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Pick a Perfect Wine In No Time

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Pick a Perfect Wine In No Time


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  • Copyright 2006
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 288
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3326-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3326-9

Walking into a wine shop or perusing a restaurant's wine menu can be an overwhelming event. With many stores and upscale eateries offering more than a thousand wines to choose from, the average consumer needs a guide like Anita LaRaia. As the founder and director of The Wine School of Atlanta, Georgia, Anita has taught thousands of wine classes over the past 26 years and graduated some of the country's top wine connoisseurs. Using her unique blend of wine expertise, practical advice, and easy-to-read conversational explanations, Pick a Perfect Wine In No Time covers everything you need to know about wines and their food partners. With full coverage of important topics like vintages, vineyards from around the world, wine types, and wine labels, even the most inexperienced wine drinker can impress the wine steward at a fancy, upscale restaurant. Anita includes valuable reference information on wine vintages, exciting food and wine combinations, menus and recipes for hosting wine events, how to start a wine collection on any budget, plus finding the perfect tour of the wine country in California, France, or Italy. Whether planning a romantic dinner for two or a party for 200 guests, Pick a Perfect Wine In No Time makes choosing the perfect wine fast, simple, and easy.

 "Anita LaRaia has been at the forefront of wine education for well over two decades. Her new book is a comprehensive and invaluable learning tool for wine educators and consumers alike." Michael McNeill, Master Sommelier

Michael McNeill is Director of Wine Education for Quality Wine & Spirits and has worked as sommelier alongside numerous world renowned five-star chefs, including Grey Kunz at Lespinasse, Craig Shelton at Ryland Inn, and Guenther Seeger and Bruno Menard at Ritz-Carlton Atlanta's The Dining Room.

"Anita LaRaia's Pick a Perfect Wine in No Time makes learning about wine easy and fun, and her colorful personality shines through. Perfect for readers whose interest in wine is casual -- or serious." Sharon Boorstin, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director,  Women & Wine (www.WomenWine.com) 

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Winemaking: The Six Basic Types of Wine

Winemaking--The Six Basic Types of Wine

Table of Contents


    How I Learned What I Know About Wine

    What Pick a Perfect Wine In No Time Can Do For You

    Who Should Read This Book

    How This Book Is Organized

    Special Elements and Icons

    Finding Your Way


1. Wine Is: History, Agriculture, Health, Food, and Joy.

    Wine Is History: Ancient Dudes Thought Wine Was Cool

    Wine's Ancient Roots

    Wine in Classical Greece and Rome

    Wine During the Time of Christ

    The Role of Wine Through the Middle Ages: Those Jolly Old Monks

    The Seventeenth Century: Corks Can Save Wine-And Can Kill It, Too

    The Nineteenth Century to Today: Phylloxera Plague and the Development of Winemaking in the New World

