Way back in 2004, a wine enthusiast (some may say expert) of dubious character and discernment (more on that later) released a manuscript which would go onto save the wine world, nay, society itself! OK, perhaps a slight exaggeration. But this book, Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine, should be on every oenophile’s bookshelf. It’s probable one of the most easy to read, make you smile, ways of learning about wine. And back in those days I needed all the help I could get. With learning…I was OK with smiling. Having spoken with a few “experts” (their bodies now buried in the Nevada desert) I got the feeling that my quest to expand my wine knowledge was more of an annoyance to them, rather than a welcome opportunity to teach

Then I ran across Mr. Oldman’s book in pristine condition at a used bookstore (what idiot got rid of it?) and began leafing through it. Gone were the pompous and elaborate explanations and the ego filled opinions…all that was left was solid, easy to understand definitions, with a very real sense of humor. Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine seems to be almost written in such a way, as to allow the knowledge to embed itself in the brain, without really any effort on the readers part. Cleverly laid out in 108 sections, one never feels overwhelmed by the size of each section. Not sure of the psychology behind it, but I always felt like I was moving at a fairly rapid pace and learning valuable information constantly.

Some of the book may seem a bit redundant to any Sommeliers or WSET 3’s with distinction folks out there, but there’s always something we need a refresher on. And quite frankly, even if I already know something, I can certainly appreciate Mr. Oldman’s take on it. Mark has written 2 books since, which I will be review soon, plus he was kind enough to sit down for an interview recently. This will appear here in the A FEW MOMENTS WITH… section in the very near future. During that interview you will find out what a scoundrel Mr. Oldman can be…just kidding (sorta) Be sure to check it out and grab yourself a copy of Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine.

This book earns 4 1/2 out of 5 glasses from our panel of “experts” (ok…me). Well done Mr. Oldman…

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