The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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February 2018
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World Wine Challenge CD-ROMSCORE:

world wine challengeCD-ROM author Barry Wiss, CWE, is a leader in the Society of Wine Educators, Vice President of Communications and Trade Relations at Trinchero Family Winery, and helped write The Napa Valley Intensive course for The Culinary Institute of America. Yup…he’s qualified.

Basically it is a question and answer game.  If you get the question correct, you move on to another random corner of the wine world.  If you are incorrect, it spells out why.  Multiple players may participate or one can study on their own. Read More

Wine Style: Using Your Senses…SCORE:

Wine Style, by Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy

Wine Style: Using Your Senses to Explore and Enjoy Wine, by Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan.  Wiley, John & Sons Inc. Publishing

Wine Style proposes the reader not look at wine by varietal or region, but instead by style. By doing so, the authors have simplified wine into four categories for red wines, four for whites and two each for rose and sparklers. Compare just these few categories against the massive wall of wine at your local retailer, and one can easily see the merits of this approach. Read More

The Oxford Companion to WineSCORE:

The Oxford Companion to Wine

The Oxford Companinon to Wine, Edited by Jancis Robinson, Oxford University Press

Simply put, The Oxford Companion to Wine is the quintessential wine reference book. It is a commanding presence in an encyclopedia format offering more in-depth wine information than any other publication, period.

All wine professionals worth their weight in riesling own this book. For everyone else, it has more than 3,000 easy-to-navigate, straightforward entries to learn from. Read More

The Wine BibleSCORE:

The Wine Bible, by Karen MacNeil

The Wine Bible, by Karen MacNeil, Workman Publishing

This friendly read offers personal insight into all things wine, written by a woman who is a self-made superstar in this arena. In fact, in 2004, MacNeil was named “Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year” by The James Beard Foundation and later was awarded “2005 Wine Educator of the Year” by the European Wine Council.

More about education than reference, The Wine Bible acts as the reader’s personal travel guide through the world of wine. From vine to wine and food pairings, with historical and regional vignettes, it covers every meaningful wine subject. Read More

Back to School Days…for Winos too!SCORE:

The Wine Bible, by Karen MacNeil

The Wine Bible, by Karen MacNeil

Tourists are leaving, Del Mar racing season is waning and the sun is shining more than at any other time of the year. It must be back-to-school days.

So, with academia descending upon our children, why not join in and learn a little more about an adult subject?

Wine may be more diverse and complex than any other beverage, but it can be made easy to understand with a minimal amount of study. An infinite number of books have been written on the subject, with a few major standouts rising above the rest.

A glass of wine is always more interesting with a story or some understanding behind it. By using these books, anyone can learn more about wine and therefore make every glass taste just a little bit better.

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