    Wine Is Good for You: The Role of Wine in Health and Diet

    Red Wine-Good for Your Heart and Longevity

    Wine May Increase Brain Power and Aid Relaxation

    Wine Calories and Carbohydrates

    Red Wine, Headaches, Sulfites, and Lead

    Wine Is Food, Joy, Friendship, and Romance

2. How Grapes and Vineyards Determine Taste, Style, Value, and Food Affinities.

    Learning to Taste Wine's Many Flavors

    Grape Varieties and Varietal Wines

    The Four Noble Grapes

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    Pinot Noir



    The Bordeaux Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc


    The Bordeaux Red Grapes

    The Rhône Grapes



    The Other Rhône Grapes

    Petite Sirah and Zinfandel: Two Unique California Red Grapes

    Gamay: The Other Burgundy Grape

    Muscadet and Chenin Blanc: White Grapes of the Loire

    Grapes of Germany, Alsace, and Austria

    The Italian Grapes

    The Great Grapes of Spain

    The Red Grape South Africa Invented

    Four Native Greek Grapes

    North American Grape Varieties

    Vineyards Determine a Wine's Style and Price

3. Winemaking-The Six Basic Types of Wine.

    Winemaking Basics

    Sulfites in Wine

    Free Run Wine, Press Wine, Brandy, and Liqueurs

    Making Dry Red Wines

    Nouveau and Whole Cluster Reds

    Aging Red Wine in Oak Barrels

    Buying the Best Reds

    Making Dry White Wines-To Oak or Not to Oak

    Fermenting White Wines

    Chilling the Wine and Removing Tartrate Crystals

    Adjusting the Wine's Fruitiness and Sweetness

    Making Rosé, Blush, and Blanc de Noir Wines

    Putting the Bubbles in Champagne

    Harvesting and Pressing the Grapes

    Fermenting and Blending the Juice

    Adjusting and Bottling for a Second Fermentation

    Aging the Wine, Removing its Sediment, and Adjusting its Sweetness

    Buying and Enjoying Bargain Champagne, Big Bottles, and Splits

    Fortified Wines: Porto, Sherry, and Madeira

    Porto From Portugal

    Sherry From Spain

    Madeira My Dear

    Dessert Wines Made Eight Ways

    Pressing Frozen Grapes: Eiswein or Ice Wine

    How Botrytis and Late Harvesting Produce Dessert Wines

    Making Vin Santo-Italy's Sweet Holy Wine

    Stopping Fermentation to Determine Sweetness

     "Reading" a Wine by its Bottle Color and Shape

4. Vintage Years/Vintage Wines.

    Vintage Years-To Be or Not to Be

    Defining "Vintage" Year

    How Old Is Too Old?

    Who Says It's A Great Vintage?

    Using Expert Appraisals of Vintage Wines

    Sampling and Comparing Vintage Wines

    Vintage Tastings

    Vintage Gifts

    Charting Great Vintages

5. The Wine Label Decoder.

    Understanding What a Wine's Label Says About the Wine Inside

    Reading the Three Most Common Types of Wine Labels

    Finding the Producer's Name

    Reading the Wine's Vintage Year

    Reading Other Descriptive Wine Label Information

    Recognizing and Reading Varietal Wine Labels

    American and New World Varietals

    French Varietals

    European Union Varietals

    Recognizing and Reading Appellation of Origin Labels

    Understanding French Geographic Indications on Wine Labels

    Italy's Denominazione di Origine Controllata

    Appellation of Origin Labels of Spain and Greece

    American Viticultural Areas

    Understanding What the Label Tells Us About the Wine's Level of Sweetness

    Decoding Some Sample Wine Labels

    Goats do Roam, Charles Back-South Africa

    Côtes du Rhône-Perrin Reserve-France

    Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir-Willamette Valley, Oregon

    Moulin-à-Vent-Château des Jacques-Domaine Louis Jadot-Cru Beaujolais-France

    Fifth Leg-Margaret River, Australia

    C.G. di Arie-Zinfandel "Southern Exposure"-Shenandoah Valley, Sierra Foothills, California

    Broquel-Malbec-Bodegas Trapiche-Mendoza, Argentina

    Morandé-Carmenère-Terrarum Reserve-Maipo Valley, Chile

    Chateau Ste. Michelle-Merlot-Columbia Valley, Washington

    J. Lohr Estates-Cabernet Sauvignon "Seven Oaks"-Paso Robles, California

    Banfi-Chianti Classico DOCG "Riserva"-Tuscany, Italy

    Tommasi-Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC-"Ripasso"-Veneto, Italy

    Viña Alarba-Old Vines Grenache (Garnacha)-DO Calatayud, Spain-Bodegas del Jalón-Jorge Ordoñez

    Boschendal-Sauvignon Blanc-South Africa

    St. Supéry-Meritage (White) "Virtú"-Napa Valley, California

    Beringer-Chardonnay "Private Reserve"-Napa Valley, California

    Vionta-Albariño-DO Rías Baixas, Spain

    Settesoli "MandraRossa"-Fiano-IGT Sicilia (Sicily) Italy

    Domaine Gerovassiliou-Malagousia-Epanomi, Greece

    Pfaffl "Goldjoch"-Grüner Veltliner-Austria

    B&G (Barton & Guestier)-Vouvray-Loire, France

    Selbach Oster-Riesling-Spätlese-Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

    Bodegas Hidalgo-"La Gitana"-Manzanilla Sherry-Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

