Wine Education Gets the Normal Treatment
Elizabeth Schneider is an extremist moderate in the wine world. She is emphatic that one ought not to be dogmatic about what you drink. Rather, she is a disciple for sensory and intellectual pleasure in wine. She is a fanatic when it comes to taking a rational perspective on what wine means, how we ought to appreciate how it is grown and made, and how we ought to evaluate wine. And I like all that.
Schneider is coming up on nearly 9 years of producing the “Wine For Normal People” podcast. It is among my favorite wine media experiences that I consume on a regular basis…and I consume a lot. Schneider’s combination of deep knowledge, her intuitive interviewing, the respect she shows to her audience and her honesty is what attracts me and thousands of others to the podcast.
It’s not a surprise that her new book, oddly named “Wine For Normal People”, comes off as a great source of information, respectful of its reader and honest. But even more so, her new book reflects the fact that while wine can seem complicated, it need not be a difficult learning experience…as long as you have a thoughtful guide.
If you know someone who is serious about taking their early steps to become confident with wine, there is no better book you could recommend than Wine For Normal People. Schneider believes a proper beginning wine education (and even an ongoing education) is all about embracing the basics: wine vocabulary and wine geography. Wine For Normal People provides a wonderful foundation in these two topics, but she goes well beyond them also taking the reader on a very pleasant and enjoyable journey through winemaking, grape growing, flavors and buying wine.
Wine For Normal People falls into a very familiar literary category: Wine Education. It’s a crowded category that is continually added to with new approaches each year. Schneider’s new addition to the category is going to sell well and it’s going to stick around longer than most education books. I think the reason for this is that it will find itself on many “must-read” books lists that concern themselves with providing readers with a serious interest in education with access to truly useful educational wine literature.
Finally, Wine For Normal People is a handsome tome. It’s not a flashy, colorful book, but the layout takes the reader easily through a well thought out educational plan while the graphics, from maps to pictures to call-out boxes, all aid in the presentation of the key material.
One added bonus connected with this new book is the fact that any reader who appreciates the familiar tone of the book and its educational nature has a regular podcast produced by the author with which to follow up and continue their education.