There are a whole series of bite-sized subjects, divided into two sections: the first – buying, tasting and drinking – the second – The World's Most Common Wines. Topics covered in part one include growing grapes, making wine, tasting and smelling it, wine faults, wine talk, how to blag it and matching wine and food, corkscrews, glasses and finally grouping wines by style.
Part two starts with a look at grape varieties and then grape styles plus a quick guide to the world's wine countries and regions and what they do well before we have a whizz around the world's vineyards starting in France and ending in India and China before a look at fortified wines and 'dessert' wines – come on, Matt, they are sweet wines – where is the new thinking?! Drink me! concludes with visiting English wineries and buying tips for those in the UK.
This is a lively and uncomplicated read with plenty of straightforward advice. I like the recommendations, for example Roches Neuves and Villeneuve for Saumur-Champigny but not all Loire reds are light and there are now Muscadets that 'can be an amazing wine to sit down and consider'. There are also three types of soil at Sancerre not two. Nitpicking perhaps? This is, inevitably, broad brush stuff.