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Wine books


gwilson
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Maybe I missed it, but I searched and couldn't find a thread about wine books. (I checked the Media forum also.) The closest I came was this thread which lists a few books.

I have The Wine Bible, which I am (finally) getting ready to start reading. What else would be worth buying? Oh, I'm looking for a general book, not books on specific topics (like Zinfandel or Bourdeaux).

Thanks for the help.

-Greg

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The Oxford Companion to Wine, edited by Jancis Robinson

The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson

Vintner's Art by Hugh Johnson and James Halliday

The History of Wine by Hugh Johnson

Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch (a great read)

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Well, this is geo-specific but not variety-specific, as in your example, but I have learned a lot from reading Vino Italiano (Joe Bastianich and David Lynch).

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Windows on the World Wine Complete Wine Course, Kevin Zraly

Great Wine Made Simple, Andrea Immer

Making Sense of Wine, Matt Kramer

The first two books are more user friendly. Andrea Immer's book is definitely meant for laypersons, and steers away from "wine geek speak" and memorization of vintage charts and other such nonsense.

The best way to learn about wine is to drink a lot of it. And keep your own journal as to your impressions. As you gather more data certain patterns will begin to emerge. Then you'll start to know what you like just by looking at the label instead of having to pull the cork. And that's about the best wine knowlege that anyone could ask for. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Maybe I missed it, but I searched and couldn't find a thread about wine books.  (I checked the Media forum also.)  The closest I came was this thread which lists a few books.

I have The Wine Bible, which I am (finally) getting ready to start reading.  What else would be worth buying?  Oh, I'm looking for a general book, not books on specific topics (like Zinfandel or Bourdeaux).

Thanks for the help.

-Greg

You actually started off well.

Karen MacNeil's wine bible is one of the best written for what it does. That is it provides a nice easy to read guide to wines of the world by region.

Just this past weekend I picked up a new book (just out):

WINE STYLE---by Mary ewing Mulligan and Ed McCarthy.

This book is is IMOP the single best book covering wine appreciation on the market.

why?

Wine education has traditionally been based upon learning about wine by visiting each country and region that produces wine. In fact, the International Wine center here in the US is headed up by Ms Ewing- Mulligan.--they are probably the foremost certification program for amateurs and professionals in the world and are part of the Wine Education Trust which runs the Master of Wine program.

This traditional education involves a large amount of information--AOC's wine laws grape varietals, growing and winemakein techniques etc etc etc.--the approach involves a lot of tedium.

and the info is delivered in an academic dry style--The Wine Bible is the best of the lot--because MacNeil writes well and the book is more conversational in tone.

What " Wine Style" does is approach the wine world not by country or region but rather by the various styles of wine --it is geared to the actual drinking and enjoyment of wine--the subtitle is:

"using your senses to explore and enjoy wine"

This is not just a "beginners" book but rather a book loaded with important information--it is the approach that is different from most other wine books. It organizes wines by flavor profile then explains why the and how the wines are made in that style covering wine making techniques grapes varietals etc. and various countries and wine making regions.

(other books may have tried this approach with varying degrees of success--none has done it as completely or as well). it is really cutting edge because the world of wine is moving away from the emphasis on location toward styles of wine these locations produce--it is a matter of emphasis.

I have been reading about and studying wine for thirty years now and I wish that this book had been available when I started!

Someone else recommended the Oxford Companion to wine--this is an encyclopedia that is a good reference book.

also

a good wine atlas--I own many and I believe the most user friendly is the one by Oz Clarke--"The New Wine Atlas"--these last two are good additions/foundations to a wine library--they are expensive--and I honestly believe that if you read the Wine Bible and Wine Style you do not need much else at the moment. The Wine Bible contains much of the information they do.

There are two good books that cover the two different philosophical approaches to wines today; Robert Parker's:

"The world's Greatest Wine Estates--A modern perspective" and "The Accidental Connoisseur" by Lawrence Osborne.

The first is a large and expensive book but the opening chapters are really the most important parts of the book--they form an essay that covers what is happening in wine today from a critical perspective-- clearly and consicisely written--I would at least settle into a sofa at Barnes and Noble or my local bookstore and read them there.--if you like the book's approach definitely buy it.

The Accidental Connoisseur is in paperback and takes a view almost opposite that of Parker--it reads like a novel and conveys everything Mondovino attempted in an honest and very moving way. They both love wine passionately --they simply approach it in very different ways.

There are literally hundreds of books on wine appreciation--most of them hash and rehash the same information--some are well written some poorly written--many suffer from appearing to be "informational" but are skewed by the writers point of view. Neither Karen MacNeill nor Mary Ewing Mulligan and her husband Ed McCarthy have any axes to grind in their books--they provide lots of great information and actually encourage one to taste and experience wine.

