Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Book Review: Wine Folly, The Master Guide (Magnum Edition) by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack

Wine Folly, The Master Guide (Magnum Edition)I've been wine blogging for awhile now. I've seen other wine blogs come and go. Many of my favorite ones, with writers who thought so differently and/or offered so much more than the rest of us, faded off within the first six months of their existence. I've even seen my own blog right here go from having original memes and monthly long-read articles about the history and science of wine be reduced to just reviews for almost the entirety of 2018 (hey, it's temporary) because of that pesky thing called "real life".

But right from the beginning there was something special about WineFolly.com. You could see it clear as day. This was something that was going to shake the foundation of wine education. There was the original art, the phrasing, the ability to connect to the reader. And... the decision-making that readers don't have to think about but bloggers do; release dates, the length of the read, keeping blinders on the topic, and when to hold back certain things for another post in the future. This was the real deal. And it was awesome right from the start.

Because it's a common phrase, you just feel like you need to say "Madeline Puckett was born to do Wine Folly", but I don't like to say that anybody was "born to do" anything. That gives credit to this imaginary force we call destiny and takes credit away from very real human components of talent and passion and ambition and charisma. With those things, Madeline has created what the wine community has needed for a very long time: visuals, approachability, and accessibility. Everything I have seen from her has been exceptional, and the new edition to her book is no exception to exceptional.

This is the second edition of the Wine Folly book. The first was released in September of 2015, and this one was just released in September of this year (2018). So it's been out for a over a month now.

For such a talented artist, Madeline scales the art back so you have the visuals (that are so key to Wine Folly) but it doesn't take away from the information. And really, all the information you need is in this book. Check out these pages on Roussanne and Sagrantino:


Everything is neatly organized, easy to understand, and incredibly easy to use for quick reference.

And before you even get to the grape varietals this book is full of really cool shit. On the section that talks about tannin, there's a visual chart that shows the red grapes in order from the lowest tannin (Cinsualt) to the highest tannin (Xinomavro). There's everything from wine etiquette tips, to how to take useful tasting notes, to a fantastic chart for pairing different wines with different foods (and what not to), all done in completely original ways meant to make sense even for people that know absolutely nothing about wine.

When the book gets into the different wine regions it gets even better. The maps are great but almost every wine book that tries to give you a full-scope has maps. What they don't have is the presentation that Wine Folly gives you. And presentation is so important when it comes to learning. I've been having a blast reading this book, and I think there's a bunch of things that I hadn't retained from my studies that I will now because of how it was presented here.

If you just like wine, you need this. If you're in the wine business in any capacity, you need this. If you are the owner or manager of a liquor store or a restaurant, you need this. And you need to get copies for the business so your employees can use them.

Even if you don't read it through and it just sits on your shelf, it's absolutely worth the money to have at your fingertips in a moment's notice. You never know when you'll need to make a quick reference, and Wine Folly has made it so easy and fun to do that it's ridiculous.

BUY IT ON AMAZON BY CLICKING HERE!

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