Anna S. (Auburn, AL)
At last, a book about wine for the rest of us. Asimov assures us that we don't have to be 'experts' to enjoy wine. He argues that enjoying wine should be, first of all, an emotional experience, and as our enjoyment increases, wanting to learn more about wine may follow. I particularly enjoyed his many anecdotes about his love affair with wine, and was delighted with his comments on tasting notes.
Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
It's all about the writing.
Whether you appreciate the nuances of fine wine and the drinking thereof or you do not, this book is carefully crafted to be appreciated by a reader of fine writing. Several times I was caught up in a turn of phrase that made me jealous of Eric’s writing ability. In addition, the content was useful and interesting. It made me realize that my wine appreciation was just fine, thank you very much. I could not ask for more—self-validation and entertainment in a single slim volume. This tome is a mini-treasure trove of information about how wine assessment really works (and doesn't). I will read it again and share quotes with my friends. No wine snobs need apply.
Celia A. (Takoma Park, MD)
Turning wine into an emotional experience
Eric Asimov is trying to save the world from the tyranny of tasting notes, wine scores, and blind tastings. While there's nothing intrinsically bad about them, he just finds that the information gleaned from them is unhelpful. In fact, he finds that by suggesting that there is a "right answer" to wine, these common practices of the wine community take wine out of context and serve primarily to spark anxiety in people who fear that they don't know enough to understand or appreciate wine. Asimov hopes to convince people that is possible to enjoy and even love wine without being able to pinpoint every last flavor and aroma. He wants it to be an emotional experience, not merely an intellectual one. He weaves this manifesto with the humorous telling of his own journey as a wine lover. If you already love wine, this is a book for you. And if you think that you could love wine if you only knew enough, this book is definitely for you.
Patricia F. (Stony Brook, New York)
A Love Affair With Wine
The title of Eric Asimov's How to Love Wine may be somewhat misleading, as people who already love wine would likely enjoy this book, but may shy away from the title. I suggest as a title A Love Affair With Wine as more appropriate to the relationship the author has had with wine throughout his life. As with many love affairs, there are peaks and valleys. The book is an easy read and thoroughly enjoyable. Speaking from the point of view of a "wine loving" family, we subscribe to many of the same tenets as Mr. Asimov, particularly in drinking what you love, but not feeling bad about the lack of embrace for that Cabernet which received 97 points on the Wine Spectator scale. One never really knows a wine until it is opened, allowed to breathe, and then paired with fresh, simply prepared food. Threaded throughout his education of wine, is Mr. Asimov's personal story of how he came to be the Chief Wine Critic ( and the only one!) for the New York Times from his roots growing up on Long Island. He teaches the reader to let go of intimidation and to just dive into the wine experience, to try different wines, to be adventurous, and to relish the experience. I felt that Mr. Asimov might approve of the experience my family recently enjoyed this summer: a sunset picnic by a beloved lake where we drank a fabulous champagne ( J Vineyard Cuvee 20..a bargain at $25 a bottle) served in plastic cups! The champagne was bright and crisp, the company excellent, the experience unforgettable.
Enjoy this book, like a fine wine.
Nancy L. (Zephyrhills, FL) retired librarian
How to Love Wine
Eric Asimov's "How to Love Wine A Memoir and a Manifesto" is more manifesto than memoir. After a rather slow start, Asimov introduces his theme - that anyone can learn to love wine and explains in detail that wine is meant to be tasted with food. This theme is reiterated throughout the rest of the book. He gives some clear suggestions for the beginning wine lover and I came away with a much greater understanding of how I can find and enjoy good wine. This book is perfect for people like me who want to enjoy good wine but don't know quite where to start.
Margaret B. (Pompano Beach, FL)
How to Love Wine
The author truly likes wine and feels one should drink wine to enjoy. His travelog of how he got be be selected to be the chief wine critic for The new York Times will help others realize the effort needed. His advice to selecting wines is very simple and tells what not to do. If one is interested in selecting good and affordable wines, this book is helpful.
Debbie-Lyn C. (Kitty Hawk, N.C.)
How To Love Wine
The title of this book is misleading. I wanted to gain knowledge of wine, maybe an insiders view to help in learning about different varieties, regions, foods to pair with, storage, etc. These topics are hinted upon after the slow beginning which was more about how the author came to enjoy wine and then become the NY Times wine critique. I do agree with his thoughts on wine notes and how silly they can be. I was interested in learning about how some wine taste tests are run. The chapter on The Home Wine School is where I obtained information that could be useful in teaching "How to Love Wine."