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Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, but Not the Snobbery That Goes with It

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This is a fun but respectful (and very comprehensive) guide to everything you ever wanted to know about wine from the creator and host of the popular podcast Wine for Normal People, described by Imbibe magazine as "a wine podcast for the people." More than 60,000 listeners tune in every month to learn a not-snobby wine vocabulary, how and where to buy wine, how to read a w This is a fun but respectful (and very comprehensive) guide to everything you ever wanted to know about wine from the creator and host of the popular podcast Wine for Normal People, described by Imbibe magazine as "a wine podcast for the people." More than 60,000 listeners tune in every month to learn a not-snobby wine vocabulary, how and where to buy wine, how to read a wine label, how to smell, swirl, and taste wine, and so much more! Rich with charts, maps, and lists—and the author's deep knowledge and unpretentious delivery—this vividly illustrated, down-to-earth handbook is a must-have resource for millennials starting to buy, boomers who suddenly have the time and money to hone their appreciation, and anyone seeking a relatable introduction to the world of wine.


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This is a fun but respectful (and very comprehensive) guide to everything you ever wanted to know about wine from the creator and host of the popular podcast Wine for Normal People, described by Imbibe magazine as "a wine podcast for the people." More than 60,000 listeners tune in every month to learn a not-snobby wine vocabulary, how and where to buy wine, how to read a w This is a fun but respectful (and very comprehensive) guide to everything you ever wanted to know about wine from the creator and host of the popular podcast Wine for Normal People, described by Imbibe magazine as "a wine podcast for the people." More than 60,000 listeners tune in every month to learn a not-snobby wine vocabulary, how and where to buy wine, how to read a wine label, how to smell, swirl, and taste wine, and so much more! Rich with charts, maps, and lists—and the author's deep knowledge and unpretentious delivery—this vividly illustrated, down-to-earth handbook is a must-have resource for millennials starting to buy, boomers who suddenly have the time and money to hone their appreciation, and anyone seeking a relatable introduction to the world of wine.

30 review for Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, but Not the Snobbery That Goes with It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine (Queen of Books)

    Oh, I really liked the voice of the author in Wine for Normal People - she neither talks down to you, nor expects you to know everything off-the-bat. Sometimes guides can come off as a bit patronizing, but I felt she did a great job avoiding that. Rather than, "You didn't already know this!?" or, "You may not know, wine is made from grapes...," it felt like a friend trying to meet you where you are, and teach you what they know in a kind and fun way. (Fun, as in, the occasional subtle sexual inn Oh, I really liked the voice of the author in Wine for Normal People - she neither talks down to you, nor expects you to know everything off-the-bat. Sometimes guides can come off as a bit patronizing, but I felt she did a great job avoiding that. Rather than, "You didn't already know this!?" or, "You may not know, wine is made from grapes...," it felt like a friend trying to meet you where you are, and teach you what they know in a kind and fun way. (Fun, as in, the occasional subtle sexual innuendo and jokes are mixed in!) I read Cork Dork last year, and I've got to say, I kind of wish I had read this book first (you know, had it been published...). It's a great primer on all things wine - just jam-packed full of information. It's like an accessible textbook in a lot of ways. This is one to keep on your coffee table, and flip through every now and then, learning different things in short little spurts (but maybe not one to try to read every word of in one sitting). Would recommend! And I haven't listened to the Wine for Normal People podcast, but now I want to start!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Larson

