While walking around at the Los Angeles Wine Fest a month ago I came upon a book signing. Author Len Napolitano was sharing his book, “Nose, Legs, Body”, with wine 101ers! Now, with a copy of my own to review, I set about the task of learning a wee bit more about the author and the book.
…Len Napolitano, “wineologist” from 2003 to 2011 on TV’s Fine Living Network (now Cooking Channel), guides you in taking your first steps in wine—essential steps to exploring, learning, and tasting. With sincerity and whimsy, Len examines a broad range of wine subjects as you gain a new and practical knowledge of wine. Chapters are organized according to meaningful subjects wine lovers want to know, explained in an informal, question-and-answer format.
Nose, Legs, Body! is perfect for social wine drinkers, businesspeople who entertain wine-savvy clients, cooking hobbyists, and food service professionals. It’s also for anyone transitioning from a beer or martini as their beverage of choice to a crisp pinot grigio or robust cabernet sauvignon…
I was once asked during an interview if my wine knowledge is still relevant to my wine 101 audience, now that I’ve had more education over the years. Maybe. However, in reading Len’s book I searched for tidbits that would not only interest wine 101ers but a few wine 201ers, as I expect that some of my readers have also grown in their knowledge, and interests. Let’s see how I fared:
- People will not necessarily come up with the same wine descriptors when they describe their wine. There is no accurate answer; it’s all based on your own experience.
- Len gives less than a three-page explanation on how red wine gets its color. Buy the book to find out.
- What you taste in your wine is 80% aroma. So yes, stop and sniff!
- Want to help increase your scents-ability? Len suggests having a pal hold up different spice jars for you to test your knowledge – with your eyes closed of course. I definitely want to try that.
- In case you didn’t guess it, the vintage year you see on a wine bottle is the year the grapes were harvested.
- It’s most likely dehydration and not sulfites that cause that headache after drinking wine.
- Google the “Organic Wine Exchange” website as another avenue to find organic wines.
- Having a tough time figuring out what grapes are in a French wine? Try again, as many French wineries are adjusting more to the foreign market (we Americans) by listing the grapes on the label.
- Len says, “…Your own personal wine preference overrides all other rules” when pairing wine with food, so “it is always acceptable to match your favorite wine with anything on your plate.”
- Add alcohol late in the cooking process if you want to retain the alcohol. Add it sooner if you want the flavor alone of the wine or spirit you used, and not the alcohol.
- Len says, “Once wine is damaged by heat it is destroyed forever.”
- Towards the end of the under 200-page book Len gives readers four pages of wine choices for your cellar by describing the flavor components and costs of popular varietals.
- Then there is this experiment: Chill one glass of wine and serve the other at room temperature – it doesn’t matter if you select to experiment with a red or white wine. If you don’t have it at room temperature heat it* for 20 seconds in the microwave. Then taste the difference.
*To try this at home please remember to use a glass and not a foil sealed wine bottle!
Buy the book: http://www.wineology.com
GOLD Award, Non-Fiction Authors Association Book Awards
SILVER Award, Independent Publisher Book Awards
SILVER Award, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Awards
FINALIST ForeWord Reviews IndieFab Book of The Year Awards
WINNER, 2014 Indie Reader Book Awards
QED Seal of Approval, Digital Book Awards
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column.