    Ramos-Pinto-Porto Ruby-Portugal-Maison Marques & Domaines, USA

    Mumm Napa-Blanc de Noirs-Napa Valley, California

    Rumball-Sparkling Shiraz-Coonawarra, Australia


6. Made in the USA-California and Beyond.

    Mother Lode-California's Wine Gold

    How California's Great Grapes Climate Produces Great Grapes

    California AVAs and Wineries

    Cult Wines and Collectibles: Wine Spectator's Top 100

    Current California Favorites

    California Cuisine

    Crystal Ball-California's Future

    Oregon Wines

    Washington Wines

    New York State Wines

    From Our Founding Fathers-Wines of Virginia

    The Wines of Canada and Baja California, Mexico

7. Down Under Wines Up in Quality-Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and South Africa.

    Winemakers and Winemaking in Australia

    Australian Shiraz and Blended Wines

    Australia's Sparkling and Dessert Wines

    South Australia's Wine-Producing Zones and Wineries

    New South Wales and Its Hunter Valley Zone

    Victoria's Wine-Producing Zones

    Western Australia and the Margaret River Zone

    Wine-Producing Regions of the Island of Tasmania

    Enjoying the Wines of New Zealand

    Choosing Great Wines from South Africa-Where Two Oceans Meet

    Wines and Wineries of the Paarl and Stellenbosch Wine Districts

    South Africa's Overberg and Swartland Regions, and Their Pinotage Grapes

8. Latin Lovers-Chile, Argentina, and Spain.

    Chile's Magnificent Climate, Wine, and Cuisine

    Chile's Wine Regions

    Chilean Wine Labeling and Vintages

    Argentine Wines Tango For Your Tongue

    Wonderful Wines of Spain

    Spain's Wine Regions and Wine Label Designations

    Spain's Great Grapes, Wines, and Wineries

9. French Me! Choosing Wines from the Great Wine Regions of France.

    Great Wines of Bordeaux

    Bordeaux Wine Districts and Their Blends

    Bordeaux Châteaux and Their Classifications

    The One and Only: French Champagne

    Burgundy's Great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Beaujolais Wines

    Understanding Burgundy's AOC Designations

    Choosing Wines from Burgundy's Wine Growing Regions

    Loire Everyday Wines with Global Popularity

    Alsace-White Wine Elegance

    Fine Wines of the Rhône Valley

    Languedoc-Mediterranean Varietals

    Provence Is Pretty in Pink-And Red

10. All Greek to Me.

    The Native Grapes of Greece

    Salute to Greek Wineries

    The Wines and Wineries of Macedonia

    Wines of the Peloponnese Peninsula

    Some Wines from the Islands of Santorini and Samos

    Touring the Wineries of Greece

11. Sweet or Not Too Sweet-Wines of Germany and Austria.

    Germany's Wine Designations

    Qualitätswein: Germany's Quality Wine

    Qualitätswein mit Prädikat: Germany's Finest Wines

    New Classifications for Dry German Wines

    German Wine Regions and Producers

    Germany's 2004 Vintage

    Austria's Wine Identity

12. Italy's Splendor in the Glass.

    Italy's Updated Wine Laws-Bravo to the Best

    Italy's IGT Varietal Wines

    Italy's Top Wines-The DOCGs

    Italy's Noble Grapes

    Italy's Super-Tuscan and Venetian Wines

    Italian Sparkling Wines

    Pairing Italian Wines with Food


13. Serving Wine Correctly (When There's No Butler to Do It).

    Proper Wine Service-Rules of Engagement

    Choosing Glasses and Wine Accessories

    Finding the Perfect Glass

    Setting the Table

    To Chill or Not to Chill

    Popping the Cork

    Decanting, Pouring, and Serving

    Storing Leftover Wine

    Hosting a Wine Party

14. Being a Savvy Retail Shopper.

    What Customers Want-Stores Who Provide It

    Keeping Track of Preferences

    Special Orders and Direct Shipping

    Identifying the Best Wine Stores

    Finding the Jewels-Everyday and Celebration Wines

    Special Occasion Sparklers

    Ruby Reds

15. Ordering Wine Like a Pro.

    Restaurant Wine Lists and Service

    Satisfying Everyone at the Table

    Choosing Wines by Theme and Cuisine

    Tasting the Wine

    Subject to Change-Prices and Vintages

    What Makes an Award-Winning Wine List

16. Collecting and Storing Wine.

    Creating a Wine Cellar on Any Budget

    Inexpensive Wine Storage Techniques

    Storing Wine in Climate-controlled Cabinets

    Tracking Your Wine Inventory

    Smart Wine Collecting

    Ten Rules of Wine Collecting

    Putting Together a Beginner's Collection

    Creating an Intermediate-level Collection

    Advanced Collectors

    Putting a Value on Your Wine Collection

17. Entertaining with Wine.

    Hosting Wine and Food Tastings

    Creating a Wine "Dinner Class"

    Creating a Dinner Class Menu and Wine List

    Making the Event Special


A. References and Resources.



    Wines and Accessories

    Wine and Travel

    Wine Clubs, Sommeliers, Wine Education

B. Wine Dictionary A-Z.

C. Wine Touring Tips.

    Touring American Wine Regions

    Napa Valley Wineries and Restaurants

    Touring the Sierra Foothills and Livermore

    Planning Tours in Europe

    Attending a Cooking and Wine School in France and Beyond

    Enjoying La Dolce Vita of Italy Wine Tours

    Quick Tips for Touring Chile

    Wine Spas, Working Winery Vacations, and Other Unique Touring Ideas

D. Table of Varietal Wines.

E. Bordeaux Classifications and Burgundy Vineyards.

    Bordeaux Classifications

    1855 Classification of the Haut-MéDoc

    1855 Classification of Sauternes

    1959 Classification of Graves

    1996 Classification of St.-émilion

    Top Cru Bourgeois of the Médoc


    Burgundy Vineyards

    Grand Cru Vineyards-Côte d'Or Burgundy



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