Wine blogger Madeline Puckette is a visual learner. A sommelier and graphic designer by training, Puckette, an Oregon native, first taught herself about wine—specifically, how to identify its flavors and aromas—by doodling on note cards. Champagne may have inspired a sketch of butter and a knobby truffle; Pinot Noir, a stem of chocolate-dipped cherries.
Those whimsical designs inspired the content at Wine Folly, a blog Puckette started in 2011 with her partner, Justin Hammack, a webpreneur and self-described coffee addict. Since then, Puckette’s infographics have graced The Washington Post and the kitchen walls of Michael Mina at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. This past fall, the couple released their long-awaited book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine (Avery, 240 pages; $25), which still holds the top-selling spot for wine books on Amazon.
Wine Folley: The Essential Guide to Wine
Its success is likely because she wrote and illustrated the book for wine drinkers, not wine snobs. Practical tips include how to taste wine, how to find the best wines for your palate and how to pair them with food. “You won’t find anything on terroir or oak in it,” says the 32-year-old Seattleite, chilling in Wine Folly’s Northlake headquarters. “We wanted it to be accessible to people who are new to wine.” Next up: a series of regional wine maps—on waterproof paper, so you can sip and spill away.