Media Quotes

"…Oldman nails it again…just when you think every possible nook and cranny of the wine 101 book category has been explored, out comes a book that takes a unique and valuable spin on the beginner to intermediate wine genre…His writing voice is warm, down-to-earth and accessible and the book itself is peppered with short chapters on varietals…widely available at good wine shops, but also mostly sitting under a layer of dust based on non-familiarity and our own ruts of wine drinking with the familiar…the book is very thoughtfully laid out and a valuable read as a primer on varietals that even the most ardent wine enthusiast likely aren’t too familiar with…the book lives up to its promise…"

– Good Grape: A Wine Blog Manifesto

“Oldman’s Guide is the beginner’s wine book that I’ve recommended more than any other wine.  My standard line about Mark’s first book for years has been, ‘this is the one to try first for anyone beginning to get ‘into’ wine; it’s the book I wish I’d had at my side when I was first starting out as a wine buff.’  In other words, I thought it was an instant classic”.  It is still largely unmatched for its combination of verve, intelligence and accessibility.”


“Charismatic and cool…full of snappy insights”

– Library Journal

"Robust, hearty and full bodied...overflows with succinct, useful advice"

– Publishers Weekly

"Oldman's Guide is an edgy and informative book that is perfect Dr. Vino readers: punchy prose, great sidebars, and excellent titles of the 108 "shortcuts" ("You can serve some reds quite chilled: the cross dressers;" "Instead of Merlot, Try Argentine Malbec's Blackberry Hedonism;" "Six signals that a wine merchant has 'the love'"). The interspersed lists of wines that various winemakers and celebrities ranging from chef Mario Batali to hip-hop artist Ludacris actually drink make for interesting reading. Whether offering tips on how to appreciate wine, which wine works for various occasions, or how to order wine in restaurants, Oldman has done an excellent job writing a book that a novice or serious wine lover with a sense of humor and curiosity can enjoy."


"A nice, chatty book, quoting the likes of singer Tori Amos and author Jay McInerney about their wine habits. Easy and informative."

– Fred Tasker, Miami Herald

“…A strong new entry…neatly organized in the form of 108 short articles …but not at all "dumbed down”…I like Oldman's style...if "literate and intelligent yet conversational and breezy" appeals to you as much as it does to me, you'll want to put this book on your shopping list."

– Robin Garr, Wine Lovers Page

"If only we'd had just one book: Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine…[Mark] is under no one's spell. He writes like a person who has not been indoctrinated in the cult of wine. And, in addition to having great taste, he has figured out a way to teach you about wine that is simple, logical and painless. Finally, he has a nose for a bargain --- learn his simple lessons and you will never be fleeced by a waiter or wine merchant again…Oldman rockets you through a discussion of grapes (bless him for hammering away at winemakers who transformed creamy Chardonnay into wines that are like "big, blowsy butterballs" and for singing the praises of under-appreciated Riesling). White Zinfandel? "At best, easy drinking and refreshing, and, at worst, liquefied bubble gum." …But his real achievement is liberating Americans from a narrow, expensive chauvinism…I am no longer a pup; in my cellar are wines older than some of you. No matter. I learned a ton from Mark Oldman --- and one of the things I learned is that we agree on any number of wines. That is because, along the way, I paid attention to my likes and dislikes; I trusted my taste. You should trust your taste as well. But how nice for you --- you will have, as I did not, a smart, opinionated friend at your side, cheering you on and helping you educate yourself at the same time…I raise my glass to Mark Oldman"

– Jesse Kornbluth, celebrated writer and founder,

"A great purchase for wine lovers looking to expand their repertoire…Oldman's writing is lively and peppered with highlighted tips, trivia and producer recommendations from the author and dozens of other wine biz luminaries."

– Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec 04, annual round-up of “year’s finest wine books”

"This entertaining and amusing volume [will] satisfy your senses even if you are not a fan of wine...Oldman's witty-to-the-point prose gently amuses while giving practical information....reading it will awaken your taste buds"

– Woodbury magazine

"Oldman's Guide promises, as so many wine books do, to simplify the complex world of vino. Oldman does it well, and with a sense of fun and celebrity…The beauty of "Outsmarting" is in its 108 short (two to three pages each) chapters…What I particularly like about the book is its pronunciation guides for tongue-twister varietals, producers and regions. Too, we learn that singer- songwriter Tori Amos prefers red Bordeaux, chef-restaurateur Mario Batali digs white and red Burgundy and golfer Norman favors Kistler Chardonnay."

– San Francisco Chronicle

"Vaults to the head of the line for wine books for beginners. One of the finest introductory wine books now available. Highly Recommended...A wonderful surprise."

– California Grapevine, the oldest wine newsletter

"For little more than the price of an average bottle of plonk, this fun, wonderfully concise guide will teach you the basics of buying, tasting, storing, and serving wine, such as the Three Steps of Wine Appreciation, the 100 Best Buys for under $15, and more"

– Quality Paperback Book club (QPB), after selecting the book for inclusion

"Mark’s principles guide us towards clarity…[he] is determined to steer clear of pompous wine-speak…a bedrock utilitarianism grounds [his] quirky and informative guide"

– New York Sun

"No more performance anxiety when ordering [wine] - now everyone can be in the know. This guide also gives the perfect tips on what to serve during holiday entertaining."

– Athens Banner-Herald

"Oldman's Guide is already one of my favorite books...I like its style...and the sidebars are really helpful"

– Chef Jimmy Gheradi, host “Everybody’s Cooking,” WVXU Radio

"Lessons to instill confidence in beginners, along with specific recommendations from food and wine pros"

– Winston-Salem Journal

"An expert with the know-how to transform the wine experience into an accessible hobby, Mark Oldman offers a wholly unpretentious primer that explains just about every kind of wine available, with sections on the basics of reds, whites, and pink. In 'Outsmarting the Basics,' Oldman advises how to get the flavors desired fromlesser-known varieties. For example, 'Instead of Chianti, Try Sexy, Flavorful Primitivo.' Pairing food and wine gets summed up in 'Eleven Pleasure Principles'-for example, 'When in Doubt, Avoid Prime-Time Wines.' Special Occasions also get their due, as Oldman suggests wines for events ranging from Pizza Night to Passover. This all comes with value-added sidebars that offer tips on pronunciation, label-decoding, and food pairings, and appearing throughout are 'On My Table' boxes, in which the rich and/or famous discuss what they like to drink-these folks include various sommeliers and vineyard owners, even that conspicuous consumer Ludacris. Behind all this populist energy lies Oldman's deep and varied knowledge of the topic, making this equally appealing to those who are new to the world of wine, and those who just need a refresher. Paired with Andrea Immer's unimpeachable guide to the intricacies of entertaining with wine and food, they make an excellent recommendation for the foodie/oenophile's kitchen and bar."

– Kirkus Reviews

"My new BIBLE, Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine"

– Men’s Health (Cultural Concierge column)

"One of the most incredible books on wine I've seen in a long time"

– Darrell Beason, host, Healthy Living for Life, KMSR-AM Talk Radio

"A great book, fun to read - I highly recommend it"

– Gary O’Brien, host, WDWS Newstalk Radio

“A fantastic book, one that I have already heavily dog-eared…Mark is going to tell you a lot of what you didn’t know about wine”

– Steve Morgan, host, “In Review” WAIF-FM

"The perfect 'how-to' guide for the novice oenophile...Oldman makes it easy for anyone to appreciate, order and differentiate in the overwhelming wine world...Your significant other will enjoy the [book's] cheat sheets and the casual tone much like he enjoys the sports page on Sunday."

– Potion Magazine

"Probably my favorite wine guide that I've come across...Well organized, very easy to find things, there are pronunciation guides -- god bless him..."

–, one of the Internet’s most influential literature sites

"If you’re a budding wine enthusiast with a distaste for encyclopedic volumes, this is the book for you."

– La Cucina Italiana

"An 'on-ramp' for aspiring wine connoisseurs...spend a few minutes in Mark Oldman's wine world and you'll realize that here is someone who is finally telling you what you need to know -- quickly."

