You know you feel stupid when you do it.
Sitting at a fancy dinner with shiny glasses, you're handed a wine menu. You look over it in an anxious panic. While the waiter stands over your table, you quickly glance over it, and then choose the only wine that you can pronounce with confidence. A safe choice, you think.
If half the recipe to success is faking it till you make it, the other half means that you actually have to learn your stuff. The world of wine is no different. But how the hell do you get your foot in the door?
In the new book The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Being a Wine Taster, the goal is to offer every reader a chance to make the notoriously high-class world of wine finally accessible. It's written by Richard Betts, one of the world’s 200 some-odd master sommeliers (the most prestigious wine expert status). But despite that hoity-toity designation, the book is designed to familiarize wine noobs with what they actually might like.
The illustrations and designs by Wendy MacNaughton and Crystal English Sacca, respectively, explore different scents and flavor profiles in a playful way. And did we mention the book is an actual grown-up scratch-and-sniff deal?
Those wine notes that mention things like "hint of oak" and "floral bouquet" sound ridiculous, but after putting your beak up to a few pages it'll make more sense. You might even learn about why the cork makes the wine smell like wet dog.
You might even add wine to your list of staples. As the tagline of the book says: Wine is a grocery, not a luxury.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.