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Juice Jargon

by Jamie Foster

Juice Jargon How to Talk About Wine
By Stephen Reiss, Ph.D
B&C Publishing 2005
$19.95 ISBN 0-09761237-0-3

There must be 30 books on the wine bookshelf and not many of them have laid out a way to easily start talking about wine quickly, confidently and competently. In my quest for the silver bullet and a book reminiscent of my first serious wine class I was delighted to hear about Juice Jargon.

Juice Jargon, a wine book by Certified Wine Educator Stephen Reiss, is adapted from the world renowned Aspen Wine Program that he holds twice a year. The goal of the book is to teach people how to talk about wine quickly and competently. It is an excellent guide for beginners and a great reference for individuals who use words like “elegant”, “finesse” and “sophisticated” a bit too often when describing wines.

The book contains four chapters and a glossary. By minimally reading the first chapter you will achieve the knowledge required to walk into a wine store and with assurance describe the type of wine you like. The best way to approach the first chapter is with a glass of wine in hand. Once you read the first nineteen pages you will know how to taste and talk about wine with ease. The second chapter builds upon the first by providing common and not so common descriptors for wine. By the end of the second chapter you will be able to discuss wine with confidence. Chapter three discusses where wine comes from and the final chapter answers your burning questions about how wine is made.

Juice Jargon is written succinctly and without distraction. It has the dual capabilities of being both a primer and a handy reference. One of the things I really like about the book is the pronunciation help following hard to pronounce or unfamiliar words. Take mair-low for example; although by now we should all be able to pronounce it sans the expletive used in the Sideways movie. The book packs a vast about of information in just shy of 300 pages. I highly recommend the book for both the novice and professional because of its superb ability to ultimately aid the wine consumer.

My immense experiences with both the Aspen Wine Program and Juice Jargon have spurred me to begin to excitedly write my own wine book. That’s how much confidence you can gain by becoming the beneficiary of Stephen Reiss’ 20+ years of teaching about wine. Even someone with oenophobia could become excited about wine by reading Juice Jargon.

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About the Author

Jamie Foster - Jamie Foster contributes to monthly newsletter Wine Tips 24x7 and her articles have appeared in Annapolis magazines. Jamie has been a wine judge and guest on Washington Full Circle. She has been awarded the Advanced Certificate in Wines, Spirits and Oth