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Review roundup – A Year of Wine and Wine Politics

It’s time for a review of some reviews! Thanks to all who have taken time to write their thoughts about one or both of my books; I’m glad they have gotten a warm reception. And thanks for buying the books and giving them as gifts! Purchasing one or both of these hardcover books helps support this blog and all its free content all for the price of less than your entry-level Pinot Noir (and there’s even a list of Pinots under $25 in A Year of Wine!).

In the photo snatched from a video, the black backdrop isn’t from Charlie Rose; I actually did a video podcast at the swanky new studio in the offices of Simon & Schuster and they have it now on their web site. Hear the exciting backstory of how this blog was forged in an artisanal workshop and then launched on an unsuspecting world! And an overview of what’s in the book! And where the stock market will bottom! Okay, maybe not that last one.

Bill Daley had very nice review of A Year of Wine in the Chicago Tribune, calling it “charming…witty, lively and loaded with common sense. [Colman] offers up wine suggestions for every holiday on the calendar. Just what we all need.” Click through to see the other books he reviews!

I also went on the New Hampshire Public Radio show, Word of Mouth, for the second time this year. Host Virginia Prescott and I chatted about plotting your wines to the seasons and some holiday wines. Listen here.

At the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, columnist Elizabeth Downer writes Santa that “All I want for Christmas is a cool wine gift” and includes A Year of Wine on her list.

Over at Slashfood, Gretchen Roberts writes about A Year of Wine that “the key to writing a successful and engaging book is in organizing the material in a new way, or what editors like to call “packaging.” Colman’s packaging is what makes the book worth buying. Talking about drinking wine with the seasons is new, different, and it makes so much sense to regard wine in this way…I absolutely recommend [it] as a great buy for your bookshelf and your comfy chair.

Tom Wark, the first to post a review, writes on his blog, Fermentation, that A Year of Wine is “a terrific addition to the Wine Guide genre that will enlighten many a wine drinker by making their relationship to wine deeper and more meaningful…and probably more fun too.”

Richard, the Passionate Foodie, writes that AYOW is “far more than just a buying guide, more than just a dry recitation of recommended wines. So I bought the book and eagerly devoured it in its entirety the next day.”

Over on Smells like Grape, Taster B writes about AYOW that “fans of the Dr. Vino blog will certainly want to have this book around for a handy reference, or buy it as a gift for the wine newbie on their list.”

Also about AYOW, Jesse at Young Winos of LA writes, “Dr. Vino’s stately hardcover is the one you display on your coffee table and read with a big glass of Zinfandel. If it’s winter, that is. Because if it’s summer, you’d read it on the porch with a Prosecco, and if it’s fall, you’d pop a Mourvedre.”

UPDATE: Dr. Debs posted a review today including it on a list of gift books, saying AYOW is “the perfect choice if you have someone on your list who is new to wine or is intimidated by wine.”

Sharon Kapnick, an experienced freelance wine writer, actually pops off a thoughtful review of both books, noting my Dr. Vino and Dr. Colman sides. Of A Year of Wine, she writes, “there aren’t many wine books — if any — organized around seasons…The book is laced with Colman’s sense of humor and charm…Also included are 12 wine tourism destinations, short interviews with some of the country’s best sommeliers, and numerous useful sidebars: “How to Chill a Wine Bottle in Five Minutes,” “How to Tell If It’s Sulfur That Gives You Headaches.”

Of Wine Politics, she writes “At last, a topic that has long deserved attention has gotten it, in a well-written book that is as compelling as its subtitle is catchy. It will change the way you think and may even change the way you shop and the wines you buy.”

I also discuss both books on the KDVS (UC Davis) radio show, “It’s About You!” for almost an hour with host France Kassing. (see 11/24 show)

And I also talked with host Jerome McDonnell about Wine Politics on his Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ) show “Worldview.”

Vancouver Wine Info says “Wine Politics is the type of book you can pick up and read 6 months later and still be intrigued. I give it 93 points!”

Wine Marketing + Law Canada says of Wine Politics: “Excellent book discussing how politics affects the quality, cost and availability of wine. Although the book barely mentions Canada, the issues and topics are nowhere more relevant and applicable than here in Canada, and particularly in BC and Ontario.”

The Spanish glossy wine mag, Sibaritas, gives Wine Politics four stars (out of four)!

Jeff Lefevere of the blog Good Grape, features briefly in Wine Politics as Mr. Frustrated Wine Consumer in Indiana, writes “this book should be required reading for all wine lovers. Everybody.” And then he proceeds with ten things that he learned in the book. Check out his list!

