1. Get to know the best producers/wineries. This is your safest route to consistent quality.
2. Distrust frivolous names and “pretty” pictures on labels.
4. Experiment with lesser known grape varieties versus always drinking the classic varieties and blends. It makes life more interesting.
5. Drink wine with food – it’s good for digestion and it slows the absorption of alcohol into your system.
6. Buy local wines when possible (when at home and traveling). You get to see the influence of “place” or terroir.
7. Buy from sustainable wineries – change the world through your purchasing power! One bottle at a time.
8. Don’t over analyze, but enjoy wine! It is a magical beverage.
9. Learn the history of various wine regions as you gain appreciation for wines from that same area. It will deepen your enjoyment.
10. Drink wine for your health. There’s a famous story of a Bishop from Seville who lived to over 100 years old. When asked about the ‘secret to his longevity he answered: “every day of my life I drank a bottle of wine, except when I felt ill, then I drank two bottles.”
11. Never travel without a corkscrew…unless you’re in New Zealand, where almost all wines have a screw cap.
My book, WineSense, has been many years in the making. The actual genesis for the book came from my years teaching at the University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. I always thought there was an easier way to impart wine knowledge.
Over the years I was able to distill wine information into three keys: The Basics, The Grapes, and The Approach. I felt that people would be more successful in grasping this amazing subject if they were able to just remember 3 categories. This is how I described the book on my back cover.
About the Book
Wine is a muse for poets and ordinary folks alike, a great seducer and lifelong friend to many. It’s integral to some of the finest cultures on earth. But as simple and lovely as wine may be, the wine world can be intimidating. Many so-called experts perpetuate an elitist approach to wine, with their explanations so jargon-filled that the wine gets lost in the analysis.
WineSense cuts through the jargon and complexities wine can present. In this common-sense guide, Bob Desautels offers straightforward information on types of wine, tasting, wine history, grape varieties, approaches to winemaking, and more. His Three Keys to Understanding Wine allow the everyday wine enthusiast and the beginner to truly grasp the subject while increasing their appreciation of wine.
The ultimate purpose of this book is to teach you how to find good and consistent styles of wine that suit your palate. You’ll be able to look beyond the safe choices and search for local wines that have the best qualities of your international favourites. With a deeper understanding of wine, you’ll gain true WineSense, offering you a new-found confidence in choosing the right wine for the right time.
Wine industry icon and co-founder of Inniskillin Wines, Donald Ziraldo, wrote: “Bob provides the reader with great facts and anecdotes from the view of an award winning restaurateur…as well as providing a broad spectrum of many aspects of viticulture and wine making.”
However, my favourite review of the book came from The Bookshelf’s e-Magazine: “As a guide, WineSense is unimposing. It has the simple but heavy-lifting prose of the 50’s and 60’s New Yorker, with Jillian Wilson’s illustrations helping to define the casual refinement of that era.”
Overall, I think this book is quite unique and provides a refreshing take on the wonderful world of wine.
Note: This book is available on Amazon and Friesenpress.com.