In October 2017, I was approached by one of the country’s top wineries and presented with free tuition for the WSET Level 1 Award. Even though I still had months to go – and knew practically everything relevant to this level – I took it upon myself to educate myself in every way possible. Among the very first books I bought was Jancis Robinson’s The 24-Hour Wine Expert. The book promises to give you 360 degree knowledge of wine. And, happily, the book delivers on its promise.
The first promise it makes and delivers is how quickly you can read this book. If you have a lazy day to spare on your calendar, then by all means make a cup of coffee – not wine just yet – and start reading. It’s a 100-ish page book written with wit and authority, yet reads smoothly and easily. I finished my first read-through in one weekend. However, from January 14 to February 24, I went through the book three more times. The other times were at a more leisurely pace, as I got a pen and some sticky notes and started taking quotes, notes, and exercise tips from this little gold mine.
While the title is a stretch – because 24 hours will never make you an expert in anything, really – yet The 24-Hour Wine Expert does tackle everything you may have questions about if you’re new to wine. It also equips you with more than enough exercises to kick start your tasting skills. Robinson sheds light on everything related to the wine world, even if very briefly. She talks about the difference between wine colors; bottle shapes; wine labels; taste, color, and smell descriptors; wine grapes; and wine regions. She also discusses wine pairings and the price-to-quality relation.
I have read more than a few wine books since I first started my wine blog a year ago, and I can honestly say this should be the very first book for you to buy if you decide to pursue and grow your interest in wine.