Certified sommelier Charles Springfield is on a mission to bring people closer to wine through wine education. He accomplishes this with his latest book, “The Less is More Approach to Wine.” He encourages readers to consume the eight chapters as they see fit. I did just that by starting with chapter one, The History, which gives a comprehensive look at wine history from the beginning to the present day. Though the bite-sized paragraphs make it easy to navigate, it seems dry – no pun intended. But nevertheless is very informative. I can see how the book is an extension of his wine classes.
Springfield encourages doing a little skipping around, so I land next in chapter four is where he starts talking about the grapes. I learned the difference between white and red varietals, their regions and tasting notes. I wish I had a cheat sheet to put in my purse for dining and shopping purposes. Also, I love the recommendations about food pairings.
The Tasting Approach is chapter five is my favorite. Springfield gives great tips on seeing, swirling, sniffing, sipping, and savoring wine. I feel informed and empowered. Chapter six, the personal palate, is a letter of love to students. It adds a nice touch to the content by relieving anxiety about the subject as well as the need to drink and sound like an expert. I prefer to see it in the introduction as sort of a pep talk.
Chapter seven covers shopping, serving and storing – my second choice. It addresses price variables and gives the best advice. A higher price doesn’t always mean better quality. Springfield says, “Drink what you can afford.” He also shares, “You don’t want the wine to overpower the food and you don’t want the food to overpower the wine.” Words to live by. However, I’m still in denial about having to chill my red wine. Chapter eight, the continuing journey, concludes nicely and sends me off equipped with the knowledge to conquer the vino world.
I head back to chapter three, The Elements and then wrap up with chapter two, The Place. Together, they explain the existence of wine from the climate, growing cycle, soil to fermentation, acid, sulfites, and everything in between. It might seem heavy to digest at first, but it gives you a greater appreciation for the grape growers and winemakers who the author refers to as, “modern-day heroes” and “sheroes.”
Overall, Springfield presented “The Less is More Approach to Wine” in a simple, memorable and fun way. I found it educational and worth the read. His expertise and personality shined on paper which make the wine, editorial and event stylings the perfect focus for his business, The Life Stylings of Charles Springfield. Cheers!
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