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Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals

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A fascinating exploration of the inside world of sommeliers, sharing their unique perspectives, extensive expertise, and best stories. Rajat Parr’s profound knowledge of wines, deep relationships with producers, and renowned tasting abilities have made him a legend in the business. As wine director for the Mina Group, Parr presides over the lists at some of the A fascinating exploration of the inside world of sommeliers, sharing their unique perspectives, extensive expertise, and best stories. Rajat Parr’s profound knowledge of wines, deep relationships with producers, and renowned tasting abilities have made him a legend in the business. As wine director for the Mina Group, Parr presides over the lists at some of the country’s top restaurants. In Secrets of the Sommeliers, Parr and journalist Jordan Mackay present a fascinating portrait of the world’s top wine professionals and their trade. The authors interviewed the elite of the sommelier community, and their colleagues’ insights, recommendations, and entertaining stories are woven throughout, along with Parr’s own takes on his profession and favorite winemakers and wines. Along the way, the authors give an immersion course in tasting and serving wine; share strategies for securing hard-to-find bottles at a good price and identifying value sweetspots among the many regions; and teach readers how to make inspired food pairings. Winner - 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award - Beverage Category


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A fascinating exploration of the inside world of sommeliers, sharing their unique perspectives, extensive expertise, and best stories. Rajat Parr’s profound knowledge of wines, deep relationships with producers, and renowned tasting abilities have made him a legend in the business. As wine director for the Mina Group, Parr presides over the lists at some of the A fascinating exploration of the inside world of sommeliers, sharing their unique perspectives, extensive expertise, and best stories. Rajat Parr’s profound knowledge of wines, deep relationships with producers, and renowned tasting abilities have made him a legend in the business. As wine director for the Mina Group, Parr presides over the lists at some of the country’s top restaurants. In Secrets of the Sommeliers, Parr and journalist Jordan Mackay present a fascinating portrait of the world’s top wine professionals and their trade. The authors interviewed the elite of the sommelier community, and their colleagues’ insights, recommendations, and entertaining stories are woven throughout, along with Parr’s own takes on his profession and favorite winemakers and wines. Along the way, the authors give an immersion course in tasting and serving wine; share strategies for securing hard-to-find bottles at a good price and identifying value sweetspots among the many regions; and teach readers how to make inspired food pairings. Winner - 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award - Beverage Category

30 review for Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I enjoyed this book; it imparts some information that other wine books overlook. The section of notes for different grape varieties and regions is especially helpful, as is the discussion of how to build a blind-tasting selection (from well-known varieties in order to develop your knowledge and palate rather than from obscure, "gotcha" wines). This is a book about people dedicated to wine and the enjoyment of wine rather than pandering to certain winemakers, distributors, trends, or money-making I enjoyed this book; it imparts some information that other wine books overlook. The section of notes for different grape varieties and regions is especially helpful, as is the discussion of how to build a blind-tasting selection (from well-known varieties in order to develop your knowledge and palate rather than from obscure, "gotcha" wines). This is a book about people dedicated to wine and the enjoyment of wine rather than pandering to certain winemakers, distributors, trends, or money-making strategies. It offers a down-to-earth perspective that is neither too elementary nor too esoteric for the armchair wine connoisseur to enjoy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim Reaugh

    This book reads briskly, and you are introduced to a number of fascinating personalities in the world of wine - sommeliers as well as winemakers - making it an enjoyable read. In the secret world of sommeliers, the idea of a good time is to get together after work to blind taste each other. I suppose thick skin is needed for these late-night competitions - but how else do you perfect this wine skill? As an oenophile, I liked the method of establishing mental benchmarks of w This book reads briskly, and you are introduced to a number of fascinating personalities in the world of wine - sommeliers as well as winemakers - making it an enjoyable read. In the secret world of sommeliers, the idea of a good time is to get together after work to blind taste each other. I suppose thick skin is needed for these late-night competitions - but how else do you perfect this wine skill? As an oenophile, I liked the method of establishing mental benchmarks of what each type of wine should taste like, based on the characteristics of wine from classic regions, like Burgundy. With this, I can compare other wine regions to note what is different. The 'Buyer's Tips' within this book were very useful and will prove useful in obtaining many great wines in the future. The photographs were very well done as well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    Reading Secrets and the recently published Atlas, Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay have reignited my passion for farming, wine making, and of course discovering and experiencing the craft of fine wine. The writers deliver thier research and deep experience for a broad audience - not just the aspiring Sommelier.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shawn P

