From the title, it seems hard to believe that this slim volume can impart enough wine sense to place you as a “wine expert” in such a short time frame! But as you begin to read, you realize that Jancis Robinson is a leading figure in the world of wine, who provides advice for the cellar belonging to Queen Elizabeth. Her knowledge that earned her the title of Master of Wine leads the way to understanding all about wine in concise but fun way.

“The 24-Hour Wine Expert” leads you through the basics –  how wine is made, how to store it and serve it once you purchase it – then leaps into choosing the right bottle to enjoy. One of the key components here is the importance of forging a friendship with a wine retailer that is local, who can suggest wines to you once you have communicated your tastes.

Robinson has important “wine tips” scattered throughout, from “ten ways to pick the right bottle” to “what your choices say about you” explained in a succinct manner that is easy to understand. There are further explanations on the key wine regions and ten most planted grape varieties, so you have the essentials while learning how to buy wines that fit the occasion, your mood, or are great as a gift.

Whether selecting the right wine for yourself or the next gathering of friends, you might also find these books helpful: “The World Atlas of Wine,”  “The Oxford Companion to Wine,” “Oz Clark’s Let Me Tell You About Wine,” and issues of the magazines “Wine Spectator” or “Wine Enthusiast.”

Oh, and don’t fret about the wine stains on the cover of the book – the publisher added those for effect!

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