Finally, Thomas McGowan calls it “eye opening” and a “must read” in his review on Amazon. If you liked the book and don’t have your own blog, consider heading over there and posting your comments.

Thanks to everyone for the support and I hope you enjoy the books too!

Signed copies of my books available for gifting!


Dear Dr. Vino,

My parents live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are huge wine connoisseurs. I would like to give them a copy of “Wine Politics” for the holiday season, and it would be quite special if I could procure a signed copy; do you sell signed copies of your books for fans and admirers?

Thanks! All the best,

– Leigh

winepoliticsamzgiftAbsolutely! Getting into the holiday spirit, I’d be happy to sign copies of my books for site readers. I’ll do what I did for Leigh: just ask you to PayPal me $25 (tyler at drvino dot com), which covers the Amazon price, New York sales tax, and then USPS priority shipping back to you (domestic orders only). Please note that I can fit two books in a flat rate mailer so you can supersize your order and get two signed copies for the bargain $45–woohoo! Unfortunately, my elves can’t do gift wrapping for you so you may want to have it sent to your own address. Make haste since this offer expires on December 20!

Also of note, there’s also a Kindle edition of A Year of Wine! I can’t sign that one though.

Thanks for your support of this blog with your purchases of my books, either signed or unsigned! Cheers.

My new book, A Year of Wine, is now officially available!

ayow150buyTimed strategically to drop after the election and before the holidays (but on Veteran’s Day, a holiday itself!), today is the official release date of my new book, A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip for Each Season!

Instead of traversing the familiar terrain of regions or grape varieties, I forge a new path by plotting a seasonal arc for wine consumption. This ties in to the way that I enjoy wine, by emphasizing the context of how, where, when (and with what and with whom) we drink wines, as well as linking to the trend of seasonal cooking that is so prevalent today among professional chefs and home cooks. I’m glad that this theme resonated with so many of you in our previous discussion.

The book has short essays and hundreds of wine recommendations across the twelve months of the year. There should be something for wine lovers of all levels, newbie to full-on wine geek. There’s also some information for all seasons about wine style, wine service and how to actually find good wines near you. And twelve wine travel sections help you even change your context for maximum wine enjoyment.

Alex Eben Meyer contributed the great illustrations. Check out his excellent portfolio at his site!

And a total of thirteen sommeliers lent their thoughts to the volume. They include: Richard Betts (The Little Nell, Aspen, CO); Shayn Bjornholm MS (Washington Wine Commission); Thomas Carter (Blue Hill Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY); Belinda Chang (The Modern, NYC); Christie Dufault (Quince, SF); Erik Liedholm (Seastar, Seattle); Rajat Parr (Michael Mina Group, SF); Shelley Lindgren (A16 restaurant, SF); Roger Morlock (Park Avenue Seasons, NY); Virginia Philip, MS (The Breakers, Palm Beach); Tysan Pierce (The Herbfarm, Woodinville, WA); Juliette Pope (Gramercy Tavern, NYC).

So check out the book’s page over at Amazon (or Barnes and Noble or Powell’s if you prefer) and see what Kermit Lynch, Eric Arnold, David Lynch, and Bobby Abreu had to say on the back cover. Or ask for the hardcover at your local bookstore and check it out in print. And if you do get it, let us know what you think of it here!

Wine Book Club tackles Wine Politics – and a Korean edition!

Bloggers around the world picked up a copy of my book, Wine Politics: How Governments, Mobsters, Environmentalists, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink, this month for the latest installment of Wine Book Club. Many thanks to all who participated and especially to Dr. Debs, founder of the bi-monthly Wine Book Club, and the one who selected my book to be put before the group this time around.

winepoliticskorea1In related news, I just found out from the book’s publisher, the University of California Press, that the rights to a Korean language translation of the book have been sold! I plugged the whole title in to Google Translate in order to warm up to the Korean wording. The adjacent image is what I discovered: hmm, “mobsters” really stands out! I’m glad they don’t have those in Korea! On to the roundup!

winepoliticsamzsmDr. Debs at Good Wine Under $20
Richard at A Passionate Foodie
Kori at WinePeeps
Frank at Drink what you like
Taster B at Smells Like Grape
Jim at Wine & Music
Christianne at Christianne Uncorked
And also Evelyne at Wine Brands

Thanks and cheers to all!

A Year of Wine, my new book – winners!