    Detailed, opinionated opus on the wine industry from the perspective of sommeliers. The chapters on the wine scenes in the various countries are especially illuminating for their unabashed no-holds-barred critiques.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ti Wu

    First hand insights from the best wine professionals.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Bryant

    Great information, well-written. Classic examples of great wines from all over the world and their benchmark qualities. Great buyer's tips too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelvin Sze Eng Lim

    Must Read For all wine lovers, enthusiasts, those who want to learn more about wines, this book is a wealth of knowledge, experiences, written in a way that is easy to read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chongzhi Sun

    Focus a bit too much on the Burgundy wines...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Interesting read about a world I did not know much about.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Mueses

    This is my first serious wine book and while I don't think is an entry level read, is a great door into a more profound wine experience. The passion that's used to talk about wine, the process, the destinations, is what keeps you in. Rajat's story is a great one. You can agree or not with his opinions. Its clear that he has a deep appreciation for the pureness and the story that's behind a bottle. What I take from this book is the passion. The ability to let the liquid inside the bott This is my first serious wine book and while I don't think is an entry level read, is a great door into a more profound wine experience. The passion that's used to talk about wine, the process, the destinations, is what keeps you in. Rajat's story is a great one. You can agree or not with his opinions. Its clear that he has a deep appreciation for the pureness and the story that's behind a bottle. What I take from this book is the passion. The ability to let the liquid inside the bottle tell the story regardless of rating or the name on the label. The curiosity to try more obscure grapes and wine regions. A must read for any wine lover.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    I am officially obsessed with Rajat Parr. (I even follow him on twitter.) This book has a great balance of details of his career, how to think like a wine expert and then some solid and innovative wine instruction. He is clearly a good teacher even though he doesn't think of himself as an instructor the same way someone like, Kevin Zraly does. I also really enjoy hard cover books that don't have a separate paper jacket. It's the little things in life.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Beautiful and articulate. A la "Somm," it has more to do with sommeliers and their operative habits than wine itself, but there is tons of practical information throughout the book, especially about wine service.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    First two-thirds of the book is brilliant offering great insight into the thought process of Sommeliers at the top of their game. The final third offers detailed notes on Parr's preferred regions that reads like filler in contrast to what preceded it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan Onnen

    It's a little thinky...but by the title you would have guessed that it's coming at wine from a pretty professional, buttoned up point of view. However, I found it pretty readable and it has tons of great tips, sign posts for certain wines & vineyards, and ideas for planning & service.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    Pretty dry for a book on wines. It's more reference than readable. Still if you love wine not a bad buy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Green

    Great book but wish I was rich enough to afford the wines they talked about.... So depressing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lise

    I only read bits and parts because the book seemed like a slightly saccharine homage to Rajat Parr. Good info, but there's too much fawning going on.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    4.5 stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hana-Lee

    This was a great book full of easy to understand wine knowledge. Def nice to brush up on the somm skills!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lesyshen

    What a great wine book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cheol Kang

    읽어 본 모든 와인 책 중 가장 많은 인사이트를 준 책. 와인에 대한 관점을 크게 바꿔 준 책이다. 강추.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Motola

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Chun

  24. 4 out of 5

    April Steinert

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dima

  26. 4 out of 5

    Smclarnon

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aimee Bourget

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paula Alencar

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

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