– Metro

"Oldman’s Guide is phenomenal. Maybe the best new wine book I’ve seen since Wine For Dummies. Organized into 108 “shortcuts,” it’s easy to see that much of the book sprang from Mark Oldman’s bicoastal wine classes. He dispenses background, anecdotes, advice and commentary in equal measures, giving readers everything they need to feel not just comfortable but confident. Sidebars beckon with “cheat sheets,” food-pairing suggestions, label-reading tips and Mark’s own picks. Other sidebars detail favorite wines of 83 big-names ranging from Mario Batali to well-known vintners to rapper Ludacris. The book may sound basic, but really it’s not. Consider these shortcut titles: “Syrah: The Inky Abyss,” “Super Tuscans: Big, Rich Rule Breakers,” “Wine and Cheese: Bedfellows and Power Struggles.” Mark drills right to the essence of each topic, and encourages us to appreciate wine in a truly evolved sense, without a whiff of snobbery and nary a wine rating in sight. Accessible and in-depth at the same time, Outsmarting Wine works as a handy reference, a plain good read or a starter guide. Just named winner of the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year...I hope it gets heavy play from the mainstream press; and every tasting room and fine-wine store should stock it.

– W.R. Tish, popular wine writer and speaker

“Wine savvy in 108 Steps...shortcuts to a connoisseur’s confidence”

– BusinessWeek

"We love [Oldman's Guide]; Mark demystifies the world of wine"

– Family Circle (Editors’ Choice Selection)

"In a style as breezy and witty as it is informative, Oldman’s Guide is the essential guide for those who enjoy a tipple...I love it and will refer back to it endlessly..."

– Powell’s, the world’s largest independent bookstore

"The perfect book to get you started with your first sip and bring you well beyond...Oldman has written just the right volume to help readers understand [wine]"

– Wine Enthusiast

"A fresh, funny guide...glib and unpretentious, Oldman decodes wine-tasting lingo and shows how to spot a bargain bottle"

– People

"Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine is the perfect primer—concise, evenhanded, fun, and practical"

– The New Yorker

“Best Book of the Year"

– Apple iTunes, 1 of 6 books featured in “Cookbooks, Food, & Wine” (along with Bourdain and Bittman)

“A full glass of rich, new wine discoveries that will help to expand your wine horizons and build your confidence when exploring your favorite wine store…offers wine lovers of all experience levels a real good buzz on unfamiliar gems…Mark sheds light on the wines that have had both industry insiders and wine lovers “in the know” grinning from ear to ear for some time now.  Much in the same fashion that Oldman used in his last book, thisis a guide with lots of easy to swallow advice.  It’s much like a friend sharing with you how these ‘new’ wines taste, how much you can expect to spend, their availability, and what kinds of foods to pair with them.  In addition, Oldman shares little nuggets of information about the wines (via “cheat sheets”) without boring you to tears with a bunch of information only needed by hardcore grape-nuts for the WSET exam…If you have a wine enthusiast in your life, this is a great book to give this holiday season!”

– WineLife365

“Be advised: this book is not re-hashing a bunch of boring crap!...Oldman’s writing will get you excited to walk into your local shop and say “Do you have a good Torrontés?”…Highly recommended for yourself or as a gift to the avid wine consumer in your life.”

– Vinotrip

“A key [book] and lively survey, packed with charts, focus on unusual wines, and keys to lost pedigrees and bargain wines around the world.”

– Midwest Book Review

“Oldman tackles wine that is floating just under the radar of the mass consciousness, wines you might have heard of but aren’t quite familiar with…it’s impossible not to take away some information that will stick all the way to the wine shop” 

– New York Wine Salon

“A truly enjoyable book.  A quick fun read that was quite informative, but it’s also clear that Oldman doesn’t take himself too seriously.  Be brave – it will be worth it”

– Swirl, Sip, Snark

"One of my favorite wine books of the year has got to be Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine by the humorous and engaging Mark Oldman…I recommend it for anyone looking to shake up their wine-buying routine or anyone who simply wants to stay ahead of wine trends.  It inspired me to choose more eclectic wines from shelves and wine lists."

– VINES magazine


– two-time winner

"A wonderful book for those eager to escape their Pinot Grigio-Chardonnay-Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot wine rut. The book speaks to readers with different levels of wine experience and knowledge. It’s just my kind of summer reading. (Of course, it’s de rigueur in fall, winter and spring too.)"

– Sharon Kapnick,

[Oldman is] the ever-entertaining wine guru

– Miami magazine

"An excellent primer…the perfect book for someone who’s just caught the bug, or would like to...informative and entertaining. Oldman knows his stuff, but he also enlists an army of chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and celebrities to help him demystify the subject...Oldman’s breezy, literate prose and his facility with pop culture metaphors makes for easy reading. Among a number of memorable phrases here, I particularly liked his description of Priorat—the powerful, minerally red from Spain—as ‘Unslim Slatey.’"

