Cover image for Wine for women : a guide to buying, pairing, and sharing wine
Wine for women : a guide to buying, pairing, and sharing wine
Sbrocco, Leslie, 1963-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [2003]

Physical Description:
xi, 337 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TP548 .S385 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"Wine is not to fear or revere, but to enjoy," says Leslie Sbrocco, wine expert. And that's exactly what she shows you how to do in Wine for Women, the first wine book written exclusively for women -- the majority of wine consumers.

In Wine for Women, Leslie Sbrocco scraps the stuffy wine-speak and deals with what women really want to know about wine. The book includes shopping guides with hundreds of recommended wines, quick ideas for wine-friendly meals, and creative tips for sharing wine with family and friends.

Organized into easy-to-manage sections, Wine for Women appeals to all levels of wine lovers. From Sauvignon Blanc to Chenin Blanc, Merlot to Malbec, and pink wines to dessert wines, Leslie Sbrocco makes her enormous knowledge of wine entertaining enough for the serious wine lover and accessible enough so any novice can feel like an expert.

Each chapter focuses on a different variety of wine, and covers what Leslie calls the big three -- how to buy, pair, and share wine. You'll learn how to make smart buying decisions in stores and restaurants. Leslie also gives you practical advice for pairing wine and food and offers insights on entertaining with wine, whether you're having an informal picnic or planning the most formal of weddings.

Confused between Chardonnay and Champagne? Think little black dress versus sequins. And Pinot Gris? Think your wine wardrobe's basic jeans. With her relaxed, friendly approach, Leslie makes it easy to understand the differences between wines and encourages women to explore and enjoy wine in their everyday lives.

Keep Wine for Women in your kitchen. Bring it into your living room. Refer to it before you hit the wine shop, or when you just want an excuse to read, relax, and have a sip of something that's really you.

Author Notes

Leslie Sbrocco is an accomplished wine writer for numerous publications from magazines to newspapers. She was the cocreator of, and a wine review columnist for the New York Times on the Web. In addition to being a sought-after speaker, Sbrocco appears regularly on television and radio, and judges several of the country's largest wine competitions. She lives in Sonoma County, California, with her husband and two children

