- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Ever find yourself at sea in the wine store, dithering between one wine and another? The Culinary Institute of America has taught more than 17,000 aspiring chefs about the principles of wine and the fine art of pairing food with wine. This is the wine reference they use, and now you can, too. Greatly expanded -- by 200 pages -- this second edition is the definitive text for the wine enthusiast and wine professional and a book that can be browsed for hours.
If you have more than a passing interest in wine, you'll quickly get absorbed in the discussion of the major grape varieties, their classic growing areas and new growing areas. You'll learn the basics of wine making, from canopy management to tannins and barrels (oak vs. stainless steel). You can spend hours looking at the tools that the professionals use: the Davis Color Wheel (which shows the different gradations of color, from Partridge Eye to Walnut) and the Davis Aroma Wheel (which gives a whole vocabulary for wine aromas from banana, rose, and bitter almond to skunk and "wet wool, wet dog").
But it's not all technology. Exploring Wine, Second Edition also delivers a thorough tour of the major and minor wines of the world. In each chapter on the wines of a particular country, you'll find an overview of the country's wine production, wine laws, recent efforts, best producers, and best grapes. You'll find out how Cloudy Bay put the New Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs on the map, what the latest developments in Italian wine are (tip: look to the South), and how South African wines are faring in the post-apartheid era. There's an expanded section on American wines, including a whole chapter devoted to California.
Cooks will love the expanded section on wine and food pairing, as well as the expanded vintage charts and pages of menus with carefully selected wines for various dishes. There are sections on wine service, wine labels, and wine storage, too.
This is a handsomely designed book, filled with photos, illustrations, maps, and sidebars, all of which intrigue. It's wonderful to see the actual rankings of the 1976 Paris blind tasting in which the California wines beat out the French. However, I am still musing over the chart of the top wine-consuming nations and wondering why it is that Luxembourg ranks No. 1 in wine consumed per capita. (What is going on in Luxembourg?!). (Ginger Curwen)