In addition to family and food, if you’re like us, your holiday season will also include copious amounts of adult beverages. Not only does it get us in the holiday spirit, it’s essential to help cope with questions from extended family about your job, your love life, and whether that’s your third or fifth glass of vino. If the only thing you know about wine is that it comes in red or white, look no further than wine expert Richard Betts’ new book: The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert. That’s right—a scratch n’ sniff book for adults.
The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert is illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton and is a 10 page board book that might look at home in your kid’s stocking. Don’t let the pretty drawings and scented sketches fool you—there’s some genuine science in Betts’ book. Addressing the notes and aromas of both the good stuff and cheaper wines with humor and simplicity, Betts’ book isn’t a substitute for a sommelier’s license, but it does present wine knowledge in accessible terms. Betts, who is one of only 200 Master Wine Sommeliers, hopes to make drinking wine more inclusive, saying: “Wine is a grocery, not a luxury.”
If you’re intimidated by not knowing the difference between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc, look to Betts’ book, which demystifies wine tasting in terms we can understand. Humor, scented drawings, and wine knowledge in a ten pages? We’ll raise a glass and give thanks for Richard Betts and The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide this season.