The World’s Shortest Wine Book: A Review

The full title of the book is The World’s Shortest Wine Book: 21 Ways To Get More Out Of A Bottle Of Wine. So it might be a contender for the longest title for a (short) book as well. It’s written by Simon Woods who’s been writing about wine for a good few years. For reasons that I haven’t fathomed, there’s a sequel, The World’s Shortest Wine Book: The Missing Chapters, which is available for download from a link you’ll find in the e-book.

Each chapter offers and discusses specific advice. For instance, get some decent glasses. The influence of the right glass of your glugging experience is something I’ve written about before. Simon’s suggestion for sensible glasses is, however, substantially cheaper than Riedel. Also each chapter includes a single wine recommendation. There’s a comment in the introduction that suggests these recommendations might develop into something more substantial—in the UK, at least.

There’s practical advice on what you should spend, and warnings about “special offers”. But the key message is taste a lot of different wines.

I find a lot of South African reds forget to include pleasure with the broad-shouldered flavours.

I can’t say I disagree. There’s too much red wine about that offers nothing but a high ABV percentage.

Simon encourages us not to get put off by the diversity in French and Italian wines.

You can give a beginner a pretty decent overview of New Zealand wine with about six bottles—and two of those would be Sauvignon Blanc.

I particularly like his thoughts on food and wine matching:

So here, dear reader are my ten rules of the subject…
– It’s bollocks
– No honestly, it is testicles.

– Ignore all of the above

To be fair, Simon does give some sensible guidelines from 3 to 9.

The first of the extended chapters is entitled Wine is nice, but it is not medicine. I prefer to think Simon’s wrong about this. See why here and here.

All in all, TWSWB is a interesting and useful read. It’s short and informative and entertaining.

While I wrote this post I was drinking Clos de Chenȏves 2009, which I bought from Naked Wines, at least, two years ago. I panned the wine at the time, but I’m now quite enjoying it.


  1. […] little while ago, I reviewed The World’s Shortest Wine Book by Simon Woods. After I’d bought the book, I signed up for Simon’s Twenty-Five Lessons From […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: