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For years, I’ve had a copy of this book at each new release. I’ve been through a series of authors, and even played a role one year in having Petite Sirah be in its own category. Alas, all things change, and this little wine guide has more incarnations than any of the light bulbs in my house…

And, that’s actually a good thing.

Why? Because vintages change each year, as do the wine brands, as do the winemakers within a wine company, as do our palate preferences, as does the economic market dictating what we can and can’t afford with our ultimate purchasing power during extravagant moments.

In today’s economic climate, we’re just not spending the way we used to, but does that really mean that when we get back some purchasing power we’re then going to stick with what we’ve traded down to? If the history of the world has any influence in how I think about that, and it does, I see pocketbooks opening up again as soon as the economy has a positive uptick. It’s just the nature of the beast within us. (That’s why someone was smart enough to begin to offer us credit cards… Who’s your daddy now?)

So, to that end, this little book holds the key to all sorts of new releases, a guide to what you will be spending, and positive adjectives to apply toward the flavors of the wines featured.

Something else this little book does is tell you about the wine regions, from the wines’ origins. At every point, there’s something to discover, something to excite your curiosity. This is the reason we read about wines from the people who love to write about them, isn’t it?

Anthony Giglio is this year’s author, and he’s done his homework by producing another Food & Wine masterpiece. He’s broken the book down into wine regions from the Old World and the New World. Anthony lists star producers in each region, so you can become familiar with a lot more than your own comfort zone. The book contains wine terms, a wine tasting guide, and how to pair food and wine.

From his Website: I am a New York-based wine expert, journalist and educator whose reputation is founded upon being one of the funniest, most entertaining and least-threatening wine, spirits and food authorities on the planet. As a freelance professional I wear many hats, and therefore it’s often hard to explain what I do in one sentence.

So, here are a few: I have written several books, including the just-released guide to 1,000 wines from around the globe, Food & Wine Magazine’s Wine Guide 2009 (Sterling, 2008), as well as the highly acclaimed Cocktails in New York (Rizzoli, 2004). I no sooner finished a complete rewriting of the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide (Wiley, 2005) in honor of its 70th anniversary reprinting, when Wiley asked me to write Mr. Boston Platinum Edition (Wiley, 2006) for professionals, followed by the just-released 68th Edition of the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide (Wiley, 2008).

I wish the book would, at some point in time, also give a food recommendations with each wine… (Yum! It could happen.)

It even lists Reliable Importers. (All right!)

Anthony Giglio has done an excellent job with this guide. If you wait, like I do each year, for this book to hit the book shelves, you won’t be disappointed. If you wonder what to give your best friend who loves wine and also seems to have everything, this book is a good pocket guide for his/her upcoming wine purchases. (You may even get to share one of those purchases with your buddy.)

For this coming year’s trading-downers, there are over 1,100 delicious and easy-to-find wines starting at $6.00. (Yes, I wrote $6.00.)

This is a highly recommended guide from year to year. If you aren’t familiar with this book, but love wine, it’s time to start loving this book, too.

Suggested retail is $12.95. It’s a bargain.

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