The Persistent Observer's Guide to Wine

How to enjoy the best and skip the rest

Non-Fiction - Cooking/Food
214 Pages
Reviewed on 04/28/2013
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Author Biography

J.P. Bary is a New York based lawyer and financial advisor who enjoys unraveling complicated issues. One of these is why people find it so difficult to get comfortable with wine. Wine buffs often say that the people most helpful to them have been members of their families, friends and other non-experts and JP suspected that the gap between what experts and ordinary consumers know is so great that it's hard for them to communicate with each other. So he began talking to people to find out what they found most confusing about wine and what helped them the most once they learned it.
JP found that there's is a significant disparity between what professionals are trained to say and what people find it most useful to know. After years of discussions and observations, J.P. identified a number of key mistakes that a majority of wine consumers make repeatedly. He also took careful notes on the numerous disparities between what wine professionals mean and what those who haven't become immersed in the lore and language of wine understand. The Persistent Observer's Guide to Wine shows people how to avoid these mistakes, understand what the pro's are trying to say and become proficient much more quickly.
In his own explorations, J.P. has benefitted from being part of a family involved in making, distributing and marketing wine for centuries. He's travelled widely in the world's wine regions and counts many growers, winemakers, importers, distributors and retailers among his friends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

If you have always wanted to know more about wine without coming across as one of those arrogant connoisseurs then you’ll love J.P. Bary’s "The Persistent Observer’s Guide to Wine". Starting with the notion that the wine industry and so-called wine experts make the process of selecting and pairing wines much too difficult, he sets out to help readers wade through the nonsense without reducing our interest in, and love for, wine. What is so great about Bary’s book is that it is all about the reader’s perception and taste of the wine, rather than what the experts tell you that you should taste or smell.

This is the fantastic part of this book because although it is sort of a beginner’s guide to wine. Bary never makes the reader feel like a class-less wine drinker. There is no need to memorize types of grapes or pretend to taste flavors you don’t because he expertly takes you through the nuances of wine: smells, tastes, tactile sensations and undertones so that you begin to understand, at your own pace, exactly why your taste buds respond positively to some wines and negatively to others. His uncanny ability to help you dig through the tricks and gimmicks in the wine industry in a humorous but helpful way will have you walking away from this book with a new confidence in your own ability to appreciate a good bottle of wine. After reading this, you will no longer be intimidated by know-it-all wine drinkers or condescending sommeliers as you’ll be able to glance at a wine list and find what appeals to your taste buds, regardless of what everyone else says you should taste. This engaging book is funny and informative and simply written for those who love wine but have no desire to analyze it to the point where you need several bottles just to get back to enjoying it.