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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  154 Ratings  ·  29 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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Mark Oldman
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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!
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Apr 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 05, 2008 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
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jackie C
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, library
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.
Amber Demure
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wine-and-spirits
Great reference guide for everyman on the various types of wine. Plan language, easy to refer back to something you wanted to clarify.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Very easy to read and is user friendly.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
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!
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn a lot about wine.
Quriky and informative. Love it.
Yuki Shimmyo
Mar 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, food
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!
Lindsay Abbott
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun and easy to read. Great introduction for new adventurers in the world of wine.
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: wine junkies
Not expecting much from this book, I was pleasantly surprised. Interesting, informative and easy to breeze through.
Carlos Anderson
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a spectacular introduction to wine. Concise, with just the right amount to push your interest and knowledge forward. Anyone thinking about upping their vino game should read this book.
Jun 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-and-wine
Great, easy to read and often humorous look at wine. Some great recommendations at various price points.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
chatty, informal, and helpful at demystifying wine.
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creative-cooking
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???
D.C. Brod
rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2014
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Mark Oldman is one the country’s leading wine experts—and, that rarity, a wine expert who is on the side of anyone who wants to enjoy wine more.  Author of the new HOW TO DRINK LIKE A BILLIONAIRE: MASTERING WINE WITH JOIE DE VIVRE (Regan Arts/Phaidon), Mark is described by Bon Appètit as specializing in the delivery of “winespeak without the geek.” Twice the winner of the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine ...more
More about Mark Oldman...