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Some readers, men in particular, will bridle at the title of this introductory guide by first-time author Sbrocco. What follows, however, is an informed yet accessible approach that places wine back in its traditional place at the center of the family dinner table and at the heart of everyday celebrations. Writing for women who have to rush home from demanding jobs to prepare the family meal, Sbrocco caps off chapters on different grapes and all styles of wine with a section called "Design-a-Dinner" that offers easy-to-prepare recipes and pantry staples matched to wines-creamed spinach and grilled steak or pasta with gorgonzola walnut sauce for Cabernet Sauvignon, for example. Basing her choice to speak specifically to women on industry research that confirms that women buy more wine than men (including high-end bottles), Sbrocco compares different grape varieties and styles to wardrobe essentials-Chardonnay is basic black while Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp white shirt, and peppery, intense Syrah is that "must-have" red accessory. A gimmick? No doubt about it, but the analogy works very well. Anyone who has ever tasted a good Pinot Noir knows that it truly is like "seductive satin." Come to think of it, big, powerful, indigenous American Zinfandel really does have the swaggering sex appeal of black leather pants. Sbrocco includes knowledgeable yet democratic shopping guides in every price range and peppers her narrative with myriad facts about wine, tips for entertaining and trips to wine country, as well as colorful descriptions of her travels to great wine-growing regions around the world. In the end, this is a breezy yet memorable and everyday practical resource that should appeal to all women with an interest in wine. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Do women need their own guide to wine? Sbrocco, a columnist and wine expert, thinks so, arguing that most wine consumers are women looking for smart ways to buy wine, pair it with foods, and share it with friends and family. To meet this need, Sbrocco delivers a medley of wine-related information, covering various regions, identifying wines to give as gifts, and offering menu suggestions. She excels at describing key characteristics of varietals and how climate and geography impact flavor and quality. On the other hand, her analogies to clothing (Chardonnay, for example, is the "basic black dress" of the wine world) are distracting, and the multiple sections and numerous sidebars found in each chapter are confusing. While it doesn't quite succeed as gender-specific guide, this is still a concise introduction for anyone-female or male-to the world of wine (see the index and directory of wine-related web sites). An optional purchase for medium to large public libraries; serious collections should pass.-Andrea Dietze, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Wine for Women A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine Chapter One White Wine Chardonnay/White Burgundy The "Basic Black" of White Wine Buying If you're like me, black is a wardrobe staple. Your closet overflows with black purses in various shapes and sizes, pants and jackets from casual to upscale, and most important, that little black dress. Let's not forget shoes: black flats, heels, and boots in every imaginable style. And if you're like me, you keep buying more black. It's not that bright colors are bad. On the contrary, they're fabulous. But pulling off the cherry-red suit or floral-print pants can take a little doing. Nothing is as slimming, versatile, popular, or easy as black. Except for the slimming part (although there are only around 100 calories per glass), the same words can be used to describe Chardonnay, which I think of as the basic black of white wines. Chardonnay is simple to sip, goes with many kinds of food, and remains wildly popular. The Grape Story A classic grape variety that was not well known in this country until a few decades ago, Chardonnay has made a name for itself. Today it's the number-one-selling white in America, and "I'll have the Chardonnay" has become a national motto. Look at any restaurant wine list and count the Chardonnays. Better yet, walk into a retail store where Chardonnays are packed from floor to ceiling, dominating the wine aisles. Chardonnay is familiar, and that familiarity inspires confidence and comfort. We know it; therefore we love it. But Chardonnay's popularity is due in large part to its versatility. Just like those black pants that come in many fabrics and styles -- from casual cotton to sleek silk -- Chardonnay can be everything from light and crisp to juicy and soft or buttery and full. Why is Chardonnay so versatile? It has to do with the grape's personality. Chardonnay was at the head of the line when the grape god handed out easygoing personalities. Not naturally tart and aggressive like Sauvignon Blanc or floral and flirtatious like Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay's mild-mannered fruitiness lends itself to making all kinds of wine. Chardonnay takes on character and complexity depending on where the grapes are grown and who turns them into wine. Many versions are successful; others are not. With an estimated seven hundred different Chardonnay bottlings on store shelves at any one time, though, how do you sift through the boring to get to the beautiful? Price is the first thing that comes to mind. Picking a bottle because it costs $10 or $30 is one way to choose a wine, but if you don't like the way the $30 bottle tastes, you are pouring money down the drain. The key to finding Chardonnay in your price range and then enjoying it begins with defining what you like and don't like. Do you prefer Chards that taste a bit tangy like citrus fruits or ones that are more ripe like pineapples? Or a lighter, more delicate Chardonnay versus a fuller, buttery one? If you're shrugging your shoulders, wondering what in the world I'm talking about, have no fear. Let's take a lingo lesson and start to put words to wine. Having a few key words under your wine belt will help you communicate better about Chardonnay and figure out the tastes and styles you like, but unfortunately, most stores and wineries don't boldly display their wines by taste. Believe it or not, though, labels can tell you something very important about the taste and style of a wine before you pull the cork. Born in the USA . . .Or France . . .Or Chile Several years ago, when I was hiking through hillside vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley of Chile, a winemaker made a remark that really hit home. As we nibbled on freshly plucked grapes, Tony Coltrin of Seña winery said, "Good wine tastes like a grape, but great wine tastes like a place." He's so right. I can give you an idea of what basic Chardonnay might taste like, but what about Chardonnay grown in Chablis or Carneros or Casablanca? Each place has a unique combination of sun, soils, and slopes, which makes the grapes grown there taste a certain way. Luckily that location is on the label, and I think of it as the wine's birthplace. Before we even get to what the winemaker can do when turning grapes into wine (that comes next), the wine's birthplace has the biggest effect on the taste of a bottle of Chardonnay. The following roundups highlight how wines from some of my favorite regions express themselves in the glass. Just as finding the perfect pair of black pants is simple when you know the style you want, buying wine is easier if you can link words on the label to your preferred style of Chardonnay. Use these as a guideline to start exploring Chardonnays from different places around the globe. Bon voyage. Wine for Women A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine . Copyright © by Leslie Sbrocco. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine by Leslie Sbrocco All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Why a Wine Book for Women?p. 1
Building the Essential Wine Wardrobep. 6
Aisle 1 White Wine
Chardonnay/White Burgundy: The "Basic Black" of White Winep. 21
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio: The "Denim" of White Winep. 48
Sauvignon Blanc/Sancerre: The "Crisp White Shirt" Winep. 64
Riesling/Gewurztraminer: The "Spring Dresses" of Whitesp. 86
Viognier, Chenin Blanc, and Semillon: The "Femmes Fatales" of Whitesp. 108
Aisle 2 Red Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux: The "Classic Suit" Redp. 127
Merlot/Bordeaux: The "Wrap Me in Cashmere" Redp. 152
Syrah/Shiraz: The "Red-Hot" Redp. 170
Pinot Noir/Burgundy: The "Seductive Satin" Redp. 191
Sangiovese/Chianti: The Sleek "Italian Heels"p. 214
Zinfandel: The "Love 'Em Like Leather" Redsp. 233
The Other Hot Reds: It's Raining Reds, Hallelujah!p. 249
Aisle 3 Pink, Bubbly, and Sweet
Rose: The "Beachwear" Winep. 263
Champagne/Sparkling Wines: Make Mine "Sequins and Suede"p. 274
Dessert Wines: The "Pajamas" of Vinop. 292
Checkout Counter: Resourcesp. 309
Indexp. 323