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Vin Decanter is a book for the novice wine consumer. Written and presented in an accessible way to reduce the complexity of the subject…Chris Madden is a teacher with over twenty-five years experience of working in education. Post-graduate studies in educational psychology and primary education, together with international teaching experience in Europe and the Middle East has enabled Chris to transfer his unique learning approach to his passion for wine…(Amazon)

My Review

No matter what, novice or aficionado (or like me, somewhere in between) readers will get a lot out of reading Madden’s book, Vin Decanter. These are some of the (wine) drops of wisdom I agreed with or learned: 

  • Focus on identifying fruits first when examining a wine’s aromas and flavors, they are usually the first to be called to mind.
  • There is a bit from Madden regarding the difference between old world and new world wines. Most importantly is that a wine will taste different depending on where the grapes were grown.
  • This one I always forget: If the Bordeaux is from the right bank of the Gironde River it will be Merlot dominant, from the left bank its more Cabernet Sauvignon dominant. Bordeaux wine varietals rarely list which grapes have been used in their wines.
  • In the chapter on “How to Choose Wine” Madden wants us to consider a “Shared Choice” idea where you would consider what types of food or drink other guests like, and use that to select a wine. For example, Madden writes that a stout beer drinker may like the full body of a Shiraz.
  • A convenient “Summary of Buying Wine Guide” is just a page long and very thorough.
  • Yes, I agree with Madden, when he suggests to wait a bit if a wine smells a little off, and check again. I’ve often noticed that funky smells can blow off.
  • OMG, his idea on anchoring your wine glass to a table when swirling – I say this all the time! Why try swirling if you’re not used to doing it? Table it and anchor it! Thanks Madden for showing photos on how to do that.
  • In chapter six, “Developing Your Palate” Madden suggests, among other things, to eat the fruit you need to learn about. Take it a step further, he prompts, and try it with the wine it mimics.
  • I will try Madden’s suggestion that if I suspect TCA (trichloroanisole) –sometimes referred to by the broader term “cork taint” - aerate the wine for a bit. I have noticed that “funky” aromas can blow off, but I usually limit that to “barnyard” odors and not wet cardboard.
  • Try the London-based WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) for wine education. If you want to study on your own Madden suggests spending time with one grape from one region, a varietal you may already enjoy, to begin to discern differences. Then move to another.

Print on demand ISBN: 9781540368807

Kindle: ASIN: B01MRZN87U

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vin-Decanter-Your-first-steps/dp/1540368807/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497651063&sr=1-8

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a "certification in first globally-recognized course" as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com