Today, I’m delighted to say, my latest book The 24-Hour Wine Expert, is published in the US by Abrams Books.
The original version, a Penguin paperback, was published in the UK and elsewhere last February and is already in its seventh printing. The American version is a similar handy size but is a little hardback – a snip, needless to say, at $12.95.
The 24-Hour Wine Expert is not for wine geeks but for wine geeks’ friends and family. It’s aimed at people who enjoy drinking wine and want a short cut to the essentials. I have been thrilled to find people buying multiple copies at a time. In just over 100 illustrated pages it includes:
- How to taste wine
- How to choose wine
- How to avoid expensive mistakes
- How to choose the right bottle for the occasion
- How to match wine and food
- The most common grapes and wine regions
In some ways it was one of the most difficult books to write. My editor at Penguin Cecilia Stein would ask all sorts of penetrating questions about things I have taken for granted for the last 40 years, causing me sometimes to go right back to first principles.
The idea for the book came from two directions. Dutch wine writer Hubrecht Duijker had had considerable success in Holland with a book called (in Dutch) Wine Expert in a Weekend that showed people how to learn about wine over a single weekend. He kept nagging me to co-operate with him on an English version but I was not convinced that his structure and content were quite right for the English market.
Meanwhile our younger daughter Rose, when between jobs, had had the idea of writing a guide to wine for her age group (early twenties) and accordingly quizzed her friends about exactly what they wanted to know.
I found Rose’s list of ingredients absolutely vital in putting my 100% original book together. And I ran the text past her before submitting it to Penguin to ensure it made sense and would strike a chord with younger readers.
The idea of The 24-Hour Wine Expert is that you can learn quite enough about wine in just 24 hours, and once you have done, you’ll be a wine expert 24 hours a day.
I blather about the book in the video below, and you can find out where to order a copy here.