Reviewer Christine Zibas has spent all of her life in love with books, and most of her life working with words. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Western Illinois University and did advanced studies in politics and publishing at WIU, Oxford University, George Washington University, and Stanford.
For many years Christine was an editor in the
think tank world, editing books and reports on international
relations and military studies. She worked at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. and the Johns
Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute, where she served as director of
publications. In London she was the editor at the International
Institute for Strategic Studies. To read more of Christine's Reviews CLICK HERE
Authors: Alpana Singh with Robert Scarola
Publishers: Academy Chicago Publishers
Alpana Pours is not like any wine book you’re likely to see on the shelves of your local bookstore. Instead of overwhelming you with arcane facts and vintages, Alpana Singh (TV hostess of Chicago’s “Check Please” restaurant review show on PBS) has written a lifestyle book centered on the subject of feeling comfortable around wine. It seems that for most people, wine can be a little intimidating. Most of us go to a nice restaurant, get handed a wine list, and then proceed to squirm in our seats, unsure what to order yet wishing to appear confident that the wine we select will be worth the big bucks we will pay out to enjoy this pleasure.
Alpana has taken all of the mystery, but none of the fun, out of enjoying wine. Noting that 77 percent of American women buy and consume wine, she has chosen this group to focus on in her book, although her lessons (and wine tricks) will be just as usable by the male species.
Singh worked for years at one of Chicago’s most glamorous (and expensive) restaurants, Everest, as a Master Sommelier before taking on the role of TV show hostess. Engaged in the business of wine from an early age, she relates to young women and their tastes and anxieties. She breaks down wine into easy-to-use categories, while never diminishing the complexity of her subject. Instead, she presents tools to show her readers how to select a wine depending on their own tastes, for food pairing, for party purchases, and for the sheer enjoyment of a great glass at home.
This is a wonderful book for anyone (and that probably includes most of us) who wants to know more about wine, how to choose it and enjoy it to the fullest capacity. This makes a fun gift for the holidays or would make a great housewarming present. While everyone may not care about the dating and relationship information that makes up a share of the book, there is so much practical knowledge about enjoying wine that it would be easy to skip over and get to the heart of the subject.
Singh addresses wines at all price levels. She talks about how to get the best out of a cheap bottle, which glasses and gadgets you really need, how to determine which wine would work best at various meals (including something as perplexing as a potluck!), and a host of other topics that you will put to good use on a regular basis. “Alpana Pours” is a tiny gem in a sea of wine tomes, and there isn’t a higher recommendation than that!