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Dear Paul,

I have recently developed an interest in wines. I am 56 year old from India working as a bank executive.

Please tell me how to go about it. I am looking for a good book which details wine basics. I have tasted some wines over a period of time. I would be happy if you could tell me how to go about exploring the bewildering world of wines.

Thanking you in anticipation,


Hi Pushpender

This is a great question.  I would recommend a good book to start:  Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of Wine has a great explanation of everything you need to know:  from how wine is made, to how to serve it, and (the real focus of the book) where each bottle comes from.  It's lots of fun to look up the various bottles and see.

But the other part of this process is to find a few friends who have a similar interest, and try tasting wines together.  The best way is to taste blind--so that you are no influenced by the label at all--and just get a sense of what each wine has in the glass.

The combination of wine tastings and Johnson's book will get you started on a lifetime of wine adventures!

Paul Wagner


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Paul Wagner


Wines of the world, wine a food matching, wine and food service questions. I currently teach Wine courses at Napa Valley College, am an international wine judge, written many articles for publication, and have been a guest speaker at way too many wine conferences to remember. 25 years in the business. With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, I authored the definitive book on wine marketing: Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book for professionals! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about wine and food on the air.


30 years in the business.

Society of Wine Educators, Academy of Wine Communications, American Wine Society

Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Fine Wine Journal, les Amis du Vin Journal, Society of Wine Educators Journal, and more.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the last twenty years.

Awards and Honors
Spanish National Wine Fair: A lifetime dedicated to wine award. Espaderino della Castelania di Soave in Italy.

Past/Present Clients
Wineries include Caymus, Wente, Parducci, Shannon Ridge, Paul Dolan Wines, Vigilance, and others. Wine regions include the Union des Grand Crus de Borcdeaux, Union des Grands Crus de St. Emilion, Consorzio di Chianti CLassico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Consorzio di Franciacorta, Rioja Alavesa, and others.

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