    I finished three similar books this week, and this is the one I am going to buy. Very informative and fun to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    DNF I'm sorry and this is entirely a "me" problem. I love wine but as it turns out, I really don't care much about how wine works. And I thought a book like this would be perfect but something about the author's writings style rubs me wrong. And again, I'm certain other readers are going to love this. Especially older audiences, I can see a book club skimming through this and loving it. So yes, I wish I could have finished this and I'll never be a proper food snob but I'm sure that others are goin DNF I'm sorry and this is entirely a "me" problem. I love wine but as it turns out, I really don't care much about how wine works. And I thought a book like this would be perfect but something about the author's writings style rubs me wrong. And again, I'm certain other readers are going to love this. Especially older audiences, I can see a book club skimming through this and loving it. So yes, I wish I could have finished this and I'll never be a proper food snob but I'm sure that others are going to enjoy this more!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    An exceptional “all things wine” education. Comfortable presentation without the “wine snob” pretense. If you’re remotely interested in expanding your wine knowledge and becoming more confident in the wine aisle, this is a must read. Happy tasting!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a really neat little book, perfect for people who like wine, but know very little specifically about it. Make no mistake: wine is complicated, from the color, to the region in which it's grown, to the correct pairing with food, and the temperature at which it's served. How do you know what's right? The simplest answer is to just go with what you like. But if you'd like a quick and dirty education--this book will give it to you. Elizabeth Schneider provides a wonderful look at everything yo This is a really neat little book, perfect for people who like wine, but know very little specifically about it. Make no mistake: wine is complicated, from the color, to the region in which it's grown, to the correct pairing with food, and the temperature at which it's served. How do you know what's right? The simplest answer is to just go with what you like. But if you'd like a quick and dirty education--this book will give it to you. Elizabeth Schneider provides a wonderful look at everything you need to know about the beverage made from the humble grape in eight sections: 1. Tasting and Talking wine--learn the basics of wine vocabulary. 2. How wine gets made--discusses everything from the importance of the location of the vineyard to the journey to the winery. 3. How wine gets its flavor (hint: there's more to it than just the grapes on a vine). 4. Geography--Old vs. New World. 5. Old World--in depth look at the major European and Middle Eastern wine making countries. 6. New World--in depth look at wine making in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Americas. 7. Food and Wine Pairings. 8. Picking wines at the store or restaurant. There was so much in this book that was helpful. I loved the vocabulary and history/geography and found the charts (there are a lot of great photos and illustrations in this book!), especially those that broke down each wine and its characteristics, very useful. I'd recommend this one to any wine fan. Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for providing this ARC to review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Miquel

    She’s managed to keep a conversational tone throughout the text, embodying her podcasts remarkably well. For example in a brief mention about biodynamic farming she says, “I know biodynamic farming sounds kind of out there.” to show she knows what people are thinking when they hear about burying cow horns packed with manure in the field. She also has great little pullout quotes and sidebars to keep people interested. For example she says that in general, the lighter the color of wines in both red She’s managed to keep a conversational tone throughout the text, embodying her podcasts remarkably well. For example in a brief mention about biodynamic farming she says, “I know biodynamic farming sounds kind of out there.” to show she knows what people are thinking when they hear about burying cow horns packed with manure in the field. She also has great little pullout quotes and sidebars to keep people interested. For example she says that in general, the lighter the color of wines in both red and white, the lighter in alcohol they’ll be. To be honest, I’d never really thought about this, but she’s very much right and it’s one of these great nuggets that gives people something to grab on to whilst traversing the vast chasm of wine knowledge intake. But I think more than anything else, it’s the fact that the book looks sharp. It’s well designed to be clean without being cutesy. It rivals another text that intends to simplify wine learning and which people always applaud for the design. In the case of Wine for Normal People, it not only looks good but actually has accurate information which is something that the other text is vastly deficient in. Is it a quick read? No, because it can’t be. But it does overall excel in brevity as much as possible and I like the fact that in the Germany section Elizabeth flat-out says that German wines are difficult. She tries to cover it in as much detail as makes sense just so that people are aware of them and have some text as reference, but by acknowledging they’re not easy has probably helped many a reader to breathe easier. Read the full review on Hudin.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    Elizabeth Schneider opens the door to normal people and reveals the secrets the snobby wine critics don't want you to know. She explains all the technical terms wonderfully and explains concepts with great examples. One of my favourites was on page 32 with her explanation on tannins - the rabbit and the dentist! The Q&A sections are a brilliant way to learn more about wine with questions that "normal' people will ask. The "How to make your own wine" was an interesting read, quite a bit of work and Elizabeth Schneider opens the door to normal people and reveals the secrets the snobby wine critics don't want you to know. She explains all the technical terms wonderfully and explains concepts with great examples. One of my favourites was on page 32 with her explanation on tannins - the rabbit and the dentist! The Q&A sections are a brilliant way to learn more about wine with questions that "normal' people will ask. The "How to make your own wine" was an interesting read, quite a bit of work and knowledge goes into a bottle! I think I'll leave THAT job to the experts though. The charts describing each grape with its smell/taste descriptors is also very useful. Great chapters on the old and new world wine producing countries detailing the wine growing regions (along with maps) and wines found there. A great book to have on hand for wine tasting events or even just to learn more about your favourite wine and perhaps discover a new favourite too. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me the chance to read this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christie Hoffmeister

