UK based wine writer and radio and TV broadcaster Susy Atkins is best known for her fresh approach to talking about wines. She selects her words like she selects her wines - thoughtfully. Her book The Really Useful Guide to Red Wine bubbles with vibrant, sensual, descriptive language that connects readers to the tastes of wines. Pinot Noir is velvet. Shiraz is smoldering. Merlot is supple. Cabernet Sauvignon is cedar. This language helps wine enthusiasts visualize how each wine will taste - which means reading this book feels as enjoyable as the wine itself.Red Wine starts with a wide lens and then narrows its focus. Each chapter begins with an introduction to the four categories of red wine: Light, smooth reds; medium-bodied, soft reds;
full-bodied reds; and roses. Then the appearance, texture, aroma and flavor are illustrated with both words and photographs. Atkins identifies two or three of the best wines in each category, such as Pinot Noir for a light, smooth red and Merlot for a medium-bodied soft red, before pinpointing the locations that produce the best of these wines.In order to put the wine in context, each chapter spends some time on pairing a specific wine with a specific dish. Light, smooth reds marry mild cheese happily; full-bodied reds demand rich stews. The individual processes for storing and serving particular wines are examined next -everyday medium reds should be served at room temperature while lighter reds should be lightly chilled. Then comes a very important section: first taste. Atkins emphasizes the first impression a wine makes in the mouth is vital; lighter reds should have a smooth texture while full-bodied reds evoke spices. Each chapter also includesa buyer's guide and details about the fermentation process.
As both a wine tasting host and a writer, Susy Atkins takes wine off of its high shelf and places it on the table to be experienced.