Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Joe Roberts’ Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings

Wine can be an overwhelming subject to tackle. I love talking to people and trying to help demystify wine. I love talking about wine basics and giving people tools to figure out what they like and to describe what they like. And time and again, I am asked to recommend wine books that are good for beginners or for someone who has a general understanding but wants to learn more. That is why Joe Roberts’ newly released Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

Joe Roberts, twice named among the top 25 most influential people in the U.S. wine business, is the voice behind the awarded wine blog Joe has traveled the world visiting some of the most off-the-beaten-path wine destinations, judging wine competitions, and writing about wine for outlets as diverse as Parade,, Guardian UK, and And he is the author of Wine Taster’s Guide and the companion Wine Taster’s Journal.

Wine Taster’s Guide is easy to follow. It is approachable with a very casual, friendly style. The guide is concise and well organized. The book starts with Tasting 101. This section covers how we perceive aromas and flavor. And it provides the steps in wine tasting: looking, swirling, smelling and tasting.

Chapter Two is about grape varieties. There is some general information about the role of weather, soil, terroir, and farming practices and then describes a selection of the most popular wine varieties that one would find in the market. And, with each grape description, there are suggestions of other grape varieties that you might like if you like the one that is described.

Chapter Three reviews the winemaking process from crushing/soaking/pressing, fermentation, and blending to maturation and aging. Understanding the effect of each process on the final product will help you understand why you might like what you like.

Chapter Four provides comprehensive introductions to the major wine regions of the world and the grapes that are grown in each region.

The final Chapter encourages you to plan your own wine tasting event with suggestions of themes, serving temperatures and food pairings.

And scattered throughout the book are wine-tasting suggestions that introduce you to the styles discussed in each section of the book.

Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings provides information about all aspects of wine but it is not overwhelming or dry. Follow the book and not only will you see how it progresses naturally and casually but you might find yourself feeling pretty knowledgeable at the end.

And, if you want to keep track of all of the wines that you taste, Joe Roberts has created a companion Wine Taster’s Journal to write down the wines you taste and your notes about the wine.

If you want to learn about wine, or hone what you already know, Joe Roberts’ Wine Taster’s Guide: Drink and Learn with 30 Wine Tastings, available on Amazon, is the fun and easy reference you need and that is why it is the Please The Palate pick of the week.