Anyone who’s ever listened to Marnie Old speak on beer, food pairings, marketing, Canada, or anything really, knows she full-on knows her shit. But it’s when the Philly-based sommelier talks wine that people (and the related multi-national corporations and associations that she addresses and advises) truly stop mid-sip to hear her.
And now people who like wine but can’t quite seem to grasp all the appellations … and the labels … and the vintages … and the…sigh, well, you know … everything else, can take advantage of her copious knowledge without shelling out thousands of bucks to hire her as a personal consultant. For the price of a $25 book, the educator who came up the wine ranks as the som at Striped Bass and the director of wine studies at Manhattan’s French Culinary Institute will tell everything she knows.
Old says her fourth wine book – the one she’s formally releasing at Vintage tonight at 6:30 – is revolutionary. Wine: A Tasting Course lays out the basics (and not-so-basics) of wine in a conceptual way that she says has never been done before. Using loads of pictures and drawings and charts, Old walks readers through more than 250 colorful pages of “practical generalizations” they can use to make connections that will allow them to more comfortably order and buy wine. Instead of focusing on how different types of wine taste, as she does, Old says, all those other wine books focus too much on details and exceptions and regions and all the stuff that tends to confuse even the most earnest of wine appreciators.
Having spoken to Old about her new project many times, I can tell you that she’s genuinely excited about how she’s presenting her ideas, and she very much hopes, as her book jacket cover says, to “provide a degree of comfort and ease for all drinkers … to take the stiffness out of wine and put the fun back in.”
So if that sounds like your kind of thing, check her out tonight at 6:30 at Vintage where she’ll be talking, signing books and walking folks through “interactive tasting stations” for a bit more of a hands-on experience.
Wine: A Tasting Course [amazon]