    I won a copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway under the premise that I would read it and provide my honest feedback. The author is a certified Sommelier and certified Specialist of Wine, per the book cover. Apparently, she also has a podcast, which I hadn’t heard of before called, you guessed it, Wine for Normal People. What is cool about the book is it manages to mix history and geography with wine. And who doesn’t like that? The sections are separated into regions with maps and discusses O I won a copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway under the premise that I would read it and provide my honest feedback. The author is a certified Sommelier and certified Specialist of Wine, per the book cover. Apparently, she also has a podcast, which I hadn’t heard of before called, you guessed it, Wine for Normal People. What is cool about the book is it manages to mix history and geography with wine. And who doesn’t like that? The sections are separated into regions with maps and discusses Old World wine vs New World wine. Before going into all this though, the author first describes vineyards, farming, and from vineyard to winery. Overall, an excellent reference book that is especially great for breaking out during wine parties or laid out as a coffee table book for guest to glance through. A worthy book on the subject of wine.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    The title of this book says it all! I really enjoyed the tone of the author's writing, and really starting with wine basics. I learned a lot about wine that I didn't know, and possibly more than I'll ever need. I almost wish there was a Cliffsnotes version that I could take with me to the store! (The book is a hefty hardcover). There are great sections about how wine gets made, where wine gets it's flavor, and ewine and food pairings. I think this books is a great option for wine novices and wine The title of this book says it all! I really enjoyed the tone of the author's writing, and really starting with wine basics. I learned a lot about wine that I didn't know, and possibly more than I'll ever need. I almost wish there was a Cliffsnotes version that I could take with me to the store! (The book is a hefty hardcover). There are great sections about how wine gets made, where wine gets it's flavor, and ewine and food pairings. I think this books is a great option for wine novices and wine lovers alike. I would reccomend this book to anyone looking to be more confident in their wine selections or someone looking for something new. My thanks to Goodreads and Chronicle Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley and Chronicle Books. Wine for normal people seems like the perfect book for people just getting into wine. The language is easy, straight forward, peppered with jokes. The design is incredibly easy to follow and provides a nice overview. Vocabulary and all kinds of terms are being explained and it even contains practical step-by-step instructions (e.g. how to taste wine properly). I don’t find this the type of I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley and Chronicle Books. Wine for normal people seems like the perfect book for people just getting into wine. The language is easy, straight forward, peppered with jokes. The design is incredibly easy to follow and provides a nice overview. Vocabulary and all kinds of terms are being explained and it even contains practical step-by-step instructions (e.g. how to taste wine properly). I don’t find this the type of book to read from cover to cover but more like a fun reference book to look up one thing at a time. Nonetheless, this seems like a great gift for new wine lovers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I’m a big fan of Elizabeth’s podcast and web classes and this book did not disappoint! In her typical friendly, knowledgable and slightly corny humored fashion, Elizabeth walks you through all you need to know about wine. I would not necessarily recommend reading it cover to cover as I did, but instead reading the first few chapters, the last few chapters and using the middle as a guide as you try new wines. The middle goes through all the major wine regions in a fair amount of detail. I enjoyed m I’m a big fan of Elizabeth’s podcast and web classes and this book did not disappoint! In her typical friendly, knowledgable and slightly corny humored fashion, Elizabeth walks you through all you need to know about wine. I would not necessarily recommend reading it cover to cover as I did, but instead reading the first few chapters, the last few chapters and using the middle as a guide as you try new wines. The middle goes through all the major wine regions in a fair amount of detail. I enjoyed making a list of wines/regions I’d like to try as I read through it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Tierney

