The Best Wine $1 You’ll Ever Spend

Vinted on February 18, 2010 binned in book reviews, wine books

This blog probably doesn’t attract as many newbie wine lovers these days as it does ‘intermediate’ wine lovers, other wine bloggers, and wine industry folk. 

Well, this is a post for those intrepid wine newbies, and the people who love them (or, the people who feel obligated to buy them wine-related gifts, anyway).

Because I own a house and have a young family, I spend approximately 25% of my waking hours (and just as much of my monthly net income) at the local Target store. And it was there that I discovered the best $1 investment that a wine newbie could make, piled up in a bin located in the “everything for a buck” section near the store entrance.  You know, the section right by the big red plastic shopping carts in which my toddler daughter spends 25% of her waking hours.

That $1 investment?  Wine For Dummies – Pocket Edition.

Yes, I’m serious.  Yes, at Target.

The book is 6” x 4” x, and weighs a couple of ounces (or, approximately 0.015% the weight of the average mighty hardback wine tome).  It could literally fit into your back pocket and you might not notice it until the next time that you sat down after putting it there.

Many folks know the full-blown version of Wine For Dummies, written by wine education legends Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan.  The Pocket Edition boils down the Wine For Dummies content into about 50 pages of the essentials, omitting mostly the content on wine storage, collecting, and buying wine at the wine shop. What’s left is the same fun, accessible, and lucidly written prose found in the book’s bigger brother, with especially helpful info. on how wine is made, how to taste it, what’s behind the most popular varieties, and (especially useful) a short section that is the best and most concise corkscrew overview that you will ever read.

Interestingly, a good portion of that $1 content is also available for free on-line, in a slightly-less-handy-than-the-book-unless-you-own-a-smart-phone format.  The on-line articles don’t contain all of the text of the Pocket Edition but are handy in a pinch (here’s a sample of that corkscrew overview).

Anyway, it’s something to keep in mind the next time you’re trying to plan your escape-vector from Target (which, for me, begins the moment that I am pulling our car into the parking lot) – but it probably won’t help you get out of the place without spending $200.






  • Constance C

    I did purchase this book about a year and a half ago! along with the Italian Wine for Dummies, Spanish Wine for Dummies and French Wines for Dummies books… they weren't as helpful to me as I would have liked, but are definitely a great stepping stone for anyone just getting into wine. My only complaint was that they referred to Rose as pink wine, which, personally, is a pet peeve of mine :)

  • vinogirl

    Good tip, wonder if they have it in the Targets out here. Could make interesting gift tags on bottles for friends…
    I actually like the Italian book, it's idiot friendly :)

  • 1WineDude

    Thanks all – I love the idea of the gift tags…

  • Scott

    I always think that if I can get out of Target for a two-digit bill I've done well. I never understand how dog food and paper towels add up so quickly. But aside, thanks for something for us newbies. A lot of wine blog entries seem to be aimed at folks who already spend a lot of time engaged in the world of wine and I personally enjoy the occassional entry that has more education in it. I know I have a lot to learn, thanks.

  • Kimberly

    Someone I know who is very well-versed in wine, and owns a wine-related business, recently mentioned that she strolled into Target one day and saw these pocket guides for a buck a piece, and bought a bunch of them for stocking stuffers and gifts for good clients. Now they're mentioned here. . . .I think I will get myself over to my local Target store this weekend and pick up a few myself!
    Then again, I go into Target for contact lens solution or something equally pedestrian, and emerge hours later and a few dollars poorer, so maybe I go right to the $1 bin for these books, then hightail it out of there before I get sucked into the Target vortex.

  • Kimberly

    please find missing "hundred" from comment above, as in, I emerge a few hundred dollars poorer when I shop at Target. Good Lord.

  • Julie Crafton

    The Target always delivers – good to know there's a $1 deal waiting for me there the next time I can't escape the draw of the bargain bins. Kimberly – you have even inspired me to splurge and get a few. What a perfect give-away for our next 'wino' party!

  • 1WineDude

    Just be careful folks – that $1 at Target can easily lead to a 3-figure bill at checkout… :-)

  • The Ceci Sipper

    I have this same book with 3 other ones on Cali, Italy, France. I keep them in the bathroom so while somethings going out, somethings going in =D

    • 1WineDude

      Niiice idea!!!

  • anonymous

    Picking the right wine is definitely an art in itself and changes the way you taste food. I wonder how the dishes in this show would taste with some good quality wine.!/pages/Extreme-Chef/195

  • Trackbacks

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    Friday, 19 February, 2010

    […] The Best Wine $1 You'll Ever Spend | 1 Wine Dude Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cashews, Chardonnays, Depen, Food Choices, Gift Of Wine, Merlots, Palet, Red Wine, Red Wines, Spanish Olives, White Grapes, White Wine, White Wines, Wine And Cheese, wine and cheese gift basket, wine and cheese gift baskets, wine basket, wine baskets, Wine Cheese, wine gift, wine gift basket, wine gift baskets, wine gifts […]

  • Trackback from Wine - Wine for Dummies | Food Blogger Network
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