Crack open a truly
great book—yours

 

 

This week we’ve got our noses in a few good books—and a couple of great articles—about wine. As always, we’re on the hunt for tasteful stories—the ones that only could be made by you and Blurb. So let’s raise a glass to some of the finer things in life: Wine, books, and you. Cheers!

 

The perfect pairing: Blurb and personalized wine journals

How to create a personalized wine journal

 

No matter what the experts tell us, wine tastes are personal, and the details you’ll want to record are too. That's a wonderful reason to use Blurb to design and create your very own personalized wine journal. Oh, and it’s a great way to get started with our downloadable book-making tool.


How to make a wine journal

 

Here’s how you’ll uncork your project:

Create a custom template

Your notes are the nuts and bolts of your wine tasting journal. To keep track of what you’re drinking (you can’t keep all that in your head, right?), consider including each of these sections to be filled in as you sip:

  • Producer
  • Vintage
  • Varietal
  • Purchased from
  • Date purchased
  • Price
  • Remarks: Aroma, taste identification, acidity, structure, texture, balance
  •  

Top off your book: Adding images
What’s a book without a pretty picture? Upload some images to make your book sparkle. For instance, an aroma wheel in the front or back of your journal can be a great way to reference taste identification and a wine color chart can help you learn more about each vintage. Or consider adding pictures of your wine tasting adventures, sipping companions, and favorite vineyards.

Put a label on it
You could even add blank pages with borders perfect for pasting in labels from your favorite bottles. Easier said than done, you say? Anyone who’s attempted label removal surely has a sob story or two to share, but after a quick internal survey we’re found our favorite way to get it done is the boiling water method.

Step 1: Carefully pour boiling water into the empty bottle. Using a funnel is a good idea, and make sure you keep the label dry.
Step 2: Wait for a few minutes to allow the bottle to become hot from the water inside.
Step 3: With the aid of a knife or razor blade, carefully (carefully!) lift a corner and gently peel the label away from the bottle.

There’s more: Make a cellar book

For the wine collectors, bulk buyers, and hoarders among us, a cellar book is a handy way to keep track of the treasures lurking in your cellar (or garage or closet or cupboard under the sink…). Structured like a wine journal, you can make it as simple or complex as you wish. The trick is to remember to update it as you drink—just a little bit of homework goes a long way when it's time to replace those empty bottles. Here are some key details you might want to include in your cellar book:

  • Background/Log
  • Wine/Vintage
  • Purchased from/Date/Price
  • Where stored/Quantity
  • Date consumed
  • Remarks
  • Withdrawn (number of bottles)
  • Remaining (number of bottles)

These are just pointers—we expect you’ve got acres of ideas for what to include in your own book. How about food matching notes? How good did the White Burgundy taste with those mussels? Did the “great value” Zinfandel go with the homemade burgers? Well, you get the idea. Happy book-making!

A pre-made wine journal template

To make it even easier, we’ve created a simple wine journal template for you to use in our downloadable book-making tool. It’s easy:

  1. Download the template
  2. Open the book-making tool
  3. From the welcome screen, click on “More Options,” then “Import a template”—or go to “File,” then “Import”, and then “Import Book Template”
  4. Choose the file named “diariodivino.template”, select it, and click “Import”

And you’re done. You’ll find pre-made pages for taking notes and pages for adding your own photos and captions. We gave you a cover image too, but you’re free to swap in your own. You’re welcome!

 

Ready to get started on your own book-making journey? Choose the tool that fits your book-making needs and you’ll end up with the perfect book (and have some fun on the way).

Tools BookSmart

BookSmart

Making your first book? Download our book-making tool and you’re on your way. Start with our short, super-informative BookSmart tour.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe® InDesign®

Got serious design skills? Blurb has you covered. Let's get you started right within Adobe InDesign.

 

 

Blog to book: An interview with Alder Yarrow

Wine Newsletter - Alder Yarrow

 

When we knew we wanted to interview a wine blogger, we, of course, wanted the best in the world—and we were lucky enough to get a hold of him for a chat. Meet Alder Yarrow, of Vinography.com.

Here’s what he has to say about himself. “Alder regularly speaks and presents at wine events around the world including Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood in Napa Valley and the Aspen Food and Wine Classic. He has also appeared as a panelist and speaker for events and organizations such as The Commonwealth Club, and the Churchill Club. He is currently a member of the editorial board for Sommelier Journal magazine, and the author of the Sonoma and Marin County chapter of the recently released behemoth, Opus Vino a comprehensive look at the world's wine regions and their best wines”

That’s…impressive. Now let’s get into how this world-class wine blogger got the idea to turn his blog into a book, and how he’s planning to do it with Blurb.

Wine Newsletter - Blog to Book

 

  1. First, can we get a little background? What made you passionate about wine?

    “My real love of wine began while I was studying for a time in England. The food served in the colleges at Oxford University in the early Nineties was awful, and so I found myself cooking for myself more and more. Thinking that the civilized thing to do would be to drink wine with a home-cooked dinner, I would go down to a local bottle shop and buy a wine. Too intimidated to talk with anyone at the shop, I’d simply look on the lower shelves that I could afford and pick a label that looked interesting.

