The stuff of the best 2017 wine reads: Everyman advice, a con man, a legendary region

 

WINE | Our columnist’s top picks include works by Jon Bonné, Peter Liem and Peter Hellman.

Wine writers attempt to reveal wine’s mysteries, strip away its pretensions, simplify its immense variety. Of course, if we ever succeed, no one would need us anymore.

The latest to try is Jon Bonné, with “ The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know ” (Ten Speed Press, $15). This slim volume of practical advice — each of the 89 new “rules” is just a few paragraphs — headlines this holiday season’s books for the wine lovers on your gift list.

Bonné is an authoritative voice. He is a senior contributing editor for Punch, an online drinks publication, a former wine editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, author of “The New California Wine” and the forthcoming “The New French Wine,” and an occasional contributor to The Washington Post Food section.

As you might suspect, the premise of “The New Wine Rules” is that the old rules no longer apply. Bonné told me in an interview that he didn’t want to write the traditional basic wine book. “You can Google grape varieties,” he said. “I wanted to write for people who are already buying wine and want to know enough about it to enjoy it, and maybe to hold their own when they run up against someone who claims to know everything about wine in an obnoxious way.” [ . . . ]

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