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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wine Guru Whispers His Secrets

TITLE:            Secrets of the Wine Whisperer
AUTHOR:      The Wine Whisperer – Jerry Greenfield
PRICE:            $17.95
PUBLISHER:  Creative Book Publishers International
FORMAT:      Trade Paperback
PAGES:          313
ISBN:             978-0-9818222-5-9
PUB. DATE:  June 15, 2014
DIST:             Creative Projects International Ltd.
Purchase at www.thewine-whisperer.com and Amazon.com

The Wine Whisperer Loves Wine Out Loud
Reviewed by Jan Kaplan

Marketing expert and wine guru Jerry Greenfield offers a riotous memoir of an ordinary couple’s seduction into the world of fine wine.  Even if you have only a passing interest in the subject, Mr. Greenfield’s recollections and “secrets” will make for a delightful read.

Secrets of the Wine Whisperer is subtitled “How I Learned to Drink Wine and Found Ecstasy, Joy, Peace, Happiness, Life, and Salvation.”  And indeed, the author carefully traces the journey taken by him and his wife as they educated their palates, discovered how to find those “bargain bottles,” and learned to understand how the juice in the bottle connects with the cultures and places that produce it.

He also details (with some regret) their impulse to spend beyond their means as they pursue their travels to faraway winegrowing regions, three-day tasting events that cost thousands of dollars, and the compulsion to build a refrigerated wine cellar in their home.  Then, there was the necessity to accumulate all the accessories that go along with fine wine collecting and tasting:  corkscrews of every description, hilariously fragile glassware in a different shape for each variety of wine, special soap to wash the glasses, and so it goes.

There’s another regret, as well…though it’s humorously told.  As Greenfield and his wife Debi became more deeply immersed, relationships with their friends started to change.  He writes, “I felt worse every time I thought about it, in a conscience bothering sort of way, but we had, over the past year or so, basically eliminated from our social lives anyone who didn’t enjoy wine. Shame on us, but, in our defense, we weren’t really aware that it was happening.  Since wine lovers enjoy sharing, it was disappointing to open something nice and relatively elevated in price for some dinner companions who didn’t understand it, appreciate it, or who (heaven forbid) wanted to put a few ice cubes in it.  We’d built our circle of friends outward from people who shared the passion and gradually drifted away from people who didn’t.”
The author’s humor is a special joy of the book.  While Greenfield knows that he and his wife have gotten in way over their heads, he views their situation with just the right touch of clever irony and self-deprecation.
Mr. Greenfield makes sure we understand that he is not a sommelier or any kind of wine professional, though his self-education in the subject led him to the position of Wine Director of a major charity wine event.  He writes in the wondering voice of an ordinary person who discovered an interest that became a passion, and finally an obsession.  He captures the journey through the world of winemaking with clever wit, quirky anecdotes, and unique meanderings.  Secrets is a must read, whether you’re interested in beginning a similar journey, or already an accomplished wine aficionado.

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