    I really enjoyed this exploration, which opened up a whole world of flavors and grapes and places to me, and so when I returned home to the US and completed my degree, I continued to buy wine and cook a lot, both with increasing passion."

  2. How did you discover Blurb?

    “By day I run a design agency that does, among other things web site design. I bid on the project [the Blurb site] and we won, and ended up helping the launch the company's initial web site. Since then, I've become a father, and have made books of baby pictures and more with the service.”

  3. How did you get the idea to turn your blog into a book?

    “I've had several ideas for either re-purposing my blog content for a book over the years, or creating something new in book form, but hadn’t found the motivation and time to do so yet. But once I started this series on my site called The Essence of Wine, I knew it needed to be a book.”

  4. What's the idea behind the book—what is it for?

    “The idea behind the book is to give either aspiring wine lovers or those deeply in love with wine a visual celebration of the many aromas and flavors in wine, while teaching them something at the same time. My collaborators, award-winning food photographer Leigh Beisch and stylist Sara Slavin, have created 60 images of different wine aromas and flavors to accompany a small bit of prose I have written about that essence.

    Along with each gorgeous photograph and my essay, I also provide wine recommendations for anyone who is interested in tasting or smelling how that essence gets expressed in wine. The book is really an art project as much as it is a book about wine. It's a classic coffee table or gift book—not something you'd necessarily read cover to cover, but something you'd flip through while curled up on the sofa, with a glass of wine in hand, of course.”

  5. Are you interested in turning your blog into an ebook?

    “While the photography really lends itself to a rich print presentation, there's no reason that people couldn't also enjoy it on an iPad or other tablet.”

  6.  

    Alder Yarrow eBook

    How ebooks can change your blog

    Alder is right—ebooks are a wonderful place to turn your blog (whether it’s about wine, food, parenting, boats, trucks, or anything at all) into a beautiful book in a flash. Make a book from your blogging platform—Blurb supports Blogger, LiveJournal, and TypePad—directly into our book-making tool. Automatically add blog text, images, comments, links, and even video into professionally designed fixed-format ebook page layouts.

     

  7. Can you elaborate on your book proposal?

    “I put together a 23-page book proposal that I delivered to various publishers, and was rejected by all. The basic reaction was though the images were fantastic and the prose beautiful, the book was too arty to sell. The only thing that these publishers seem to be interested in is yet another instructional book about wine. Maybe I should have just titled the proposal "How to Drink like a King: $20 Wines That Will Blow Your Mind."”

  8. How's the book-making process going? Is anything surprising you?

    “I've made Blurb books before, so no surprises. I'm enjoying using the new Lightroom® 5 functionality, which is quite convenient since that's where I keep my images.”

  9. What are your plans for the book once it's done?

    “I'm thinking about a small Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell the book and get some funds to have a professional designer do it, and then it's off to the presses, I'll sell it on my blog, and probably try to sell it in a few other outlets that make sense.”

    If you’re thinking about turning your blog into a book, just like Alder, we’ve got the resources for you. With Blurb you’ll get no big upfront costs or lead times, but you will get everything you need—free book-making tools, online sales capabilities, and tips and support—to share and sell your book effortlessly. Set your own price and keep 100% of your profits, get volume discounts and print your own beautiful books on demand. Turn your blog into a powerhouse of profitability with Blurb.

Wine notes

 

  Blurb Bookstore
Wine Bookstore - Vintage Escapades

Vintage Escapades | Holly Stites

Whether you’re a casual sipper or vino connoisseur, you’ll enjoy plenty of room to collect and organize your tasting notes. So pour a glass, get writing, and don’t forget to make time to toast.


Wine Bookstore - The ViniCodex

The ViniCodex | Ted Field

Put your pen to paper in this wine enthusiast journal, complete with rating scales for everything from sweet to round. (“Round”? Maybe we need to read more about wine.)


Wine Bookstore- A Wine Lovers Journal

A Wine Lovers Journal | Kai-K Moller

Get a handle on the ABCs of wine tasting with expert info and the 100-point rating scale. Eat, drink, and be merry—and don’t forget to save the label.


Wine Bookstore - A Wine Journal

A Wine Journal | David A. Hockaday

One of our favorite wine journals in the Blurb Bookstore, this 80-page book has a cover so elegant you’ll be proud to take it to your finest tastings.


And it’s about more than just wine journals—here are even more delicious books about wine made with Blurb.


Demystifying Wine Craig Ferreira

Demystifying Wine | Craig Ferreira

New and old wine lovers alike will enjoy this lighthearted approach to learning more than you ever thought possible about wine. Demystifying Wine brings knowledge and humor to teach the rest of us what wine is all about.


Wine World Ralph Hodgson

Wine World | Ralph Hodgson

A book of photojournalism-style, behind-the-scenes photographs of some of the world’s great wine-producing regions, from Spain and France to California and New Zealand.


Ian Greathead Oil Paintings of Fine Wine

Ian Greathead Oil Paintings of Fine Wine | Ian Greathead

A collection of special moments in time shared over a glass of wine in a beautiful ebook. Note how the reflections of light in the glass add so much to the storytelling within the compositions.