Can you become a wine expert in just one day? Well, if anyone could help you do that, it would be Jancis Robinson, arguably the greatest wine writer of our time. Her numerous books on wine have helped many a wine student (yours truly included) get through wine classes and learn the nuances of real wine appreciation.
Given that, I was excited to read Robinson’s latest, “The 24-Hour Wine Expert,” her take on the “get up-to-speed-quick” genre that’s all the rage in wine books these days. But here’s the thing, you can’t become a wine expert in one day. That said, a solid 24 hours straight of study and tasting, including reading this book cover-to-cover and taking on all of the suggested tasting exercises, that would get you up to passable wine lover status. It’s a feat achievable primarily because this book is full of really good information that will take you beyond introductory knowledge.
I’ve read a few intro to wine books in my time, including Robinson’s excellent “How to Taste” and this new book is actually a pretty good companion piece to that great primer for wine newbies. “The 24-Hour Wine Expert” has lots of basic info, yes, but it’s got a lot of unique things too—Robinson’s favourite Champagne growers, wine region cheat sheets that go far beyond the basics, a list of adventurous wines to try—this is an intro book that a wine nerd like me loved even though I’ve moved beyond the basics.
Compared to Robinson’s textbooks (which I confess I use for décor as well as reference), this is a wee little book that will fit into purse or pocket. A pretty good selling point if you want to take it to class with you for reference. But the substance is what charmed me here—I felt like I was taking a class with Robinson and even when she was telling me what glassware to use (a staple in any wine book), it felt genuine and fresh.
A very worthwhile (and quick) wine read.
*While I received a review copy of this book, the opinions are very much my own.