Right after I posted my goals for the year yesterday, I went to a local bookstore to see what I could find with the gift card I received on Christmas. After browsing the bargain books and business sections, I found myself looking over wine books. I really haven’t shopped for wine books since I get sent more than I can read right now, thus my goal of reading more this year. What I found was a selection of wine reference books, buying guides and a few topical books. What I didn’t find was a book that would inspire me to learn more about wine and develop my palate, so perhaps there is an opportunity here for a book to write.
Before I get into my angle, let me backup 25 years and explain how I first learned about wine. This was in the early 1980’s and there were not very many wine books to choose from, particularly the cheaper paperbacks I tended to favor in my college years. But I did find a couple from Signet that I read and these became my guidebooks into all things vino.
The first book was a quick read, the Signet Book of Inexpensive Wine. For all of $1.95 I was treated to, “…over 400 wines rated.” But in retrospect the ratings did little to inspire my wine education. It was the brief overviews on the major wine regions that gave me the confidence to buy wines from outside the jug brands of California. Some additional time with the Signet Encyclopedia of Wine (around $5, I think) filled in the gaps and I was off to learn more about wine by tasting them.
What I see now on the shelf are books with strategies to find wine bargains or make wine easier to understand. I don’t see a field guide that would inspire someone just getting into wine to expand much beyond their comfort zone of Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. So I’m going to write such a book this year and post sections here for your review and comment. After I get the manuscript done, I’ll publish an electronic version for free but also self-publish a printed version for a modest price. And, yes, there will also be an audio book version.
Although I have not decided on a title yet, all the posts will be tagged here with the “Guide” category. And I expect to write the first draft in roughly chronological order to make it easier to follow here on the blog. Since I’d like to have this ready for the holidays, I will close the manuscript off on my birthday in mid-November. I’ll also post monthly summaries of progress to date.
I’m really looking forward to going down this path and see where it takes me… now off to write an outline!