Hugh Johnson's How to Enjoy Your Wine

Overview

Hugh Johnson, one of the world's foremost wine experts, divulges everything needed to fully appreciate wine. Johnson's clear writing style, sense of humor, friendly panache, and vast knowledge helps readers increase their understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of wine ...
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Overview

Hugh Johnson, one of the world's foremost wine experts, divulges everything needed to fully appreciate wine. Johnson's clear writing style, sense of humor, friendly panache, and vast knowledge helps readers increase their understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of wine by learning:
• Types of wine
• Storing wine
• Pairing wine with food
• Tasting tips and etiquette
• Restaurant tips and etiquette
• Glossary of wine terms
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684864198
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/5/1999
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 4.71 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The art of enjoyment
Opening the bottle
Storing the wine
Decanting and serving
Judging wine
The styles of wine
Wine with meals
Special occasions
Tactics in the restaurant
Glossary
Index
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Introduction

Introduction: The art of enjoyment Don't look at the label. Ignore (for the moment) even the price. Let yourself be guided by one thing: how much do you like what you have in your glass? This is rule one of enjoying wine, but perhaps more easily stated than applied. 'How do you know how much you like it?' is far from being a dumb question.

The extremes of wine's myriad identities, from most delicate white to most unctuous amber, are as far apart as Alps and desert, sonnet and epic, Chopin and Wagner, crocus arid rhododendron. The imagery is far-flown, but that precisely is what makes wine different from anything else we drink. It ranges from lace to leather, from glossy to gritty, from insinuating to explosive, in keys, colours and tones innumerable. So how much do you like it?

A wise man once defined a connoisseur (funny old-fashioned word) as someone who can tell good wine from bad and is able to enjoy the different merits of different wines. Two phases, then: judgement -- is it good nor not? And appreciation -- seeing the flavour in context, comparing it with similar and dissimilar flavours, speculating about who made it, where and when. And most important just rolling it round your gums, becoming aware of fruit and structure, light and shade, depth, texture and astringency; what you see, what you smell, what crosses your palate and finally leaves (or doesn't leave) its imprint, its phantom flavour, after it has gone.

You can be a technical taster. Makers and traders of wine are condemned, poor souls, to put names to every nuance I hey detect, to worry about latent faults and not-so-latent price rises. But you are much better advised to drink in simple attentive appreciation.

From mere rain percolating through the soil the roots have collected, the vine transported, the leaves ripened and the grapes matured this magic juice. The yeasts on their bloomy skins have seized on it for food, converting its sugar into alcohol, starting a process of infinite complexity which will end id only when the wine is drunk.

I have every sympathy with drivers who don't know what goes on under the bonnet of their car. Much less with drinkers who never pause to taste what they are drinking. Good wine is as close as we can come to imbibing the very nature of a specific spot on the earth's surface. Do you need to be a mystic to find the prospect at least intriguing? When you learn, as you soon do, that the taste, and hence the pleasure, can change within a storie's throw, the mystery begins to seep into you. Don't fight it. There are too few direct links between nature and art.

Copyright © 1985, 1998 by Octopus Publishing Group Limited
Text copyright © 1985, 1998 by Hugh Johnson

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