To become an expert on wine is an endeavor that seems daunting at best. Consider what it takes to achieve the level of Master Sommelier, a rigorous process tracked in the recently-released documentary Somm. To earn this prestigious status, considered the top rung for any wine professional, one must take a test considered to be among the most difficult in the world; in the past 40 years, only about 200 people have passed.


Richard Betts is one of these 200, and he is bent on taking the intimidation factor out of wine with his playful new book, “The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert,” with illustrations by Wendy Macnaughton (see also her recent work: whimsical VIP drink cards for the bar at The NoMad).

From NPR’s The Salt blog:

“Until recently, wine has been more hoity-toity, not accessible to people,” Betts, one of just 200 Master Wine Sommeliers, tells The Salt. “We’re making it more inclusive. Wine is a grocery, not a luxury.”

In the book, Betts employs plain English to separate wine aromas into a few basic categories, using scratch’n’sniff science to illustrate along the way. The result is a guide that shares a knowledge and appreciation of wine in an approachable way. It is available now.

[Via The Salt]
[Images: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt]

The short URL of the present article is:

Leave a Reply