*Starred Review* It’s all about the grape, stupid! No, that’s not an entirely appropriate tone to set in identifying the basic premise of this welcome and enjoyable book. Indeed, as James Beard Award–winning wine writer and restaurant critic Grumdahl avers and asserts throughout her knowledgeable and buoyant text, wine is all about how and where grapes are grown. But never in this perfectly accessible course in wine appreciation is the author’s attitude toward the reader anything but supportive, considerate, and sympathetic to the intimidations inherent in being conversant in the language of wine. She admits she found understanding wine overwhelming at the outset of her career, and this admission underscores her careful explanations of how to negotiate wine lists in restaurants, build your own wine collections, how and with what to serve various wines, and how to comprehend the layouts of wine shops. Competence is what she seeks to instill in her readers, and her own is obvious from the first page. Her “teaching” method is based on her belief that “what you like is the only thing that matters. It’s your taste.” The book’s format is attractive and comfortable, adding to its appeal. For all active cookery collections. –Brad Hooper
Really been enjoying this book!