They offer two different approaches to wine education.

Parker and Osborne present the two dominent philosophical views of wine today--one can agree or disagree with either (or both)they are informative and persuasive.

add one atlas and one encyclpedia and I am not sure there is much else one really needs.

(In fact--I am glad you asked the question--I am going to begin to thin out my library--which will please my wife to no end!).

Good luck and happy reading and most importantly --drinkin! javascript:emoticon(':rolleyes:')

:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Edited by JohnL (log)
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  • 13 years later...

I've read a decent amount of wine books but the only real take away that was invaluable was identifying overpriced wines and how to be a prudent and pragmatic purchaser 

 

The only taste I could clearly identify in a blind tasting is Sauvignon Blanc if an unidentified glass of white was offered to me 

 

Interesting to hear if others, having read a decent amount of books, was able to improve their skills 

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these days ,  Ive learned a lot fro, Oz Clarke

 

http://ozclarke.com

 

he has segments on James Martin Saturday Morning ,  and what he says makes some sense to me.

 

then I go to Trader Joes and see if they have something similar to what he tasted.

 

Ive also got out his books from the library.    some are OK , and others very good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've started reading the new World Atlas of Wine.  The wit and charm of Johnson's prose is gone.  The photographs are few and small, and poorly reproduced.  Maps are ugly.  The much loved bottle labels are not to be found.  The type is now in an illegibly small font.  The publisher should be taken out and shot.

 

This is not to say the text is not information rich and accurate and up to date.  But, hey, why bother?  It brings no joy.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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Fifty years ago when the World Atlas of Wine ,  Hugh Johnson's other book - Wine, The Signet book of Wine, and Time Life's Wines and Spirits were all published, the world of wine was smaller.  California wines were in their infancy and grape wine variety options were smaller.  In other words it was easier to be 'knowledgeable"  There were no mentionable wineries in the US outside of Northern

California, there were too few to mention in South America , Asia, Africa, Australia, or Canada.  Today the subject has really expanded to the point that it is difficult to write a comprehensive book about wine, at least not in a single volume.  One would need several volumes just to have the wine labels pictured.

 

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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On 10/3/2019 at 10:43 AM, rotuts said:

these days ,  Ive learned a lot fro, Oz Clarke

I have searched my collection, high and low, for two of my older Oz Clarke books; one specifically focused on Italian wines, the other more of a general wine book. They were great and I CAN'T FIND THEM!

 

Also, Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Wine Course was a nice intro book.

 

I just got one of these; The New Wine Rules I've had for a while - it's fun, and a very easy read, and he's a great writer. I'm enjoying the other and it's done in an interesting way.

IMG_8396.thumb.jpg.9de0f42abda4682a984ee2910172e88b.jpg

 

These I've had for a while; much more like textbooks, as I try to delve into one of my favorite grapes...

 

IMG_8397.thumb.jpg.85832c744e5647dcd7700bf3218ce755.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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  • 1 year later...

@paul o' vendange 

 

Speaking of Riesling, as we were in the dinner thread, it's possibly my favorite wine (I do love pinot as well, and a big soft spot for gamay). So I wanted to learn some more about it. Hence...

 

1718772582_Rieslingbooks.thumb.jpeg.78addcef9b5bf3ce58b0378bf25653ff.jpeg

 

These are really (well, the one on the left certainly) geeky.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

@paul o' vendange 

 

Speaking of Riesling, as we were in the dinner thread, it's possibly my favorite wine (I do love pinot as well, and a big soft spot for gamay). So I wanted to learn some more about it. Hence...

 

1718772582_Rieslingbooks.thumb.jpeg.78addcef9b5bf3ce58b0378bf25653ff.jpeg

 

These are really (well, the one on the left certainly) geeky.

Yeah!  On it!

 

Gamay - yes, me too.  Such a pretty grape, that wonderful crushed violet quality. I tend to like fleurie best, but there are so many.

 

It’s warming that Jacques Pépin grew up steeped in it, loves it so much.  IIRC his dad used to draw carafes from a barrel in the cellar below, for the modest restaurant trade his mom ran upstairs.

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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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2 hours ago, Objective Foodie said:

The Wines of Germany by Anne Krebiehl MW is very good if you are into Riesling or Spätburgunder (a very affordable way to drink Old World Pinot). I find that GG (Grosses Gewächs) wines by the VDP producers are extraordinary good value and highly underrated. 

 

I started learning more about the Spätburgunder at Cafe Katja...good stuff. Great value here, as are many old world Rieslings. Though not necessarily the old old world stuff 😉 .  I'll take a look for that book.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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