It wasn’t too long ago that if you were an expert on wine, a sommelier even, you were stereotyped as a bit of a snob…a wine snob.
But now that the good ole USA is the largest wine market in the world (thank you Hoda and Kathie Lee), lots of us are more versed on the subject of wine and are seeking new information and new wines all the time. And, we’re looking for those wine experts to lead the way.
I recently returned from a Paso Robles wine exploration with a handful of other journalists and met a couple of great ‘wine guys.’
Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen (Jeff is a sommelier, btw) travel to wine regions throughout the world and write about what they learn. They are the Entertaining and Lifestyle editors at Wine Enthusiast, and you may have seen their work in Wine Spectator and Saveur as well.
They have a new book out called Wines of the Southern Hemisphere that chronicles wine producers from South America to South Africa. Talk about a relevant book! These Southern hemisphere wines are believed to account for about 30% of all wine consumed.
Jeff and Mike’s book is a wonderful guide through the hundreds of quality producers emerging from these wine regions to our south. It’s helpful the way they break down each region by the varietals produced there, and then highlight the producers that stand out in the region…great information when your scouring the rows and rows of wine at the grocery store.
For instance, while traveling in Chile last fall to explore wines, I fell in love with a chardonnay from a producer called Amayna. It’s tropical notes were truly tantalizing. In the chapter on Chile, Amayna is discussed with all kinds of helpful info about Amayna’s winemaking.
Jeff and Mike must have liked that Amayna chard too because they also make note of it in the book. (Guys, I’ve yet to find it in Texas!)
If you are looking for an approachable, thorough book that truly makes it easy for you to learn more about wines from this important region, I highly recommend Wines of the Southern Hemisphere.
Their next book, the one they were working on when we met, will be all about the wines in California. I’ll be the first in line to order a copy!
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