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Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine: 108 Ingenious Shortcuts to Navigate the World of Wine with Confidence and Style

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  27 reviews
For the thousands of people who know nothing about wine and want to rectify that swiftly and painlessly, Mark Oldman-the "Naked Chef" of wine-is here to help with the kind of information readers can use right now:
• Australian Shiraz is the most instantly likable red under $15
• Drink slightly sweet wine with spicy food
• Judge a wine shop by whether it has homemade shelf
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 7th 2004 by Penguin Books
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(showing 1-30 of 252)
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Thanks to all for the reviews. I'm the author and here's my new book, Oldman's Brave New World of Wine, is freshly squeezed and ready to drink!
This book is doing for me what Sideways did for most other people: it's getting me interested in wine.

Oldman has a great sense for teaching wine to beginners. He's been teaching wine classes to novices since before he graduated college. His simple and non-stuffy approach shines in his writing. I just love this analogy:

For me, tasting a ripe California Chardonnay is like hearing the first few bars of the Beach Boys' "California Girls": a dreamily sweet ride down the palm-lined boulevard of my pa
Wine and dogs are similar - a seemingly infinite variety springs forth from one species. This book helps make sense of the world-wide confusion that is wine. Grape variety and region are clarified early on to provide a basic understanding and numerous tips follow to help the novice expand in new directions. I, for example, have purchased two samples of primitivo from southern Italy - something I never would have tried without Oldman's help. The book is cleverly designed. The only illustrations a ...more
Conversational, accessible, and packed with tips. On a wine knowledge scale of one to ten, I think I fall at about a 3; I could understand everything he writes about, and yet the book is so packed with information that it'll be a while or never until I'm done learning from it.

The overview of major wines focuses mainly on California and Europe. Everything has a brief history, characteristics, and a set of picks above/below $15.

A bit of a non sequitur: I learn the most about wines from tasting a l
Lindsay Abbott
Fun and easy to read. Great introduction for new adventurers in the world of wine.
Jackie C
Jun 18, 2008 Jackie C rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is vaguely interested in wine (even experts)
I took a seminar from Mark Oldman at the Food and Wine Classic and he's a wonderfully witty, funny, and very accessible teacher who knows a whole lot about wine.

Don't know how to order wine? Wonder what makes your tongue feel pasty after drinking Merlot? Need a recommendation for a wine that goes well with popcorn? (hint: Prosecco)

This is a fun guidebook to add to your repository of cookbooks--take it out often and remember that wine is supposed to bring you joy, not angst.
Jan 05, 2008 John added it
The author hosted a wine tasting seminar - 2 hours long - at my 30th Stanford reunion in 2006. This was the best tasting I have ever attended. It sparked my serious interst in wine. This guy is funny, irreverant and entertaining ... ironic, iconoclastic ... best to see him in person .. he samples the grape liberally and gets funnier ... if he weren't a successful High Tech entrepeneur and wine connoisseur he would have a bright future in standup comedy
Aaron Donovan
A very simple and straightforward wine guide. Perfect for someone who is interested in learning more about the drink of the vine. Oldman's style is fun and easy to read and very beginner friendly. He gives solid recommendations and pronunciation tips that make you feel like you know what you're talking about. This book gave me the base of knowledge that's brought me to more thorough (and much thicker/denser) wine guides.
May 17, 2012 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
A great guide for any onephile who is interested to learn more (but not to the level of a sommlier), and wants to expand his/her horizons. It's conversational and informativeout without the usual pretense that accompanies wine tasting. Great tips on food pairings and lesser-known alternatives to popular varietals. If you enjoy wine and want to become a more knowledgeable conniosseur, this is a great resource.
Dec 07, 2007 Briana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: wine enthusiasts
Shelves: reference
Love this book! If you've ever wanted to know more about wine but felt intimidated by all the snobbery associated with the "wine enthusiast" culture, this is your book.

It's a field guide to wines, with a simple description of each type of wine, where it comes from, and what it should ideally taste like. It's got a lot of information presented in a very easy to read fashion.
Amber Demure
This book will advance you light-years in wine tasting, knowledge, and appreciation. It's a quick fix to impress novices and professionals alike as it gets down to the basics and kicks it up a notch offering what's truly important about wine drinking and leaving out the bunk.
Helpful, especially to get to the point where you can have a conversation with a reputable wine dealer or to at least have some idea of where to start when faced with a wall of wine bottles and need something that will pair well with dinner.
Pretty good intro to wine tasting, pairing, the most famous types of grapes, producers and regions. Also includes best buys under $15. A good resource for anyone interested in increasing their knowledge of wine.
Yuki Shimmyo
Jul 10, 2014 Yuki Shimmyo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: novice oenophiles
User-friendly. Book was worth it for Faithful Fifteen (Top Producers for Value), most under $15 - Ch. 1. 100 Best Buys under $15 (50 whites, 50 red) end of book. Excellent start for novices.
Mar 19, 2012 Kristi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: food, own
Wonderful, accessible resource for any wine enthusiast, of any level of interest. Undoubtedly, I will be revisiting this volume, not to mention try some of his bargain wine recommendations!
Carlos Anderson
great introduction to varietals and basic lingo. Definitely for beginners though as it lacks a bunch on regions and producers, as well as some of the more obscure/non-mainstream varietals.
Overdosing on wine I really need to read another chapter about Sauvignon Blanc? Sigh. Still, definitely the best one from I've gotten from the library thus far.
This guy is brilliant, and SO SO HELPFUL. Plus---anybody who says that you should drink champagne like water (i.e., a lot of it and throughout a meal) is on my team. Read this!
Jun 04, 2007 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: beginning wine lovers
Shelves: for-vinos
If you'd like to learn about wine, but think it would be soooooooo boring, grab this book. It answers gobs and gobs of questions you might have about the wine you are drinking.
Great intro to wine book. I pretty much read it in one sitting. Not at all stuffy or snobby. Ready to go tasting anyone want to join me???
Great reference guide for everyman on the various types of wine. Plan language, easy to refer back to something you wanted to clarify.
Oct 01, 2007 Autumn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: wine junkies
Not expecting much from this book, I was pleasantly surprised. Interesting, informative and easy to breeze through.
Great, easy to read and often humorous look at wine. Some great recommendations at various price points.
chatty, informal, and helpful at demystifying wine.
Very easy to read and is user friendly.
Oct 08, 2008 Cynthia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn a lot about wine.
Quriky and informative. Love it.
Amy Gray
So helpful!
Taylor marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2015
Nathaniel Marhefka
Nathaniel Marhefka marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2015
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Mark Oldman is the author of Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine, a wine writer for Everyday with Rachael Ray, and a renowned speaker at such venues as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. He lives in New York City.
More about Mark Oldman...
Oldman's Brave New World of Wine: Pleasure, Value, and Adventure Beyond Wine's Usual Suspects Oldman's Brave New World of Wine: Pleasure, Value, and Adventure Beyond Wine's Usual Suspects PR Stud/Amer Intrns'97 PR Stud Adv Bible '97 Princeton Review Student Access Guide to America's Top 100 Internships 1995 Edit ion (Princeton Review: Best ... Internships)

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