Planet of the Grapes
Wandering down the aisles of a bookstore, virtual or brick and mortar, can be a daunting task. It can be even more daunting when you are looking for information about a subject that can be bombarded with endless shelves of textbooks on the subject of wine. From the personal journey into wine to the heavy wine bibles, many of these books are dust-gathering coffee table displays of status. While they are excellent reference guides, they are often difficult to navigate and aren’t handy while you’re wandering the Bordeaux selection at your local wine shop.
Enter the new e-book series from Planet of the Grapes. This series of narrative guides from Boozehound author Jason Wilson explores wine with humor, personal experiences, and a fresh look at wine from an experiential viewpoint. These inexpensive pocket guides pack a big punch, explore lesser known varietals, the lost art of the wine cocktail, and Wilson’s introduction to the wine lifestyle.
With a focus on garnering the attention of the millennial wine consumer, When Wine Talk Gets Weird is a great place to start, and leads us through Wilson’s attempt to educate the youngest wine consumers. In doing so, he calls out the differences in how a younger audience approaches wine. Learning about wine doesn’t have to be intimidating and pretentious, and understanding the millennial wine drinker unlocks a limitless audience for the winemaker. Translating lemongrass and cat pee to terms that his students understand, he opens the door to new and interesting wine conversation.
Now that we have a background on wine as pleasure, and not study material, the first volume of the Planet of the Grapes series Volume I: Alternative Reds guides us through some of the less common varietals in our local liquor store. With twelve groups of unusual, misunderstood and lesser known red wines to peruse through, each chapter begins with an informative discussion of what the wine is followed by an explanation of why it is a great experience. The intriguing stories of each varietal or region lead us to want more, and as you reach the pages of recommended bottles, you are eager to dig in to the juicy red fruit of a Dolcetto, or the inky brooding depths of Petite Sirah. With an emphasis on wines that are $25 and less, these are interesting bottles that every budget can afford.
The last of the current releases, Wine Cocktails, brings back old classics and modern blends of wine based cocktails. Wine cocktails have gone somewhat out of favor with the rise in cult wines and the culture surrounding that, but with some creative drink mixing they are making a comeback. Today’s wine drinkers aren’t afraid to try something new, and wine cocktails are the perfect blend of trendy craft cocktails and unique wine beverages.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Rioja classic, Calimocho: Rioja red wine topped off with cola over ice. If you are running away in horror, you’d be surprised how popular (and shockingly delicious) this mix is. Having spent some time in Rioja, it’s the classic tapas crawl drink. Made a Champagne Cocktail recently? Wine Cocktails has more than 5 of them ready for you to experiment with. Never again will you worry about that half glass left in the bottle!
Reading like a travel guide for wine regions, each cocktail in Wine Cocktails identifies the unique aspect of the region and it’s wine, and how to blend the classic cocktail with local wine. Steeped in history and regional insight, this fun bar book serves as a inspiration for your own creativity.
These inexpensive, informative books are great to keep on your e-reader for easy access in the bar. With new volumes being released quarterly, they are an easy way to be inspired in your local wine shop, or at home.
Pick up your digital copies of these reads for pocket change, and enjoy your new discoveries!