– Jay McInernery, The Wall Street Journal

"…Oldman nails it again…just when you think every possible nook and cranny of the wine 101 book category has been explored, out comes a book that takes a unique and valuable spin on the beginner to intermediate wine genre…His writing voice is warm, down-to-earth and accessible and the book itself is peppered with short chapters on varietals…widely available at good wine shops, but also mostly sitting under a layer of dust based on non-familiarity and our own ruts of wine drinking with the familiar…the book is very thoughtfully laid out and a valuable read as a primer on varietals that even the most ardent wine enthusiast likely aren’t too familiar with…the book lives up to its promise…"

– Good Grape: A Wine Blog Manifesto

"A similar mind-set enriches "Oldman's Brave New World of Wine," in which Mark Oldman examines lesser-known but not obscure varietals. This book would be a great gift for beginners and especially for anyone in a malbec or chardonnay rut, thanks to Oldman's clear writing, understanding of context, and (most important, of course) great palate."

– Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"The amazing, hilarious, fascinating (and adorable!) Mark Oldman has a new book that's a must for anyone who likes wine — or anyone who doesn't like it but wishes they did. Mark's motto: "Drink bravely." And that's just what he helps you do in Oldman's Brave New World of Wine by uncovering the best-kept secrets of the world of oenophiles. He interviews everyone from restaurateurs to wine-loving celebs about their favorite lesser-known bottles. You'll never order boring old Chardonnay again."

– Marie Clare

"Mark Oldman should be your best friend in wine. You can trust him, he has great taste, but most importantly, he makes it fun. His new book is packed with insider secrets and tips that will vastly increase your hedonistic happiness!"

– Natalie MacLean, renowned wine personality

"Mark Oldman has a clear head, a cool eye, an experienced palate. The combination gives his thinking an attractive structure and his writing an evocative sense of the grape and the barrel."

– Huffington Post

"I want to highly recommend a new book: 'Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine,” by Mark Oldman. Don’t think it’s for beginners just because he phonetically spells out how to pronounce words (e.g., Faiveley = FAVE-uh-lee). There’s terrific basic information here about grape varieties and regions, and Oldman is one hell of a good writer.'

– Steve Heimoff, acclaimed wine writer

"[A] welcome discussion of many little-known wines that have a great deal of pleasure to offer"

– New York Times

“The new book is another stellar achievement and more often than not I found myself nodding along with his recommendations and witty-but-wise takes on lesser-known varieties...Mark is one of the most dynamic – and one of the best – wine educators in the world”


“A must-peruse for wine lovers of any level…entertaining enough to qualify as bedtime reading …If we had an older brother, I imagine he would closely resemble Mark Oldman – down-to-earth, knowledgeable, easy on the eyes and wicked funny.”

– Palm Beach Post

”Already my dog-eared restaurant companion, this book [is changing my view of wine] the way the ‘Great Beer Guide’ changed my appreciation of the noble grain”

– Austin American-Statesman

“For those looking to expand their vinous palates, Mark leads the way”

– Publishers Weekly

"Libraries have many choices when it comes to buying wine guides. Some books (e.g., Leslie Sbrocco's Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine ) target specific audiences, while others (e.g., John Winthrop Haeger's North American Pinot Noir ) explore the pleasures of a specific grape. Wine educator Oldman takes on the whole subject of wine—from what it is and where it comes from to how to taste, buy, and store it—without writing something unwieldy and pedantic. He has written a highly approachable, contemporary, and practical guide that gets right to the point. In brief, two- to three-page chapters ("Short Cuts"), he tells readers how to order at restaurants, how to (and how not to) taste, how to recognize the characteristics of different grapes, and much more. The end result is an inviting and informative book sure to please both novice and experienced wine connoisseurs. Its balanced and practical approach aims to put good information into the hands of busy people. A wise purchase for all public libraries where there is an interest in wine"

– Library Journal

"New York City-based raconteur du vin introduces readers to "Brave New Pours" -- offbeat and relatively inexpensive wines like moschofilero and nero d'Avola -- as part of his mission to make wine more fun and accessible."

