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Everything you need to know about cheap wine from someone who has made it their life's work -- and isn't embarrassed about it

Wine is not rocket science, no matter how much we try to make it seem that way.
Wine is not rocket science, no matter how much we try to make it seem that way.

Are you afraid to walk into a wine store? Do you feel silly when people talk about wine around you? Do you want to buy wine without worrying that you're getting hoodwinked by a winemaker who uses terms you don't understand?

My book, "The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine," will fix that. Wine should be fun, and you should be able to drink what you want -- and have the knowledge to do so -- without fear or intimidation. It will follow up on what I've been writing about for more than 20 years in newspapers, magazines and on the Wine Curmudgeon blog, which includes the annual and nearly world-famous $10 Wine Hall of Fame: Common sense advice about wine, written in English and not wine-speak, and focusing on the cheap wine that 90 percent of us drink.

The book will be published late this spring or early this summer in ebook and print formats. Most wine books are written from the wine drinker's perspective, and they assume you want to learn the secret language so you can join the club. My book, and all my wine writing, is written from the consumer's perspective, because you shouldn't need to join a secret club to enjoy wine. All you should need is $10 for a bottle of wine.

Yes, there's a lot of wine in the world. But that doesn't mean it's difficult to enjoy.
Yes, there's a lot of wine in the world. But that doesn't mean it's difficult to enjoy.

In this, it will emphasize the only rule about wine that matters: Drink what you like, but be willing to try different kinds of wine to find out what you like. The book will expand on what I've been doing on the blog for more than five years, offering a more comprehensive look at cheap wine and how to buy it. Look for more detail, more insight, and more fun -- and the blog is a lot of fun to begin with. How about a winespeak-English dictionary? Or a section titled, "Why wine scores are useless, and how they're used to trick you"?

That's why it makes perfect sense to raise money for the book on Kickstarter; what I get here will pay for layout, cover design, ebook formatting, and printing. My wine writing has always been about democratizing wine and helping consumers make up their own minds about what to drink. So why not give you a chance to participate in publishing it?

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The Pulitzer-prize winning sportswriter Red Smith said writing was easy: "Just open a vein and bleed."

That's the most difficult part about this project, especially given the changes in publishing technology over the past decade. In the old days, a book could take as long as a year to be published. Today, it's maybe three months after the manuscript is done if you're working with good people, and I'm working with some of the best.

So it's up to me to write the damn thing. Fortunately, I've made my living as a writer since I got out of college (including a half dozen books). I shouldn't have to bleed too much.

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    A copy of the ebook edition of "The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine," plus the second edition when it's published.

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    An autographed copy of the print edition of "The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine," plus ebook and the second edition ebook when it's published.

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    An autographed copy of the print edition of "The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine" for you and an autographed copy for a friend, plus the ebook and the second edition ebook when it's published.

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    Cellphone sommelier service twice over a 12-month period, helping you select wines for a dinner party, wine tasting or similar event -- plus an autographed copy of the print edition of "The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine" for you and an autographed copy for a friend and the ebook and the second edition ebook when it's published.

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    A Wine Curmudgeon wine store tour, helping you learn to have more fun buying wine as well as how to do it more effectively. (If you don't live in Texas, availability will depend on my traveling schedule.) Also, cellphone sommelier service twice over a 12-month period, helping you select wines for a dinner party, wine tasting or similar event -- plus an autographed copy of the print edition of "The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine" for you and an autographed copy for a friend and the ebook and the second edition ebook when it's published.

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