I receive a lot of books for review about this time of year as the holiday shopping season is quickly approaching. To be frank, I probably review about one in 10 books that I actually receive, and I read perhaps two in those 10. If a title doesn’t grab me or the few random pages that I turn to don’t entice me, they go into a pile to be given away to friends or anyone else who might have an interest in food, wine, spirits, or cooking.
When Eddie Osterland’s book, “Power Entertaining, Secrets to Building Lasting Relationships, Hosting Unforgettable Events and Closing Big Deals from America’s 1st Master Sommelier” arrived, my first thought was, “Why am I receiving this book? I don’t need a book on entertaining.” Thank goodness that I flipped open the book to scan a few pages before I threw it into the discard pile. This book is invaluable, especially if you are in business and will ever have to entertain at a lunch or dinner event.
While I’ve always been involved in the wine and spirits world, for a period of ten years, my main focus was actually at a financial services company. I was quite successful and rose from an entry-level position to a vice-presidential role in a Fortune 500 company. Entertaining played a huge role in getting business done, and I always felt that my ability to select wine or create proper food pairings with wine and spirits gave me a leg up on the competition. Obviously, it wasn’t a primary job duty of mine, but understanding how to entertain properly is something few businesspeople really understand.
I’ll never forget a business meeting in San Francisco with a number of executives when a junior exec took the initiative and ordered a bottle of wine for the table. Unfortunately, white zinfandel wasn’t a good match for the French restaurant that we were dining in, and even more embarrassingly, the restaurant didn’t carry white zinfandel. The sommelier returned with an all-French wine list, and the man knew nothing about French wines. If only he had had a copy of “Power Entertaining,” he could have brushed up on French wine basics and selected a proper wine for the evening.
“Power Entertaining” lets you in on the secrets of successful entertaining without having to devote years of work to learning the world of wines or how to pair food. This is a book that can be put on the bookshelf and referred to for years to come. Even if you aren’t a business executive, “Power Entertaining” reveals the secrets to understanding hospitality in a way that is approachable and easy.
Well-written, approachable, and fun, “Power Entertaining” is a title that I’ll be giving to friends and colleagues this holiday season. Osterland has written a brilliant book, one that will help many people understand more about wine and hospitality.
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product from Wiley Publishing for review. No other compensation from Wiley was received.