Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine

Do you know to order Pinot Noir to please a table? Or to drink Prosecco and other bubbly throughout a meal? Or that Costco is one of America’s best wine retailers? Or to offer a taste to your server when you BYOB?

Probably not, because most wine books just make you work too hard to glean out choice nuggets of information.

Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine, published by Penguin Books and in its sixth printing, is here to change all of that. In the book, wine educator and entrepreneur Mark Oldman lovingly synthesizes fifteen years of teaching wine into 108 streamlined shortcuts.

Here’s what makes Oldman’s Guide different:

Painless learning: Oldman’s Guide distills the normally convoluted body of wine knowledge to 108 pithy, memorable “Shortcuts,” each followed by about two pages of engaging, need-to-know information. It covers everything from “Don’t Sniff the Cork” to “Order Wine with this One Simple Phrase” to wine types such as, “Sauvignon Blanc: Grapefruity Tart and ‘Freshly Mown’”.

Unbiased: Because wine is not Mark’s primary business (although he has been teaching it for sixteen years), he brings an independent perspective to the task. He is beholden to no winery, distributor, wine shop, publication, or restaurant.

Practical and pro-consumer: Mark’s day job – as founding partner of career publisher Vault, Inc. (www.vault.com) – focuses on giving millions of people the “inside scoop” on employers and industries. In Oldman’s Guide, he applies the same pro-consumer approach to the murky world of wine. Readers receive over 500 wine recommendations at all price points, including his lists of the Faithful 50 lists of best values in red and white wine. He also covers the ideal wines for Thanksgiving, St. Valentine’s Day and 20 other occasions, from holiday gift-giving to weddings.

Celebrity inspiration: To inspire readers to broaden their wine horizons, Mark surveyed the wine preferences of a glittering assortment of wine-passionate luminaries, from Jay McInerney (who advises Viognier puts one “in the mood for romance”), Francis Ford Coppola, and Greg Norman to Tori Amos (who simply adores red Bordeaux), Geddy Lee, and even rap-star Ludacris (who advises one not to “guzzle your Cristal”). This survey — which also encompasses the personal recommendations of dozens of leading winemakers, sommeliers, chefs, and importers — reveals some surprising trends about which wines insiders prefer. Champagne and Riesling, for example, proved to be wildly popular, while varietal Chardonnay and Merlot are far less desired.

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