BookEnds Talks to Carolyn Hammond

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Dec 01 2006

Carolyn Hammond
Book: 1000 Best Wine Secrets
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pub date: October 2006
Agent: Jacky Sach

Carolyn Hammond is an internationally recognised wine writer and seasoned journalist who has written for a number of major newspapers and magazines. She is a qualified sommelier and active member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. Her writing and tasting notes appear on her website

BookEnds: Describe your book in 50 words or less.
Carolyn: Publishers Weekly says the book “offers a massive number of breezy oeneophile tips in a compact package. [It] begins simply, covering basics such as reading labels, food pairings and . . . ordering wine in a restaurant. The bulk of the book is devoted to regional styles, and there it really excels. The format lends itself to reading in small doses, and the . . . result is an insightful guide to . . .wine. . . .”

BookEnds: What is your favorite thing about this book?
Carolyn: My favorite thing about 1000 Best Wine Secrets is its broad appeal, usability, and versatility. It’s not only a great gift or holiday stocking stuffer for anyone who drinks wine because it’s small and handy, but it makes an excellent housewarming, wedding, shower, or hostess gift.

BookEnds: Who do you consider the audience for your book?
Carolyn: 1000 Best Wine Secrets is the ultimate reference for the budding wine enthusiast and the seasoned expert. Each of the secrets contained in this book can instantly help every wine drinker drink better wine, which does not always mean more expensive bottles.

BookEnds: How do you think your book is important to readers?
Carolyn: Most people do not have the time or determination to devote to becoming a sommelier, but they still want to enjoy a good bottle of wine. 1000 Best Wine Secrets is designed to help readers get the most pleasure from every bottle. It contains secrets to make novice drinkers and serious enthusiasts alike feel comfortable in every wine shop, restaurant, and vineyard.

1000 Best Wine Secrets includes tips on:

• Selecting the perfect bottle
• Knowing how to read the label
• Pairing food and wine
• Tasting and serving wine
• Aging and storing wine
• And talking the talk

The book also names the better producers in every region of the world, points out which bottles deliver the best value for your money, and lists the top 50 wines under $20 complete with tasting notes.

BookEnds: If readers only take away one thing from your book, what would you like it to be?
Carolyn: The best way to buy great wine is to know what you’re looking for, and to be able to put it into words—whether you’re talking with a merchant or a sommelier. It’s easier to find an unoaked crisp white wine with restrained flavors of green apple than a fabulous dry white. The latter means a dozen different things to a dozen people, so the odds of being perfectly pleased are slim.

I cannot stress enough the importance of personal taste when choosing wine. If readers only take away one thing from my book, it would be a very clear sense of the styles of wine they like best.

BookEnds: What are your hobbies or outside interests?
Carolyn: Other than wine, my hobbies include skiing, gastronomy and travel.

One response to “BookEnds Talks to Carolyn Hammond”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    What a great book! I can already think of a half-dozen people I know who’d love to receive something like this.