Kirkus: Review

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.