    This book is a fantastic resource if you want to be able to go into your first official wine tasting without looking like a rookie. She has compiled the terminology that you encounter at wineries and put it into easy to understand terms so that you can go into any tasting fully prepared so that you get the most out of your experience.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    4.5 stars. A fun wine encyclopedia/guide written in plain English. At times I got frustrated by the author’s need to preface information with how it really wasn’t that hard/nerdy/scary... I picked up a 300-something page wine encyclopedia. I promise I’m here for the (legitimately good and useful!) information. Now on to trying wine from a bunch of new regions...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emma Criswell

    Easily digestible, well written book. The real meat of the book is found in the regional breakdowns, but information on everything from winemaking to food pairing is broken down in a way that anyone can pick up. Some truly helpful tidbits for my wine classes are found here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kate Fredborg

    Elizabeth’s voice for her podcast transitions beautifully into a narrative for her book! A valuable source for wine information, written for the wine-curious and wine enthusiast but not the wine snob. A great resource for (I dare say) “normal people”.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    Like the podcast of the same name this book is informative, unpretentious and well-organized. Schneider is good at describing characteristics of wine in ways that are easy to understand and recognize. (I finally understand how to recognize tannins, for example.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This book is perfect for anyone that wants to know the basics of selecting wine. I have to admit that I didn't know much about it before reading this, except that it is enjoyable to drink. However, I now feel comfortable going to a store and selecting the perfect bottle. This book is perfect for anyone that wants to know the basics of selecting wine. I have to admit that I didn't know much about it before reading this, except that it is enjoyable to drink. However, I now feel comfortable going to a store and selecting the perfect bottle.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen

    DNF @ 31% This is interesting and useful stuff; it's just a bit dry (pun not intended) when you're reading it with no intention to apply the tips to actually buying or trying wine anytime soon. DNF @ 31% This is interesting and useful stuff; it's just a bit dry (pun not intended) when you're reading it with no intention to apply the tips to actually buying or trying wine anytime soon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Handy to have around. Schneider simply summarizes wine making, flavor profiles, and appellations around the world to better inform casual wine consumers.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Love the podcast & loved the book. Tons of information - will definitely be using this as a reference going forward.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abbie Goodyer

    Love this book! It’s so informative, but also very easy to read and understand. It’s great to have on hand if you want to know more about wines around the world and to help find wines you might not have previously heard about or have been wanting to try. It has east to follow tasting charts as well to help you learn how to taste wine. Can’t recommend it enough!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Ok. I love her podcast but the book i thought would have been more detailed. It was the audio book and her personality was different than the podcast. I guess thats to be expected but it kinda turned me off

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sanford Chee

    Podcast: Wine for Normal People https://podcasts.apple.com/sg/podcast... 67 master class on Zoom https://zoom.us/rec/play/6Z0pd72tqT83... New World vs Old https://podcasts.apple.com/sg/podcast... Podcast: Wine for Normal People https://podcasts.apple.com/sg/podcast... 67 master class on Zoom https://zoom.us/rec/play/6Z0pd72tqT83... New World vs Old https://podcasts.apple.com/sg/podcast...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    I LOVED THIS BOOK! I'm the normal person who drinks wine. I've been to many wine tastings and walked away knowing less about wine than I did before. I also appreciated the diverse knowledge base. I never heard of the podcast, but that's my next step. I got this book from GoodReads First Reads. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I'm the normal person who drinks wine. I've been to many wine tastings and walked away knowing less about wine than I did before. I also appreciated the diverse knowledge base. I never heard of the podcast, but that's my next step. I got this book from GoodReads First Reads.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen G

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gary Ponting

  28. 4 out of 5

    Claire Kampman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gardner

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