Thanks for the 94 comments sharing your favorite season for maximum wine enjoyment! I’m glad that the idea of changing your wine consumption with the seasons resonates so well with you since that’s the subject of my next book, A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip for Each Season, due out very soon from Simon Spotlight Entertainment, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

I assigned each commenter a number and generated three winners at, the site that fills all my random integer needs. Three winners were selected to win a signed copy of A Year of Wine and they are:

Jim Boyce in Beijing, Wendy in Brazil, and Aletta in I’m not sure where!

Come on down! As for the rest of you, click through and check out the book’s page on Amazon and see what the blurbs have to say from wine importer and author Kermit Lynch, wine authors David Lynch and Eric Arnold, and starting right fielder for the New York Yankees, Bobby Abreu. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to preorder now? At their discounted price of $16 and change for this hardback book, it’s less than a mere glass of wine at many NYC wine bars!

My new book, A Year of Wine, and a giveaway!

On November 11, an monumental event will occur: No, hopefully it won’t involve a post-election court battle; instead, my newest book will be available!

The book is called A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip for Each Season. In it, a collection of essays and hundreds of wine recommendations, I encourage readers to break out of their chardonnay or cabernet rut and drink different by plotting a seasonal arc to their wine consumption. Simon Spotlight Entertainment, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will publish the book, available November 11 at a retailer near you or on Amazon.

Epicurious flagged it on their short list of books for “thirsty readers” this fall.

If you like this blog, you will love this book! Why? Because I sold the book based on this blog. But since you readers were not there in the book to post comments, I recruited 13 of America’s leading sommeliers to lend their voices to the book with their thoughts on seasonal drinking and perfect pairings.

I’ve just received some finished copies of the book and have three to sign and give away! All you have to do to qualify is post a comment on this posting saying which is your favorite season for drinking wine. And while “all” is certainly an acceptable answer, maybe there’s one that brings particular pleasure to you.

Comments will close on Thursday and Friday I’ll throw all the commenters’ names in a hat and draw three names. So check back then to see if you are among the winners!

See the listing for A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip for Each Season on Amazon.

The candidates and their wines – a Wine Politics giveaway

Last week we heard about the Palin syrah and because it’s organically grown in Chile, we knew it was the perfect wine for the veep wannabe, Sarah Paleen (as they say in Alaska, methinks). Check out reader Nate’s tasting note.

In anticipation of this Thursday’s debate (when we will need mucho vino), put your country first and decide which wine is best suited to each of the three other candidates! I already had my say during the primaries, so now it is your turn.

To sweeten the pot, I will be giving a away a signed copy of my book, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink, a book in which none of these four candidates is mentioned!

Post your pairings for the non-Alaskan candidates here in the comments. Friday after 3PM Eastern, check back to see the winner, selected at random. Everyone, to your snow machines!

Wine Politics – another media roundup!

It’s been a little while since I did one of these roundups–and not sure they are of real interest to anyone but my mom (hi mom!)–but here’s another roundup of my book, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink, in the news!

Wine & Spirits magazine gave the book 100 points! Or, no, wait, that was the Chateau Latour 2005. But they still had kind words about the book in a review in the October issue calling it “engaging and entertaining!”

The omnivorous Mike Sula asked me several questions and I saw his questions with answers! [Chicago Reader]

Colin Marshall had me on his radio show, Marketplace of Ideas, for a 53 minute discussion about the book. Check out our discussion via iTunes or in his show archive. Actually, poke around the archive for other cool interviews with the likes of my almost doppelganger, economist Tyler Cowen, as well as Steve Wozniak, a founder of Apple Computer, Slate economic columnist Tim Harford, NPR’s Peter Sagal and more.

University of California Press also recorded a (shorter!) podcast. You can also hear from John Winthrop Haeger, author of North American Pinot Noir in another recording on their author podcast page.

The good folks at the New Hampshire Public Radio show, Word of Mouth, were kind enough to have me on. We talked a lot about box wines but also got into the book a bit too. Always fun to talk to an audience in a control state! [NHPR]

Thad at Beyond the Bottle, a wine blog that focuses on the Pacific Northwest, had very kind words!

And Porthos, an Italian wine site had words to say, unfortunately all in Italian!

And if you’ve been waiting for a chance to read and review the book, why not tune in to Wine Book Club?! Every two months they choose a new book for everyone to review and Wine Politics is next up. Read it now and join other bloggers posting reviews on October 28. I’m looking forward to it. Let me know if you have a blog and review the book and I will gladly post a link on this site to your review. But no blog is required to pick up a copy!


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