– The Oregonian

“If you are stuck in a wine rut, reach for this - it's just plain fun. Packed with suggestions for interesting wines outside the usual suspects, good food pairings and down-to-earth information, it's laid out in a format that's easy to explore. Oldman's previous book, "Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine," is just as unpretentious and informative. Bundle both together for a great gift.”

– Charlotte Observer

"The PBS wine guru's new guide breaks down lesser-known wines through snappy verbiage, memorable grids and quotes from other wine experts. Any level of wine drinker will come away with useful new information,"


“He’s so vine…an oenophile wizard…whose book is lively and non-snobby”

– Washington Post

“Why should wine insiders have all the fun? In this carefully curated guide, wine writer Mark Oldman highlights 46 alternatives to wine’s usual suspects—the hidden gems that delight the pros but elude the amateurs. Some of the wines, like Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, and Malbec, are gaining in popularity. Others remain under the radar (e.g., Lambrusco, sparkling Shiraz, Aglianico, and Txakoli). But all offer great value. Witty and accessible, this book is for enthusiasts of all levels.”

– Fine Cooking (“Books that Cook”)

Interview with NBC's Chuck Scarborough (watch video)

– NBC News with Chuck Scarborough

"Highly recommended for its combination of accurate information, unstuffy knowledge, and delightful prose...The tone of Oldman's Brave New World of Wine is exactly like talking to him. He's a wisecracking New Yorker, full of knowledge and primed to answer almost any question about wine. He's had major TV time as one of the judges on The Winemakers (its first season was won by Austin dude Ross Outon). In this book, he sets off to educate his readers about bargain wines that are lesser known. Wines like Txakoli, Aglianico, and Cahors all light his rockets, and all because of supply and demand. The fewer people out shopping for them, the better the price will be. Where Oldman is really helpful is in finding obscure wines that are little-known but of wonderful quality. Maybe people have a hard time pronouncing them, or they're an unknown name. In any case, Oldman is skilled at ferreting out the bargains and makes spot-on recommendations."

– Wes Marshall, Austin Chronicle

"The most useful and irreverent wine book ever conceived...If reading this book doesn’t utterly consume you with lust for fine wine, you should probably choose another adult beverage to imbibe."


“Engaging, humorous…readers will enjoy discovering new wine options”

– Sommelier Journal

“A delightful guide to exploring wine for novices and experienced oenophiles alike...Attuned to today’s wine audience, this is no stuffy and ponderous tome. Rather the book is light, even funny at times, all the while remaining informative and knowledgeable without the extra baggage…Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine does what it sets out to do: fires you up to seek out wine beyond your safety zone. It is a work that I plan on turning to again and again to keep from falling back into my Côtes du Rhône rut."


“Be advised: this book is not re-hashing a bunch of boring crap!...Oldman’s writing will get you excited to walk into your local shop and say “Do you have a good Torrontés?”…Highly recommended for yourself or as a gift to the avid wine consumer in your life.”

– Bella Onine

For someone who already knows that chardonnay is a grape grown in Burgundy, I like ‘Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine: Pleasure, Value, and Adventure Beyond Wine’s Usual Suspects’ by Mark Oldman. Oldman wants to help wine enthusiasts “jostle the jaded and slay the snooty.” This book focuses on less-familiar wines that deliver maximum flavor with minimal cost. Oldman knows something about value...[and] he's s a highly verbal wine guru, an intellectual who is plugged into pop culture, and that’s what makes this book entertaining and informative"

– The Suffolk Times and News Review

"If the wine enthusiast in your life is looking to explore new frontiers, pick up a copy of Oldman's Brave New World of Wine by Mark Oldman: Mark - a passionate wine personality - opens the book by stating his mission; to inspire you to drink bravely. The book is divided into categories - Whites, Pink, Reds, Bubbly, Dessert Wines, Three for the Road and Appendices. Each category consists of short, easy reading chapters organized by varietal. Readers may find that the appendices are the most useful place to begin, starting on page 295 with the clever "If You Like This, You May Like That". ($20)"

– WTOP-FM (Washington, D.C.)

“[Oldman’s Guide] will make you fluent in wine without sounding like a blowhard…Mark Oldman's playful but practical wine guide is sure to keep the conversation lively and the eye-rolling to a minimum.”

– Bon Appètit

“Oldman's Guide is one of the best wine books for beginners”