While in Alaska last weekend, I wandered into the local’s bookstore of choice; Title Wave Books. I love stepping into bookstores and taking in the visual merchandising, the potential, and the dance of shopping. The clever ways that stores try to sell their stuff is something that I find entertaining (although a background in visual merchandising may have something to do with that). And like any good food nerd, I popped over to their food and wine section and was taken with one book in particular. Matt Skinner’s Heard it Through the Grapevine called out to me.
I knew of Matt because he is Jamie Oliver‘s wine guy. Jamie’s cookbooks are often great, always fun, and I liked the little touches that Matt would have for wine pairings. When I saw this book at Title Wave, I was intrigued enough to pick it up. A make-or-break deal with any food reference cookbook is to have a proper balance of visuals and content. We’re no longer in a culture where a cookbook can skate by on copy; it’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is. I’ve picked up and put down plenty of books that don’t have the initial grab and Matt’s Heard it Through the Grapevine definitely kept my interest.
This is a pretty fun wine information book. Matt’s style of writing is very easy to digest and take in. This makes for a decent read where the information is balanced with the brevity. It’s broken down to five main sections; Shopping, Drinking, Eating, Sleeping, Well-being. I will say this though; this book is more of an intro to the world of wine. I knew most of what Matt mentioned, and it doesn’t exactly break any new ground. But the nature in how the information comes forth feels fresh. That is why I think this book is cool.
One of the search terms that I get on this blog is ‘how to drink wine’. Kind of a funny term, but it makes sense. With the growth of wine drinking, the vast choices available to consumers, and the truckloads of information out there; a book like Matt’s will be helpful to wade through it all. Heard it Through the Grapevine just came out this spring and would make for a fun book to give as a gift to a friend that wants to step into the world of wine.