Finally, here is the book trailer:

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


Tina 6/24/17, 7:13 AM  

Ummm, yes, you do need another wine book! I also like reading about wine and am just now done with Cork Dork. Have you heard of Wine isn't Rocket Science b Neiman? I'm on the list at the library.

Tina 6/24/17, 7:17 AM  

I added another link, Pan Bagnat :-) hope you have a great weekend. I'm looking forward to the long weekend coming up for the 4th of July.

bermudaonion 6/24/17, 7:22 AM  

I never order wine because I know nothing about it. I'm trying to get our sales reps to teach me a few things, though, so maybe I'll be confident enough to select one at a restaurant.

Alex 6/24/17, 8:03 AM  

This sounds like a great reference for buying wine. I usually buy according to how much I like the label, which doesn't always work out so well. I bookmarked the Ross article for future reference, and will explore her blog more. There's noting like a great glass of wine at the end of a long day, especially one that tastes good.

The Candid Cover 6/24/17, 8:42 AM  

This sounds like one that I need to add to my list for holiday gift giving! I love books that aren't written by so-called experts because they really do speak to the rest of us. While I appreciate an the other books, there is something about the laid back style of authors like this. Thanks for sharing this one! :)

rhapsodyinbooks 6/24/17, 9:00 AM  

Actually Maryland is pretty bad too. And our 2-buck Chuck is actually 3-buck Chuck, so, you know, it is a more "expensive" wine...

Amanda 6/24/17, 9:55 AM  

Ooh, definitely need to read this one! You come up with the best wine book recommendations.

Mae Travels 6/24/17, 10:58 AM  

Reading about how to drink wine isn't on my list for now -- but your description still makes me curious. I think writing about wines in the $10 to $25 range is a great idea. If you have $100 for a bottle you can buy it at a store that will help you plenty!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Deb in Hawaii 6/24/17, 11:10 AM  

Great review! I love reading and learning about wine--especially from "regular" people who love it and can explain it in real terms. The book sounds good--I'll look for it. ;-)

Claudia 6/24/17, 12:44 PM  

Sounds like an accessible sort of read, and as there's always more to learn, I'll probably look for it at the library.

Vicki 6/24/17, 1:56 PM  

As you may or may not remember, I'm not a wine lover. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy this book, I think I would.

Nan 6/24/17, 4:06 PM  

I know I have commented here before about how I have tried to like wine and just can't do it. ;<))

Sue Jackson 6/25/17, 8:24 PM  

This book sounds interesting. I can;t drink alcohol because of my chronic illness :( so I don't know much about wines - why bother? ha ha but I used to enjoy drinking them! I miss wine but mostly I miss good, flavorful, hoppy beers - yum!

I haven't had the time to post on Weekend Cooking in a long time (weekends are busy here with all the family around), but I just started a series on restaurants in VT so I hope to participate for a few weeks. Thanks for hosting!!


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Heidenkind 6/26/17, 2:01 AM  

Can you purchase wine online in PA? I've had some luck with that,

gluten Free A_Z Blog 6/27/17, 11:13 PM  

I've never thought about reading about wine, but I do drink it.. You've intrigued me that it might enjoy learning more about one of my favorite drinks. Good review

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