Jim Schleckser is a Certified Sommelier, and he’s also a best-selling author. Borrowed from his Website: He is an energetic and popular speaker at national business conferences and corporate events, focusing on the leverage points to improve your business performance.

What he’s not is in the wine business. He is, however, so passionate about wine and so curious, he’s found himself taking one certification after another just for the fun of it, and proving his wine acumen worthy enough to write a book, with quite a unique and clever angle, with quite a unique and clever angle, with his wine accreditations.

Professional Drinking is for beverage nerds; and, I know more than my share who would love his new book, both in and outside of the wine world.

I’m thinking of holiday gift-giving here. But, I’m ahead of myself…

This book is your invaluable Professional Drinking Cliff Notes, if ever there was one… And, this goes for both pros and enthusiasts alike; it’s so clever and methodically written.

Let’s just say, from now on before wine tasting again, I’ll have nibbled apples. If you’re a SOMM, you’re just nodding in agreement, while many of my wine pals and I haven’t heard about this one, yet.

Being a wine publicist, my area of expertise is writing; about people, places, and wine. My college studies were all about wine sales and marketing, and then I got on the road as a district sales manager for a few years. That was quite an education. Then I was really off and into a PR career, my preferred field. While I know some things with 30 years of experience in the wine business (another 11 in radio broadcasting for PR), I’m still having daily wine epiphanies.  Nothing so swiftly and thoroughly, however, as I’ve been having, while sitting with this wine book and diving in for continued nuances. I’ve savored my time reading it, because it’s like a Louis XIII Magnum cognac. It deserves savoring every single drop made in its subtitle: A Spirited Guide to Wine, Cocktails, and Confident Business Entertaining.

It’s the confident business entertaining aspect that truly makes this book invaluable if you love wine, regardless of your profession. If you conduct business and spirits are part of your entertaining, just read one nugget before going off to that important meeting and you’ll be surprised how well you’ll be received.

Professional Drinking, by Jim Schleckser, is an excellent cornucopia of new insights, chocked full of idiosyncratic nuggets… I really highly recommend it for anyone; from a beginner to anyone studying for a wine certification.

This book isn’t just about wine knowledge. Being a host, which is why this book has been written… Listen up you techie guys with a bank account for entertaining, this is your Cliff Notes book.

There’s more to beverages than just wine, and if you get ahead of the curve, by being well versed in more than wine, and you have a client you’ve taken to dinner, imagine offering an opening cocktail, and knowing just the right one to please everyone. Or, you’re off into a pub, leave the wine behind and know the difference between a lager, an English ale, a wheat beer, or stouts porters. I’m not a beer drinker (allergies), but it’s still fun helping someone make a choice, based on what you know about differing beer characteristics. (I know more than one dry wine pro.)

  • The chapter on Champagne… I’ll never be allergic to any sparkling wine, even if I ever am. When wine sparkles, I feel like dancing. Nuf said… Choosing the right one is well documented in Professional Drinking.
  • How many times are we asked, “how many bottles should we have for each person at a dinner party?” There are rules of thumb, and this book takes all of the stress away.
  • Where are we supposed to cut the foil? I didn’t know this one, either, but I do now. I’ve been thinking I was so chic… Naw, I haven’t been. And now I’ll have no more dripping. Who knew?

Each chapter has PRO TIPS and/or PRO STORIES. I’m going to share this one. If you’re entertaining or being entertained by others, and any alcohol’s involved, side stories are always fun and open the door to more storytelling.

PRO STORY: Why do we call alcohol content “proof?”

Proof comes from sailors that had a daily ration of rum. To ensure the captain didn’t dilute the rum to make it go further, they would make the doctor (who usually doled out the rum rations) light it on fire. The minimum to light it is around 80 proof, but higher-alcohol contents will as well. Once the doctor lit the rum, it had been “proofed.”

If you get the book, you’ll never regret it. I’m delighted to be adding it to my own (book) wine library, and quickly refer to it before each wine meeting. It’s a book filled with fun facts and I love sharing fun facts, do you? If so, it’s got your name on it.