The Wine Curmudgeon didn’t think there was a need for this year’s holiday gift guide. After all, what else could anyone want to give other than the cheap wine book?
But when I asked around, I was stunned to find out that this was not the case. The consensus: “Jeff, there are more things in the wine world than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Or something like that.
So, after the jump, gift suggestions, as well as the all-important gift guidelines:Continue reading →
And the winner is: Marty, who selected 840; the winning number was 910 (screenshot to the right). Thanks to everyone who participated, especially given how flaky the website was acting. Tomorrow’s prize is a $50 gift card from Wine.com, which offers free shipping with the Steward-Ship program and its free, one-month trial.
Today, to celebrate the blog’s sixth anniversary, we’re giving away the definitive book about American wine, ?American Wine, ? written by my pal Linda Muprhy and Jancis Robinson, courtesy of the University of California Press. It’s the second of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.
Complete contest rules are here. Briefly, pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of the prize post. Only one entry per person, you can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post. Otherwise, your entry doesn’t count. Please be careful here — we got a half-dozen or so incorrect entries yesterday, and I had to throw them out.
If you get the blog via email or RSS, you have to come to the website, winecurmudgeon.com and to this post, to enter. I’ve extended the deadline until 9 p.m. central today, because the website’s server has been balky all day, limiting access to the site. I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the book.
Why should you buy the book? Or more than one copy? Because this may be the only wine book ever written that doesn’t have any pictures of grapes, vineyards, or romantic hilltop wineries, or lists of wine recommendations that are outdated even before the book is released.
Instead, it offers wisdom, pointers, and advice about how the wine business works and how you can use that knowledge to buy wine that you like without help from scores, the Winestream Media, or snotty wine drinkers:
? The difference between wine that’s cheap and wine that is made cheaply, and how that translates into value — something that is regularly overlooked in our score-driven world.
? The three questions to answer when you taste a wine: Did you like it? Why did you like it? And did you get your money’s worth? Answer those over a long enough period of time, and you’ll never need anyone else’s advice again.
? How to find a good retailer — one who is interested in helping you understand wine and to find what you like, as opposed to one who wants to sell you wine and could care less about the other.
The next to last chapter, ?How to buy cheap wine: The basics ? was sent to the editor this morning. All that ?s left to write is the final chapter, ?How to buy cheap wine: Advanced course, ? flesh out the winespeak dictionary, and fine-tune several short essays that will serve as appendices. That will include a very clever bit about wine labels (because, of course, no sense in false modesty when I ?m plugging the book)..
Which means we ?re on schedule for publication around Labor Day. Which also means that will be when the Wine Curmudgeon hits the road to promote the book. I already have three events scheduled ? the Kerrville wine and music festival over Labor Day weekend, Grapefest in Grapevine, Texas, a couple of weeks later, and the American Wine Society annual conference in Sandusky, Ohio, in early November. That one will be fun ? talking and tasting about cheap wine.
Those of you who pledged on Kickstarter will receive your premiums as soon as possible after publication. The book will also be for sale on the blog, as well as the usual on-line suspects. If you want to talk about an appearance, or have any other questions, including the Kickstarter premiums, send me an email.
The Wine Curmudgeon has vowed, more than once, to never write another book. Let it be said that the horror stories you hear about publishers are true and leave it at that. And agents aren ?t much better ? see Raymond Chandler ?s essay, ?Ten Percent of Your Life. ?
However, in today ?s publishing world, you don ?t need a publisher or an agent, so I don ?t have any excuses. Hence the forthcoming publication of ?The Wine Curmudgeon ?s Guide to Cheap Wine, ? which should be available in time for Mother ?s and Father ?s Day.
Look for the ebook at $9.95 and the paperback at $14.95. It will be for sale on the blog, as well as the usual Internet and digital retailers.
More, after the jump, including the video I made to promote the book on Kickstarter:
Who knew that the next big thing in wine books would be regional wine? But that's the case, with publishers scrambling to find writers who can do justice to the subject.
In this, Richard Leahy's publisher found the perfect author. I suppose there might be a couple of people who know more about Virginia wine than Leahy does, but they haven't come forward yet. "Beyond Jefferson's Vines" ($19.95, Sterling Publishing) reflects this knowledge — it's comprehensive, authoritative, and complete. Those of a technical bent will find thorough discussions of terroir and grape growing and wine making techniques, while those who want the broader picture (as well as suggestions for Virginia wine tours) will get that as well.